11.10.2017 - The UN Secretary General’s remarks were read at a first of its kind ceremony organized by the UPU to celebrate the annual awareness day celebrated each 9 October.
Held at the UPU’s headquarters in Berne, the event brought together guests from the postal sector, diplomatic corps and Swiss Confederation to honour both its 46th International Letter-Writing Competition gold medallist and top scorers in the UPU Integrated Index for Postal Development (2IPD).
For his part, UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein emphasized the Post’s important role in global public infrastructure.
“Posts are not only about letters and stamps. They are enablers of inclusive development, constituting an essential component of the global economy,” said Hussein.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres echoed this sentiment in a special message sent to the UPU, adding that Posts play an important role in the everyday lives of people and businesses and are making welcome contributions to global efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.“
The ceremony first honoured fourteen year old Eva Giordano Palacios, whose composition won Togo’s national letter-writing competition before being selected by a panel of judges in the UPU’s international round.
In 2017, children were asked to write a letter to the new UN Secretary-General advising him on an issue they would like to help him solve. Palacios brought the audience to tears with her poignant letter and accompanying song on child marriage.
“The solution, the only solution to child marriage, is education. Education allows the children of today, who will be the adults of tomorrow, to understand that age-old traditions which instruct them to marry off their daughters are unfair, and that poverty is no excuse, especially when the men are far too old for them,” she read.
Guterres praised the competition and the chosen theme in his World Post Day message, adding that “This year’s 1.2 million participants, in considering which global challenge they would want me to tackle first, displayed an encouraging concern for humankind and commitment to international cooperation.”
UPU Director General and Deputy Director General Pascal Clivaz then honoured the top three global and five regional top scorers in the UPU’s new 2IPD ranking.
2IPD is a is a composite index providing an overview of postal development around the world, with the results for 2016 covering over 170 countries. It uses UPU data to benchmark each country’s development across four dimensions: reliability, reach, relevance and resilience.
The top three countries in the ranking included Switzerland, France and Japan. The five regional champions included Poland for Europe and CIS, Singapore for Asia-Pacific, Mauritius for Africa, Brazil for Latin America and the Caribbean, and United Arab Emirates for the Arab region.
Swiss Post CEO Susanne Ruoff accepted the award on behalf of Switzerland, which received a perfect score according to the ranking.
“Swiss Post is playing a pioneer role in the development of new technology and this award serves to motivate us,” said Ruoff.
“This prize is for our people and our employees and I want to give this award to them for their hard work and for their trust in the Swiss Post,” she concluded.
To learn more about 2IPD, watch the informational video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSlHHRr0oBc
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