Postal Operations Council meeting (12-30.04.2010) - Berne

The Postal Operations Council (POC) of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) met last 12-30 April in Berne, Switzerland. The plenary meeting was held on 29-30 April, following the committee and working group meetings. ANACOM and CTT comprised the Portuguese delegation.

The project teams on Union Acts, Union Reform, Technical Co-operation and Postal Reform, Terminal Charges and Universal Service, and the reflection group on Human Resources, all pertaining to the Council of Administration (CA), also met on the occasion of this POC annual session. Standing out was the meeting of the Acts group, which proceeded to revise the General Regulations article by article, in line with the submitted proposals. It also analysed the UPU International Bureau’s study on possible parallels between UPU legal instruments and those of other international organisations, following a proposal from Japan to make the Convention and Payment Services Agreement permanent acts, like the Constitution and General Regulations.

The Reform group saw presentation of the current status of the study conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers on new market players and their impact on the UPU’s mission and activities, continuing the debate about the best way to legally frame UPU extra-budget activities.

In the POC group meetings, ANACOM especially accompanied the Electronic Services Group (ESG) of POC Committee 4 (C4), which developed the ‘.post’ Domain Management Policy (DMP), a project the UPU has been working on with the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) with a view to creating a ‘.post’ internet domain for the postal community. In the ESG meeting and later in POC C4, ANACOM was concerned about ascertaining the financial impact of this project, to obtain a compromise that the domain would not become a new monopoly only open to some operators and to have the CA be the one to approve the ‘.post’ DMP, given that more than a mere operational document it rather sets out the framework and base principles, access rules and minimum technical requirements, etc. As a result of ANACOM’s effort, C4 amended the proposed resolution on ‘.post’ which expressly grants the CA the right to approve the DMP of the new internet domain to be managed by the UPU.

During the POC plenary meeting, besides presentation of activity reports from the various groups and committees, a forum was held devoted to the theme topic of “A Turbulent Year: the postal sector’s response”. Three new members were also elected to the board of the Fiduciary Council (for region 1 the only candidate, from Ecuador, was elected; for region 4 the only candidate, from Australia, was also elected; and for region 5, out of a field of five candidates the one from Nigeria was elected) and it was approved that the Postal Security group would go ahead with production of a proposal to amend the Convention (and later the rules on Correspondence and Packages) to frame lithium batteries in the scope of articles 15 (Objects not admitted. Prohibitions) and 16 (Radioactive material and admissible infectious substances) of the Convention.

Lastly, the current state of preparations for the Nairobi Strategy Conference scheduled for this 22-24 September was presented. The next plenary meeting will be the CA’s, from 25 October to 12 November 2010.