05.09.2012 - Weeks from the opening of a major ministerial
conference organized by the Universal Postal Union, the UN
specialized agency's director general, Edouard Dayan, says
it is important for governments to share their vision of
the postal sector with a view to maintaining its role as a
key motor of socioeconomic development and social cohesion.
"The Post is a powerful network reaching the public, and
national authorities must look at how it can be used to
respond to some of the issues they face today," says Dayan,
who leaves his post at the end of the year, after eight
years at the top of the intergovernmental organization.
Exploring the future role of postal services will be a
predominant theme of the ministerial conference, being held
on 8 October during the 25th Universal Postal Congress in
Doha, Qatar. About 20 ministers, heads of international and
UN organizations and postal CEO have confirmed their
participation as speakers.
Corrado Passera, Italy's minister of economic development,
infrastructure and transport and a former CEO of Poste
Italiane, Cezar Alvarez, Brazil's deputy minister of
communication, Tatsuo Kawabata, Japan's minister for
internal affairs and communication, Nikolay A. Nikiforov,
Russia's minister of telecom and mass communications, and
Ma Junsheng, director general of China's State Post Bureau,
join the line-up of high-level governmental officials who
will take part in the conference.
Her Royal Highness the Princess Máxima of the Netherlands,
the United Nations special advocate for inclusive finance
for development, will deliver remarks via video link for a
discussion on the postal sector's role in fostering
economic and social inclusion.
"Letter-post volumes are still an important revenue source,
but they are declining. Posts must be innovative and
diversify the business, and governments must give them the
tools to do so," says Dayan. "Several countries, including
developing ones, are showing that a postal network that is
adapted can be a formidable tool for developing trade,
financial inclusion, social cohesion and solidarity," he
In Brazil, for example, small and medium-size businesses
can more easily export goods through the Post thanks to a
programme called Exporta Fácil. This programme has taken
root in several other South American countries. In Japan,
the Post was a vital communication link for victims after
the March 2011 earthquake and part of aid distribution
In addition to exploring the impact of the technological
revolution and its opportunities for the postal sector, the
ministerial conference will look at the postal sector's
role in facilitating global trade, especially as e-commerce
develops at warp-speed. According to a report by
Interactive Media in Retail Group, total
business-to-consumer e-commerce sales - estimated at 690
billion euros in 2011, are expected to pass the
trillion-euro mark in 2013.
The conference will also explore the postal sector's role
in social and economic inclusion. Many Posts are
increasingly moving into postal financial services as part
of their diversification strategy. According to the latest
UPU statistics, postal financial services account for more
than 17 per cent of overall postal revenues, almost 4 per
cent more than a decade ago. Some one billion people hold
savings accounts in postal financial institutions.
More than 1,500 people have already registered for the 25th
Universal Postal Congress that taking place from 24
September to 15 October 2012.
Press release, Universal Postal Congress