UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein has reminded ICT stakeholders attending the annual World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) of the positive strides technology has helped Posts make in including more of the world’s citizens.
Speaking to forum participants in Geneva on 13 June, Hussein reinforced the role of the UPU’s work in helping to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“By our very nature of being able to offer services everywhere, sometimes beyond strict profit motives, we are in a better position than most industries to empower economically weak and marginal communities to realize their potential and enable them to participate in national development,” said the Director General.
He also noted that several projects the UPU has recently launched directed at improving inclusion, such as financial services, the Ecom@Africa e-commerce project, and .POST, a secure top-level domain being used by Posts to offer services such as web shops.
“Our current primary focus is on the development of electronic commerce, financial services and diversification of products through innovation. All these address empowerment of communities through making access to basic economic services, including trade, achievable and affordable,” he explained.
The WSIS Forum provides an annual platform for information and communication technology (ICT) stakeholders to exchange knowledge, share best practices and build partnerships to advance global development goals. It is organized annually by the International Telecommunication Union in partnership with several UN agencies, drawing in high-level decision makers from the public and private sectors. The UPU primarily contributes to WSIS Action Line 7 on E-business.
As part of the week-long forum, prizes were awarded to outstanding projects that leverage the power of ICT to accelerate socio-economic development. One such project awarded was eTrade for all, an online knowledge sharing platform directed toward inclusive e-commerce, which was developed by UNCTAD with help from partners at the international and national levels. As a founding partner, the UPU was present to accept the award with UNCTAD.
Since trade facilitation concerns many segments of the postal network and related supply chain – physical, financial and electronic services, links to customs, airlines, and security –, a proper functioning of these sectors is key to a successful e-commerce development. Thus, the “Trade logistics” section was developed using UPU data and resources to make exporting and importing via the national postal infrastructure affordable and efficient. The UPU is working with governments implementing policies and also provides support in legal, regulatory, and technical framework and sets the global postal strategy, regulations, and standards.
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eCommerce, Trade, Sustainable development, Financial services, United Nations, .post, New technologies, Regulation, International Bureau