Bhutan at the Univer­sal Postal Union Congress

Bhutan Times - - Home - Sonam Dorji

Bhutan par­tic­i­pated in the 26th Univer­sal Postal Union (UPU) Congress, which was be­ing held in Is­tan­bul, Turkey from 20th Septem­ber 2016 to 7th Oc­to­ber 2016. The 26th UPU Congress kicked off on 20th Septem­ber 2016 presided over by the Turk­ish Prime Min­is­ter, Bi­nali Yildirim.

The Bhutanese del­e­ga­tion is be­ing led by Ly­onpo DN Dhungyel, Min­is­ter for In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and was ac­com­pa­nied by Dasho Karma W Pen­jor, the Chair­man of Bhutan Post, Karma Wangdi, the CEO of the Bhutan Post and other of­fi­cials from MoIC and Bhutan Post.

The min­is­ter and the chair­man at­tended the min­is­te­rial con­fer­ence on the 4th Oc­to­ber 2016 and ple­nary ses­sions there­after while the rest of the del­e­ga­tion have been at­tend­ing meet­ings on De­vel­op­ment Co­op­er­a­tion, Gen­eral Pol­icy, Fi­nances and mat­ters re­lated to in­ter­na­tional postal ser­vices.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the UPU’s 192 mem­ber states have gath­ered at the 26th UPU Congress in Is­tan­bul, Turkey, to set the agenda for the 2017-2020 cy­cles. The Congress is the supreme de­ci­sion-mak­ing author­ity of the Union and meets ev­ery four years to de­fine and adopt the road map for UPU ac­tiv­i­ties for each work cy­cle.

The UPU Congress has framed a strat­egy cen­tered on three goals: im­prov­ing the in­ter­op­er­abil­ity of the postal net­work, en­sur­ing sus­tain­able and mod­ern postal prod­ucts, and fos­ter­ing ef­fec­tive mar­ket sec­tor func­tion­ing. The Union made many achieve­ments dur­ing the Doha cy­cle; how­ever, the postal sec­tor still faces a new fron­tier with the de­vel­op­ment of new tech­nolo­gies, in­creased de­mand for e-com­merce and emer­gence of new com­peti­tors.

Be­sides dis­cussing op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges for the Postal sec­tor, some of the high­lights of the Congress are the pro­posal for UPU in­sti­tu­tional re­form, which is to merge the UPU’s Coun­cil of Ad­min­is­tra­tion (CA) and Postal Op­er­a­tions Coun­cil (POC) into one UPU Coun­cil and elec­tion of mem­ber coun­tries as can­di­dates for these UPU bod­ies. The mem­ber coun­tries be­lieve that this struc­tural trans­for­ma­tion will speed up the de­ci­sion-mak­ing process and make UPU more ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive.

As part of the pro­ceed­ings, the UPU Di­rec­tor Gen­eral and Deputy Di­rec­tor Gen­eral will be elected. The Congress will end with its clos­ing ple­nary on 7th Oc­to­ber 2016. Bhutan be­came a mem­ber of the UPU in 1969, two years be­fore be­com­ing a mem­ber of the United Na­tions. Since then Bhutan has been an ac­tive mem­ber of the United Na­tions body. Be­sides be­ing in­stru­men­tal for ad­vanc­ing the postal sec­tor, Bhutan’s mem­ber­ship of the UPU has pro­vided her another mul­ti­lat­eral plat­form for it to engage with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

Bhutan’s mem­ber­ship of the UPU has helped it to de­velop and mod­ern­ize the coun­try’s postal ser­vices. The mem­ber­ship en­hanced the coun­try’s com­mu­ni­ca­tion and en­gage­ment with the rest of the world, and also within the coun­try.

With UPU sup­port, Bhutan has been able to mod­ern­ize and de­velop its postal sec­tor in step with de­vel­op­ments glob­ally, and con­tin­ues to do so. The sup­port Bhutan has re­ceived in the form of tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance, ca­pac­ity de­vel­op­ment, ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy sys­tems, and project tied as­sis­tance have been in­stru­men­tal in en­abling Bhutan to meet its Univer­sal Ser­vice Obli­ga­tion in pro­vid­ing postal ser­vices to the most re­mote parts of the coun­try, in­tro­duce new ser­vices as well as to con­tin­u­ously im­prove the qual­ity of these ser­vices.

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