UN regrets U.S. withdrawal from postal agency

The United Nations specialised agency, Universal Postal Union (UPU), which coordinates the global postal system, has expressed “regret” over U.S. withdrawal from the world body’s membership.

Mr Pascal Clivaz, the Deputy Director General of the UN UPU, which was established in the 19th Century, recalled the “tremendous and positive contribution” made by the U.S to the agency.

“It is, therefore, regrettable that the U.S. has taken this step. We, however, respect the decision because we believe it was taken after careful consideration and reflection,” Clivaz said.

According to UPU, the official notification on Wednesday, from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, said that the withdrawal “shall be effective one year after the day on which the UPU receives this notice”.

Reports stated that the U.S. withdrew on the grounds that international mailing rates set by the UPU, in the view of the U.S., give an unfair advantage in particular to China.

The Union sets shipping rates for overseas mail, at a lower rate for developing countries, than developed nations.

Clivaz said that UPU Director General Bishar Hussein would meet with U.S. officials to further discuss the matter, and expressed hope that “through discussion and a constructive dialogue, we can help to resolve this issue to everyone’s satisfaction”.

“The decision of the United States of America to withdraw from the UPU treaties is a serious one, but I believe, with the support of other members, we can resolve the matter amicably.

“We will, therefore, continue to seek a constructive dialogue and to try to resolve this situation, while also upholding the UPU Constitution,” Clivaz said.

He added that UPU remained committed to support international collaboration in the postal sector.

“This means ensuring that, by working with all 192 member countries, the UPU treaties best serve everyone, including the U.S.”

Established in 1874, UPU is the primary global forum for cooperation between postal systems.

It works with its member countries to bring postal services to everyone on the planet.

The second oldest international organisation worldwide, UPU became a UN specialised agency in 1948. (NAN)