19 January 2004

New Leadership at the Universal Postal Union

Edouard Dayan Wants the UPU to Become a Centre of Excellence for Postal Matters

(Re-issued as received.)

BERNE (Switzerland), 14 January -- A Universal Postal Union that is efficient, innovative, united and open. That's the vision Edouard Dayan described for the organization, as he was officially installed as the new Director General of the United Nations specialized agency during a ceremony held today at UPU headquarters in Berne, Switzerland.

In a rapidly-changing sector that brings together a number of players, the 15th Director General said he wanted the UPU to become a centre of excellence - a forum for high-level discussion and dialogue on postal industry matters.

"The UPU is the only body capable of bringing together all postal sector players for the purpose of responding effectively to common challenges," he said. "As the organization takes into account the diversified needs of its members, it is my firm belief that our responses to the many challenges facing us must be global. We must all work together to act in the service of the world community."

Dayan, from France, takes over as head of the intergovernmental organization at a time when it is opening itself up to external stakeholders of the postal sector, including non-governmental organizations representing customers, delivery service providers, as well as associations of workers, direct marketers, private operators, international mailers, philatelists and publishers, among others. These stakeholders will now be represented by the Consultative Committee, which officially became a UPU body, alongside the Council of Administration and the Postal Operations Council, during the 2004 Bucharest Congress.

One of the new leadership's immediate priorities will be to carry out the Bucharest World Postal Strategy, a four-year roadmap for the development of worldwide postal services adopted by the UPU's member countries at last September's Congress.                    

"At the heart of this world strategy are the provision of a universal service, quality of service and the postal network, markets development and responses to customer needs, the need for postal structural reform and lasting development of postal services, and finally cooperation among all sector stakeholders. To implement this strategy, which is the primary task of our organization's newly elected bodies, the UPU is setting a course that resolutely points towards the future," said Dayan.

Guozhong Huang, from China, also became the UPU's Deputy Director General during this morning's ceremony. Dayan and Huang replace outgoing Director General Thomas E. Leavey, from the United States, and outgoing Deputy Director General, Moussibahou Mazou, from the Republic of the Congo.

It is the first time that a French citizen is elected Director General of the UPU. The international organization, created in Berne in 1874, is the second oldest after the International Telecommunications Union.

About the Universal Postal Union

The UPU, a United Nations specialized agency based in Berne (Switzerland), is the primary forum for cooperation between Posts. In addition to maintaining a genuinely universal network that provides modern products and services, it establishes the rules for international mail exchanges among its 190 members and makes recommendations to stimulate mail volume growth and to improve the quality of service for customers. Each year, five million employees process and deliver 424 billion domestic letter-post items, some six billion international items and more than 4.4 billion ordinary parcels.

Rhéal LeBlanc
External Communication Department
Universal Postal Union
Case postale 13; 3000 Berne 15
Tel.: +41 31 350 32 51
E-mail: rheal.leblanc@upu.int
Web site: www.upu.int