The UPU is an intergovernmental organisation which constitutes the main forum for cooperation between the stakeholders in the postal sector, thereby ensuring a truly universal network of products and services at the forefront of progress. 

OFCOM and the UPU

The Universal Postal Union is a recent responsibility for OFCOM. Switzerland takes an active part in the activities of the UPU. It is represented not only by OFCOM but also by the national postal regulator PostCom as well as the Federal Postal Services Commission PostCom. They express the positions of Switzerland and defend the country’s interests. The Swiss strategy consists of adapting to the new challenges posed by the postal sector, in particular the opening-up of the market to private operators and to the consequences of the reduction in the sending of letters in parallel with the development of e-commerce.

Activities and structure of the UPU

The Universal Postal Union (UPU), created in 1874 and headquartered in Bern, is a specialised agency of the United Nations which has 192 Member States. It is the main platform for co-operation between governments, post offices, regulators and the many other players in the postal sector. As the only international organisation representing the interests of the postal sector throughout the world in complete neutrality, it ensures the operation of a truly universal network in its physical, financial and electronic dimensions. It lays down the rules concerning international postal exchanges and formulates recommendations aimed at modernising products and services, stimulating growth in the volume of postal exchanges and improving the quality of service for the benefit of customers.

There are more than five million postal employees and 663,000 post offices in the world. Every year, postal services throughout the world handle and distribute some 368.4 billion postal mailings and 6.4 billion parcels. They also provide useful financial services to support financial inclusion and electronic services in order to meet the developing needs of customers the world over. 

The Universal Postal Union (UPU) consists of four bodies:

  • the Universal Postal Congress, which is the supreme authority of the UPU. It meets every four years and is composed of all the plenipotentiaries of the Member States.
  • the Council of Administration (CA) which supervises the activities of the UPU and examines issues relating to the correct functioning of the organisation. It meets annually.
  • the Postal Operations Council (POC), which is responsible for all technical issues. It is composed of the representatives of 40 Member States elected by the Congress.
  • the International Bureau (IB), which is the head office of the UPU. It provides logistical support to the various bodies of the UPU.

In addition, the UPU is made up of two co-operatives: the telematics co-operative and the EMS co-operative.

Specialist staff
Last modification 19.02.2019

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