By Gokhan Ergocun and Arife Yildiz Unal
ISTANBUL (AA) - The Universal Postal Union (UPU) will gather on Tuesday for a third extraordinary congress in Switzerland to revise calculating methods of remuneration rates for the delivery of inbound international letters and small packages.
While the rates are determined by the usual quadrennial congress, which will be held in 2020, the union decided to organize an extraordinary congress due to cost-coverage and market distortion concerns, according to the UPU website.
The union decided to organize extraordinary congress with the recommendation of its Council of Administration and votes of 128 of 192 member countries.
"The UPU remuneration system for letters and small packets – also known as the “terminal dues” system – ensures that Posts are compensated for the cost of handling, transporting and delivering items across borders," the union said.
It added: "This multilateral agreement facilitates the movement of postal items across borders, ensuring that anyone, anywhere within the UPU’s 192 countries can send and receive international post."
The current remuneration methodology was accepted at the last quadrennial congress, hosted by Turkey, in 2016. The decision of the extraordinary event was made in last April.
- Postal services have a responsibility
Kenan Bozgeyik, the chairman of the UPU’s Council of Administration and director general of Turkey's state-run postal service PTT, said the union is in the hardest period in its 145-year history.
"While developing technology has significantly reduced the use of traditional communication methods such as letters, it is necessary to understand why postal services are at the center of such strategic debates and of course what the sector, which we call mail services, means today," he told Anadolu Agency.
He stressed the e-commerce sector provides significant opportunities for sustainability of postal network while the postal network and its components are important determinants of e-commerce.
He noted that the extraordinary congress would affect both the postal services and relevant sectors' future.
"Member countries' postal services have an important responsibility for the universal service obligation," he underlined.
He added that service channels, which support each other, are needed to discharge these responsibilities.
- First extraordinary congress was held in 1900
Finalizing the reconciliation efforts with this understanding is important for all countries, he underlined.
"I believe that, member countries of the UPU, which are older than the UN and has been working as the postal organization of the UN since 1948, will approach the issue, as members of an international organization based on the principle of equal opportunity for each country, and efforts towards reconciliation are an indicator of this sensitivity" he said.
The congress will be held in the Swiss city Geneva between Sept. 24-26.
The union, established in 1874, said its first extraordinary congress was in 1900, and the second one was in 2018, according to the website.