The Universal Postal Union (UPU) is a specialised agency of the United Nations, founded in 1874 and based in Bern. It ensures the physical, financial and electronic functioning of a comprehensive postal network by, among other things, laying down the rules for international mail exchanges and making recommendations on the modernisation of products and services.

With its 192 member countries, the UPU is the primary forum for cooperation between postal sector players. It sets the rules for international mail exchanges and makes recommendations to stimulate growth in mail, parcel and financial services volumes and improve the quality of service for customers. The UPU fulfils an advisory, mediating and liaison role, and provides technical assistance where needed.

Congress is the supreme authority of the UPU and meets every four years. The Council of Administration supervises the UPU’s activities between Congresses, and deals with issues related to the governance of the organisation. The Postal Operations Council is responsible for technical issues. Both Councils are elected by Congress and receive administrative and logistical support from the secretariat, called the International Bureau, which is located at the UPU headquarters in Bern.

Importance for Switzerland

The UPU is an important organisation for Switzerland, especially since it plays a special role as host country of the UPU’s headquarters. Switzerland therefore not only represents Swiss postal interests in the UPU, but also strives to provide the best possible environment for the UPU, its staff and the delegates of member countries who attend its meetings in Bern, and to develop sustainable perspectives for the organisation.

OFCOM’s role

OFCOM has been responsible for UPU affairs since 2012. In this capacity, it ensures the representation of Swiss interests and works in close coordination with the relevant federal offices and Swiss Post. OFCOM represents Switzerland on the Council of Administration and plays an active role in various working groups. It also coordinates the election campaigns for Swiss candidates for the next Congress.

Specialist staff
Last modification 04.03.2022

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