Council of Administration - April 2019

The committees of the UPU Council of Administration (CA) met last 8-12 April in Berne, Switzerland. ANACOM followed the work of Committees 1 to 5, the plenary meeting, the coordination meetings of the European Committee for Postal Regulation (CERP) and the Postal Union of the Americas, Spain and Portugal (UPAEP), as well as the Conference on Postal Regulation.

Regarding Committee 1, on finance, human resources and governance, the work carried out by the task force on the UPU contributions system, in which three models are considered, stands out. The members indicated that they were in favour of fewer models and the CA took note of the recommendation to also analyse the possibility of a complementary pay-per-use model. Regarding the Union’s pension fund, the International Bureau reported on the progress of talks with the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF). The possibility of joining that Fund is being analysed, though only for current UPU personnel, as from 1 January 2021. Spain presented a proposed resolution on future sustainability of the Union’s pension fund, supported by 19 CERP countries, which tasks the chair of the task force on future sustainability of the Union’s pension fund with presenting a detailed working programme, and the International Bureau with presenting to the task force members a detailed report on the pension fund’s current financial situation. Although the International Bureau held that it was not necessary to adopt the proposed resolution, the CA determined otherwise and approved it.

Committee 2 (C2), on the universal service obligation, regulatory affairs and postal regulation, focused on the subject of remunerating format E mail objects. It agreed that the three options approved by Committee 2 of the Postal Operations Council (POC) would be submitted to the member countries for a decision, by means of correspondence vote or an extraordinary congress. In that regard, following the respective discussion, C2 decided by consensus to go ahead with a correspondence vote on the holding of an extraordinary congress this coming 24-25 September in Geneva. Also presented were results of the questionnaire for member countries on commercial and regulatory impacts of the remuneration systems; C2 agreed with the proposed questionnaire on assessment of operational and financial impacts and the respective dissemination to designated operators. The International Bureau reported that the next Postal Regulation Conference would focus on the subject of postal financial services: new technologies for providing postal financial services - regulatory and policy considerations. The International Bureau also presented a document listing several considerations associated to the eventual exit from the UPU of the United States of America, specifically analysing the respective impact and presenting potential solutions. Also regarding this matter, the USA presented a late document proposing the creation of a task force to examine the questions presented by the International Bureau in detail and to study the mitigation proposals to submit to the CA and POC. Given the lack of consensus on the possibility of debating this document in C2 and after the respective vote, the CA members rejected the possibility of C2 analysing the proposal. Finally, in order to simplify the process whereby the UPU Acts are ratified by member-states after the congresses usually held every four years, Japan presented proposals meant to amend the Acts so they can take force without having to be ratified or approved by the member-state, and to modify the associated provisions so that the Acts reflect current practices in the UPU.

Committee 3, on strategy and postal economics, approved the revised version of the Istanbul Activities Plan, including the main performance indicators and objectives analysed for 2017-2020. It also took note of the draft Abidjan Postal Strategy for the 2021-2024 cycle. The International Bureau presented, among other subjects, the 21PD postal development index involving 172 countries, which categorises them based on their postal development.

In Committee 4, on trade facilitation, postal financial inclusion and e-trade, a highlight was the establishment of a protocol agreement between the UPU and the Burgundy School of Business, located in France and considered one of the world’s best management schools.

In Committee 5, on cooperation and development, the synergy between the Quality of Service Fund (QSF) and the Emergency and Solidarity Fund (ESF) was notable, enabling the countries to voluntarily decide to assign part of their QSF funds to QSF/ESF collaboration projects meant to start efforts to re-establish postal service after a disaster.