The annual session of the Advisory and Executive Committee (AEC) of the Postal Union of the Americas, Spain and Portugal (UPAEP) took place at the organisation’s head offices in Montevideo last 18-20 March, preceded by several meetings of working groups, the technical cooperation forum and the management committee (of which Portugal is a member).
The AEC’s opening session was attended by the member states' diplomatic representatives in Montevideo, including the Portuguese embassy. The secretary-general summed up his first term in office and thanked several countries, among them Portugal, for their support of various improvements occurring in the organisation, specifically regarding the building.
Financial issues and those concerning technical cooperation activities undertaken in the UPAEP scope took up much of the agenda, as usual. A highlight was the decision to authorise a possible salary increase for secretariat employees, though depending on available funds, which should result from operational savings because it cannot cause member contributions to increase nor any reduction of financing for the UPAEP’s main activities, specifically cooperation. This decision was due to joint work by the working groups on Finances and Reform of the UPAEP (in which Portugal played an active role) which were charged by the 2014 AEC session with examining a request from the secretariat’s staff association regarding salary conditions and to propose action to be taken by the AEC.
Also noteworthy was the discussion owing to presentations about work of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) given by its director-general, the chair of the UPU Postal Operations Council (POC) and the chair of one of its committees. The common focus of the various presentations was the finding that the UPU’s working methods and rules are not compatible with rapid transformation of the postal sector, specifically in the context of the sharp rise in electronic commerce. The need to reform the UPU was thus strongly urged, with a view to speeding up the decision-making process and adapting products and services developed in the UPU scope to the needs of clients and the market.
The next AEC session has been scheduled for 4-8 April 2016.