An extraordinary meeting of the UPU Council of Administration (CA) was held last 29 August, summoned by the CA’s chair in coordination with the director general (DG), to respond to security concerns regarding the upcoming UPU Congress in Istanbul, Turkey.
The CA is the body that manages the UPU between congresses. The congress is the UPU’s top body and meets every four years; its next meeting was scheduled for 20 September to 7 October 2016 in Istanbul.
In the wake of the terrorist attacks and attempted coup d’état Turkey in recent months, there were rising concerns about security conditions during the congress. Several members had queried the International Bureau about this issue.
The UPU DG accordingly contacted Turkish authorities and consulted the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) in late July, after which this meeting was called to assess whether the congress could be held as planned and to consider possible alternatives identified in UNDSS reports.
The following presentations were given:
- by the International Bureau, on initiatives undertaken with the Turkish authorities and the UNDSS;
- by the Turkish authorities, on implemented and planned measures to ensure that the congress can be held in the best security and logistical conditions;
- by UNDSS officials, regarding that department’s reports on the security situation in Istanbul.
The PostEurop (association of European public postal operators) representative manifested the European operators’ concern about holding the congress without a total guarantee of the delegates’ security, as the eventual absence of more qualified participants could affect the quality of work.
Some countries expressed sympathy and confidence regarding the Turkish authorities and their ability to ensure that the congress would be held in proper security conditions.
The CA chair concluded that conditions to hold the congress as initially planned were apparently in place, declaring that the CA approved by consensus keeping the dates and the venue of the congress.