Universal Postal Union (UPU) - UPSC Notes

UN’s Universal Postal Union (UPU) is the second oldest international organization worldwide. Such international bodies and programmes are relevant for the IAS exam. In this article, you can read all about the UPU, its functions and India’s relations with it.

International organisations and groupings are an important part of the International Relations section of the General Studies paper-2 in the UPSC Syllabus

UPU UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

UN’s Universal Postal Union (UPU)

In 1874, the Treaty of Bern resulted in the formation of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) that coordinates postal policies among its member nations along with the worldwide postal service. After the formation of the United Nations, the UPU became one of its specialized agencies in 1948.

It also oversees the Telematics and Express Mail Service (EMS) cooperatives. Each member agrees to the same terms for conducting international postal duties.

Universal Postal Union (UPU) Functions

The Universal Postal Union (UPU) was established as a body overlooking the regulation of postal exchange between countries.

  • It frames rules for international mail exchange and fixes rates for International postal services.
  • It helps to ensure a truly universal network of up-to-date products and services.
  • UPU provides recommendations for growth in mail, parcel and financial services and to improves the customer’s quality of service. 

UPSC Prelims Facts - UPU

Universal Postal Union (UPU) Issues in News

The UPU has been in news recently. Find below some of the important recent events related to the UPU.

  1. The Union Cabinet gave its approval to the ratification of the Tenth Additional Protocol to the Constitution of the Universal Postal Union (UPU).
  2. In a unilateral decision, Pakistan has stopped the exchange of postal mails with India without any prior notice.
    1. Under Universal Postal Union (UPU) rules, when a country decides to suspend postal exchange with another country, it must notify the operator of the other country and, if possible, the duration for which services are being stopped.
    2. The International Bureau of UPU was also notified.
    3. There are 3 other agreements that cover the postal exchanges between Pakistan and India, mentioned in the table below:
Agreement  Year
Exchange of Value Payable Article 1948
Exchange of Postal Article 1974
International Speed Post Agreement 1987

Universal Postal Union (UPU) and India

The approval of the Tenth Additional Protocol enables the Postal Administration of India to have an Instrument of Ratification. 

  • This document is signed by the Director-General of the International Bureau of UPU.
  • It will also enable the Department of Posts to bring out any administrative orders to implement the provisions of the UPU Convention in India.

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