20.01.2020 - A new capacity building programme led by the UPU seeks to maximize the adoption of UPU security standards and protect the postal supply chain from dangerous goods.
As the transportation of synthetic opioids, illegal drugs, precursor chemicals, and other dangerous goods through the Post becomes an emerging issue, postal authorities must recognize that they have a legal and moral responsibility to protect the postal supply chain from threats.
Exposure to some of these substances, such as fentanyl, could pose serious risks to postal employees, customers, and the public.
In response, the UPU has taken steps to curb the exploitation of the postal network by developing basic security standards – known as S58 and S59 – to protect the mail, employees and the public. Compliance with these standards is validated through a UPU certification process
However, in facing these new security challenges the need for training and reviews has surpassed the availability of security experts. To ensure the sustainable and rapid implementation of the standards, UPU has been working to build capacity among postal security personnel in developing regions to ensure all countries can achieve certification.
Most recently, this effort has been supplemented through partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and the World Customs Organization (WCO). The result is an inter-regional postal security capacity building project, referred to as “Countering Transportation of Contraband by Designated Operators”.
This joint project aims to train postal staff in Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean and Latin America, not only so that they can detect, deter, and respond appropriately to postal items containing synthetic opioids and precursor chemicals, but so they can prepare their peers to do the same.
To achieve this, the UPU has created pilot groups of regional experts who will eventually take over as regional security facilitators, once they have undergone a group training and self-assessment of their postal operator. The goal is to create a pool of regional security facilitators to assist with self-assessments and conduct onsite reviews.
As part of the training, facilitators have gained practical experience through a simulated review process led by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, International Narcotics Control Board and UPU experts.
The UPU has already trained facilitators from Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Barbados. In the coming months, these pools will be reinforced with additional facilitators from Aruba, Costa Rica, Viet Nam among others.
Following these preparatory phases, each region will be able to support and build momentum for the implementation of mandatory security requirements under the UPU Convention.
If you wish to participate in this programme, please contact Ms Dawn Wilkes (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Dawn Wilkes manages the UPU’s Postal Security Programme. Pooran Parampath is the UPU’s Training and Caribbean Regional Expert.
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