UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein has encouraged Caribbean governments to continue their commitment to modernizing their Posts at a regional Council of Ministers in Bridgetown, Barbados.
UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein (second left) is joined by CPU Postal General Allan Wayne Smith, Barbados Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs Adriel Braithwaite and Barbados Postmaster General Margaret Ashby (left to right) at the Council of Ministers
“I appreciate your dedication as governments in focusing on making postal services not only more accessible through the universal service obligation but also modernizing them through the adoption of new technologies,” he said.
Hussein was joined by UPU Deputy Director General Pascal Clivaz at the July meeting, where ministers and ministry representatives from seven countries discussed the future of the UPU and the postal sector.
The group focused their deliberations on trade facilitation, the upcoming Universal Postal Congress and the future of the UPU. Among them was Barbados.
“We [the Posts] are going to have to be flexible… innovative and are going to have to use technology… Moreover, for the first time, we are going to have to compete with the private sector and do it better than they do,” stated Adriel Braithwaite, Barbados’ Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs.
Representatives from the Bahamas, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Turks and Caicos also attended the meeting.
Transforming the UPU
The UPU leaders also spoke to ministers about what could lie ahead in the next work cycle in 2017-2020.
Several challenges would need to be overcome to achieve this vision, including transforming the UPU itself, they explained.
“We have the best opportunity in many years to make our union more efficient, relevant and responsive to not only to the needs of members, but also those of the market. To remain relevant, the postal business must be reformed,” Hussein remarked.
At the heart of the proposed transformation of the UPU itself is a merger of the Council of Administration and Postal Operations Council into one body, the UPU Council, with the goal of speeding up decision-making, reducing costly sessions and minimizing work duplication.
Member countries will vote on the reform proposal at the 26th Universal Postal Congress, which will take place in Istanbul from September 20 – October 7 this year.