The UPU’s Deputy Director General Pascal Clivaz, currently on mission to Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, joined the Executive Council of the Postal Union of the Americas, Spain and Portugal (PUASP) virtually to brief members on the upcoming 27th Universal Postal Congress.
The Congress, which is the supreme body of the UPU, was scheduled to take place in Abidjan last year, but was postponed until August 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Having confirmed that the Congress will be open to attend physically, Mr Clivaz stressed the importance of creating a safe working environment for those delegates who decide to be present in person. To do so, the UPU and the government of Côte d'Ivoire will offer a package of protection measures in full alignment with international and national standards. These include the obligation to present a negative result of the COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival, installation of testing and vaccination facilities and ensuring physical distancing, among other health standards.
Responding to the question of whether there is any contingency plan in the case of Internet disruptions for those attending remotely, Mr Clivaz reaffirmed that the organizers were “placing emphasis on setting up a reliable IT system.” Noting that he was speaking perfectly clearly from Abidjan to Montevideo, Uruguay, Mr Clivaz said the UPU was able to provide for any sudden drop in connectivity. He said the main platform will be backed up by the second one, which is operating through the International Bureau in Berne.
At the end of his intervention, Mr Clivaz reiterated the UPU’s gratitude to the host country, whose efforts are critical for making the event materialize under the current conditions: “We are fully committed to welcoming you in Abidjan this August to shape the future of the postal sector together.”
Since the beginning of the outbreak, the UPU has taken a series of significant steps to mitigate the unprecedented pressure experienced by the global postal network. Through providing guidance, personal protective equipment and new digital tools, the UPU has been able to deliver support for the postal supply chain. Read more in the Spring 2021 edition of Union Postale.