Minister and PMG represent Guyana at UPU Extraordinary Congress in Ethiopia

– Gearing up the postal sector to drive socio-economic development

Minister Hughes with PMG Karen Brown
Minister Hughes with PMG Karen Brown

The Universal Postal Union (UPU) today concluded its Second Extraordinary Congress in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, East Africa. Guyana, one of the 192 member countries of the UPU, was represented by Minster of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes who holds responsibility for the local Postal Service, and Post Master General, Ms. Karen Brown.

The UPU’s Ministerial Strategy Conference closed out this second ever UPU Extraordinary Congress on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 September. The inaugural Extraordinary Congress of the UPU had been held in Berne, Switzerland in July 1900 on the occasion of the Union’s 25th anniversary.

Minister Hughes with Secretary General of Caribbean Postal Union, Guillermo Raymond, and colleagues
Minister Hughes with Secretary General of Caribbean Postal Union, Guillermo Raymond, and colleagues

Over these past two days, government ministers, regulatory authorities and other senior decision-makers from around the world discussed how the postal sector should change the way they deliver services in order to remain efficient and relevant in today’s rapidly changing digital environment.

The senior officials examined the various interventions that would enable the Post to embrace its changing roles to better serve its nations and citizens, to help to grow their economies and drive socio-economic development. These include encouraging investments and public-private partnerships in the sector in each country.

It became very clear that the Postal issues facing most countries are very similar which means that the proposed solutions would be very adaptable.

The Congress passed and recorded several major achievements, and the one affecting the Caribbean Region will benefit six (6) Small Island States, all with a population of less than 200,000. Those countries are Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent.

With a global network of over 677,000 post offices, 5.3 million staff and physical infrastructure covering 192 countries, the postal sector is a key contributor to national and international infrastructure. It plays a very important role in national development and in the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).