The UNIVERSAL POSTAL UNION (UPU, French : UNION POSTALE UNIVERSELLE),
established by the Treaty of
French is the official language of the UPU. English was added as a
working language in 1994. The majority of the UPU's documents and
publications – including its flagship magazine, Union Postale –
are available in the United Nations' six official languages (French ,
* 1 Overview * 2 Standards * 3 Member countries * 4 Congresses * 5 Philatelic activities * 6 Electronic telecommunication * 7 See also * 8 References and sources * 9 External links
In the UPU Monument (Weltpostdenkmal) in Bern, bronze and granite, by René de Saint-Marceaux , the five continents join to transmit messages around the globe
Prior to the establishment of the UPU, each country had to prepare a
separate postal treaty with other nations if it wished to carry
international mail to or from them. In some cases, senders would have
to calculate postage for each leg of a journey, and find mail
forwarders in a third country if there was no direct delivery. To
remove this complexity, the United States called for an International
Postal Congress in 1863. This led
Heinrich von Stephan , Royal
Prussian and later German Minister for Posts, to found the Universal
Postal Union. It is currently the third oldest international
organization after the Rhine Commission and the ITU . The UPU was
created in 1874, initially under the name "GENERAL POSTAL UNION",
under the Treaty of
The UPU established that:
* There should be a uniform flat rate to mail a letter anywhere in the world * Postal authorities should give equal treatment to foreign and domestic mail * Each country should retain all money it has collected for international postage.
One of the most important results of the UPU Treaty was that it ceased to be necessary, as it often had been previously, to affix the stamps of any country through which one's letter or package would pass in transit. The UPU provides that stamps of member nations are accepted for the entire international route. Toward the end of the 19th century, the UPU issued rules concerning stamp design, intended to ensure maximum efficiency in handling international mail. One rule specified that stamp values be given in numerals (denominations spelled out in letters not being universally comprehensible); another, that member nations all use the same colors on their stamps issued for post cards (green), normal letters (red) and international mail (blue), a system that remained in use for several decades.
After the foundation of the
As this affected the cost of the delivery of periodicals, the UPU devised a new "threshold" system, which it later implemented in 1991. The system sets separate letter and periodical rates for countries which receive at least 150 tonnes of mail annually. For countries with less mail, the original flat rate is still retained. The United States has negotiated a separate terminal dues formula with thirteen European countries that includes a rate per piece plus a rate per kilogram; it has a similar arrangement with Canada. The UPU also operates the system of International Reply Coupons and addresses concerns with ETOEs .
In recent years UPU members have encountered serious problems triggered by the enormous increase in e-commerce originating from the Far East, where the terminal dues do not cover the unit costs of delivery in the destination countries, and the volumes are so big that the losses cannot be compensated by better terminal dues from other traffic. In 2016 a new remuneration system (see ) was implemented with a focus on e-commerce.
Standards are important prerequisites for effective postal operations and for interconnecting the global network. The UPU's Standards Board develops and maintains a growing number of international standards to improve the exchange of postal-related information between postal operators. It also promotes the compatibility of UPU and international postal initiatives. The organization works closely with postal handling organizations, customers, suppliers and other partners, including various international organizations. The Standards Board ensures that coherent regulations are developed in areas such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), mail encoding, postal forms and meters. UPU standards are drafted in accordance with the rules given in Part V of the "General information on UPU Standards" and are published by the UPU International Bureau in accordance with Part VII of that publication.
Main article: List of members of the Universal Postal Union 100 years of UPU commemorated on a US postage stamp
Member states of the UPU are the
The newest member is
The overseas constituent countries of the Netherlands (
Palestine was granted special observer status to the UPU in 1999, and
Republic of China
The other states with limited recognition , such as
Main article: Postal Union Congress
The Universal Postal Congress is the most important body of the UPU.
The main purpose of the quadrennial Congress is to examine proposals
to amend the Acts of the UPU, including the UPU Constitution, General
Regulations, Convention and Postal Payment Services Agreement. The
Congress also serves as a forum for participating member countries to
discuss a broad range of issues impacting international postal
services, such as market trends, regulation and other strategic
issues. The first UPU Congress was held in Bern,
The Universal Postal Union, in conjunction with the World Association for the Development of Philately , developed the WADP Numbering System (WNS). It was launched on 1 January 2002. The website displays entries for 160 countries and issuing postal entities, with over 25,000 stamps registered since 2002. Many of them have images, which generally remain copyrighted by the issuing country, but the UPU and WADP permit them to be downloaded.
In some countries, telegraph and later telephones came under the same
government department as the postal system. Similarly there was an
International Telegraph Bureau, based in
In order to integrate postal services and the Internet, the UPU sponsors .post . Developing their own standards, the UPU expects to unveil a whole new range of international digital postal services, including e-post. They have appointed a body, the .post group (DPG) to oversee the development of that platform.
REFERENCES AND SOURCES
* ^ "
Universal Postal Union
* ^ "Universal Postal Convention". Universal Postal Union.
1952-07-11. Retrieved 2012-08-11.
* ^ "Constitution of the Universal Postal Union". Universal Postal
Union. 1964-07-10. Retrieved 2012-08-11.
* ^ "Palestinian parcel post gets a boost". Universal Postal Union
(UPU). Retrieved 2010-09-26.
* ^ "
* Codding, G.A. (1964). The
Universal Postal Union