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Title: "General framework"
The Postal Union of the Americas, Spain and Portugal (UPAEP) is an intergovernmental organization, gathering at present 27 State Members, with headquarters in Montevideo, in the Oriental Republic of Uruguay.
Established in 1911 under the designation South America Postal Union, this Organization has amended successively its scope and designation, at first with the enlargement across the whole American territory, in 1921, subsequently with the accession of Spain and Honduras, in 1926; in 1931, Canada ad Haiti joined in and in January 1991, Portugal acceded, having the organization assumed on this date its current designation, and lastly, in 1993, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba joined in the Organization.
UPAEP’s mission comprises the constant improvement of the postal services of its member countries, facilitating the exchange of experiences and the operation of concerted action between postal bodies, and implementing international cooperation initiatives, always bearing in mind the promotion of postal interchange, at national and international level, an action governed by guarantees regarding security, regularity, speed and economy.
UPAEP has been set up as a Restricted Union of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), also embracing, among its objectives, the fundamental aims thereof, namely the establishment of a postal territorial unit for the mutual interchange of postal services and the freedom of transit in the territory.
Spanish is the official language, English and Portuguese being accepted as deliberation languages at meetings.
The bodies of the UPAEP are the Congress, the Advisory and Executive Council, the General Secretariat and the Management Committee.
The Congress, the Union’s supreme body, consists of representatives of all Member States, and meets every five years, to revise and complete the legislation of the Union, determining the respective action priorities.
The Advisory and Executive Council, the technical body, operates in plenary sessions or in groups of action, and ensures, between two congresses, the continuity of the Union’s work, undertaking studies and delivering opinions on technical, economic, operating and technical cooperation issues with interest for the postal service. Moreover, it supervises and controls the activities of the General Secretariat, consisting of all Member States.
The General Secretariat of the UPAEP serves as an office of liaison, information, consultation and cooperation among the Union’s members. The preparation of the organization’s global budget is also incumbent upon this body.
The Management Committee was established in 1997, at a meeting of the Advisory and Executive Council. This body consists of the AEC President and Vice-President in office and four other members appointed by the Congress. It holds meetings twice a year at the least, with the tasks of monitoring, assessing and supervising the strategic plans defined by the Congress and implemented by the AEC, making proposals for the resolution of administrative matters and accomplishing the duties assigned.
The fundamental instruments of the UPAEP are the Constitution, the Additional Protocols, the General Regulation, the Resolutions and Recommendations.
The UPAEP Constitution is the fundamental act of the Union, comprising its organic standards (general provisions, organization of the Union, finances, application, acceptance and amendment of the Union’s instruments, dispute resolution, accession to and withdrawal from the Union).
All the amendments to the Constitution resulting from the Congresses are assembled in Additional Protocols, the most recent of which is the Sixth Additional Protocol to the Constitution, made on the occasion of the XVIII Congress of the UPAEP, at Panama, 2000.
The Union’s General Regulation comprises the provisions ensuring the application of the Constitution, establishing the structure and operation of the Union’s bodies, the financial issues and the amending process of the acts.
The Resolutions are provisions not covered in the General Regulation, and concern the functioning of the Union, its bodies and some issues regarding postal operation. These provisions are binding on all the Member States.
The Recommendations are provisions regarding service operation and Member States apply them as appropriate.
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