Universal Postal Union

Universal Postal Union

The Universal Postal Union (UPU) is a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN), established in 1947, that regulates international mail services with its headquarters at Bern, Switzerland.

Established in 1875 following adoption of the Universal Postal Convention, it is one of the oldest extant international governmental organisations. The Universal Postal Congress, the governing body, usually meets every four years to discuss and adopt a world postal strategy and consider the activities of the executive council, whose 40 members are elected on a geographical basis and meet yearly.

The UPU consists of:

  • 4 bodies
    • The Congress
    • The Council of Administration (CA)
    • The Postal Operations Council (POC)
    • The International Bureau (IB)
  • 2 cooperatives
    • Telematics Cooperative
    • EMS Cooperative

Countries that belong to the union form a unified postal territory with easy international exchange of mail. The union also provides technical assistance and advice in attempts to improve postal service, especially in developing countries. It facilitates the development of the contemporary postal network which, in addition to the traditional delivery of mail, also includes electronic and financial services. The UPU has 192 member nations.


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