The annual session of the Postal Operations Council (POC) of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), chaired by the United States of America, was held from 20 March to 6 April in Berne, with meetings of the various action groups, project teams, groups, committees and co-operatives.
Portugal was represented at two levels, by ANACOM and by the CTT - Correios de Portugal (Portuguese postal service).
The following work stands out:
• POC plenary session (5-6 April) – programme evaluation report and budget for the 2005/2006 period approved, produced based on the Bucharest World Postal Strategy, as well as the report on work undertaken in the various groups;
• Group 1 (Standards and Procedures, chaired by Portugal) – work focused on updating the Union Regulations (correspondence, orders and agreement on postal payment services) as a consequence of the work carried out by the postal administrations and the different POC committees, PTs and groups;
• Group 2 (Terminal Dues and Economic Questions, chaired by Cuba) – three draft resolutions submitted by the Terminal Dues PT were approved, on:
(i) collection, management and use of data on postal tariffs;
(ii) remuneration of terminal dues related to the quality of service to the countries and territories of the system that are subject to terminal dues;
(iii) remuneration of terminal dues related to the quality of service to the countries and territories of the system of transit terminal dues;
• Group 3 (Operational Questions, chaired by India) – the work carried out by the PTs on Quality of Service, Environment and Sustainable Development, Responsibility, Addressing, Customs Support and International Reply Coupons was analysed, along with the IATA-UPU Contact Group.
• Group 4 (Markets, chaired by New Zealand) – analysed the activities carried out by the bodies of this Group – the Forum for the Development of Direct Mail, the World Association for the Development of Philately (chaired by Portugal) and the Sector Team on Editing, Marketing Research and Development and Customer Relations;
• Meeting of the Consultative Committee – during which the work to date was examined, including recommendations to improve its constitution, working methods and contributions to pursue the goals of the Union;
During the POC session the PTs for the Council of Administration, Acts of the Union, Relations with the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Structure and Constitution of the Union and Universal Postal Service also met.
The PT Acts of the Union, chaired by the United States of America, examined results of the work replacing in the UPU Acts the term postal administration by the term member country and/or designated operator, as per the cases, and concluded that most of the replies received are in favour of that replacement. The PT also analysed, approved or rejected the comments received about that subject.
The PT Relations with the WTO, chaired by Malaysia, was informed of latest developments involving services trading, specifically results of the 2005 Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong, progress negotiating the General Accord on Trade in Services (GATS) and the meeting between the UPU director general and the new director general of the WTO.
The PT Structure and Composition of the Union, chaired by Norway, examined results from the questionnaire on Union reform, which sought to collect information on various issues related to that subject, such as scope and mission, evolution of the structure, representation of countries in the various bodies, future activity and the UPU’s importance for the postal sector.
The PT Universal Postal Service, chaired by Senegal, focused its work on the pilot project to produce a universal postal service model that takes into account the diverse socio-economic indicators in the African countries.