26th Universal Postal Union Congress

On 20 September 2016 the 26th Universal Postal Union (UPU) Congress begins in Istanbul, Turkey, and will last until 7 October 2016. There was some uncertainly regarding the holding of the Congress at this location on the previously planned dates in view of the political and security problems that Turkey has experienced in recent months.

One of the most divisive themes of this Congress will certainly be a discussion on UPU reform, with a proposal on the table from the organization's Senior Management (Director General and Deputy Director General) which, although it has gathered a certain level of support among less developed countries, it is strongly contested by a number of influential countries, including most European countries and those which contribute most financially to the UPU.

The World Postal Strategy will also be discussed and approved, which will forms guidelines for all member countries and UPU bodies themselves, from 2017 until the next Congress.

The topics covered will include the following: terminal dues system (remuneration paid between operators for the provision of the international postal service); budgetary issues, which is a topic generating a degree of sensitivity given the financial difficulties which members are undergoing, leading to a reduction in contributions and greater budgetary restriction for the UPU; revision of the UPU's legal instruments.

On 5 and 6 October the usual elections for the posts of Director General and Deputy Director General will take place, and candidates include the current holders, Ambassador Bishar A. Hussein (Kenya) and Pascal Clivaz (Switzerland), respectively, as well as the members of two Councils (Council of Administration and Postal Operations Council). Portugal is a candidate for these Councils, with the goal of strengthening its participation in the activities of the UPU.

In addition, a high-level conference is planned for 4 October, in order to discuss the resources that would enable the Post Offices to provide a better service to their respective countries and citizens as well as economic growth and promoting development.

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