Yesterday, on day one of UPU’s third Extraordinary Congress, member countries rejected the first of three proposals up for debate.
In line with Congress rules of procedure, countries first reviewed the proposal furthest from the status quo, known as “Option B”, which would allow countries to self-declare their rates from 2020. They rejected the proposal in a vote by secret ballot, with 78 countries voting against the proposal, 57 voting in favour and 9 abstaining. More than 150 countries were represented at the opening day’s plenary session.
Speaking on remuneration at a press conference earlier in the day, UPU Secretary General* Bishar A. Hussein said, “This has been a subject of so many Congresses since 1969. At every Congress we revisit it, we review it and we propose a new set of tariffs.”
UPU member countries voted in June to hold an Extraordinary Congress to discuss the remuneration of international bulky letters and small packets after several countries raised concerns related to cost coverage and market distortions under the current system.
The Congress will resume at 9 a.m. (Central European Time) on 25 September to discuss a convergence proposal, known as “Option C”, which would accelerate rate increases under the current remuneration methodology, phasing in optional self-declared rates between 2021-2025. If that proposal fails, countries will examine the proposal closest to the status quo – “Option A” – that would continue the current rate structure, but proposes accelerating planned rate increases and moving all countries into a single rate system in 2020.
Speaking on behalf of the United States delegation earlier in the day, Mr Peter Navarro, Assistant to the President of the United States for Trade and Manufacturing Policy, credited continued discussions with UPU’s leadership for the country’s presence at the Geneva negotiations. Last year, the country signaled its intent to withdraw from the UPU in October 2019, citing the remuneration of bulky letters and small packets as its main concern.
“Over the past year, through countless meetings – including a visit to the White House – we have relentlessly sought to fix a terminal dues system that everyone in this room knows is broken. Our success to date is illustrated by the very fact that we are gathered here together at what is only the third Extraordinary Congress in the UPU’s long history,” said Mr. Navarro.
Plenary sessions will continue throughout the 25 September and the closing session takes place on the morning of 26 September. The afternoon of 26 September has been reserved for making changes to the UPU’s regulations, if needed.
The postal remuneration rates system ensures that Posts are compensated for the cost of handling, transporting and delivering bulky letters and small packets across borders.
“I call on all of you in the name of this historical Union to find the courage to choose the right path not just for yourselves, but for the entire industry,” the Universal Postal Union’s Secretary General* Bishar A. Hussein said yesterday .
Source: Post and Parcel