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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

U.S. Proposals for 2012 Doha UPU Congress


September 26, 2012

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25th CONGRESS

72.Rev 1

Proposal of a general nature


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Resolution

Improving the transparency and visibility of parties responsible for international mail processing centres

Congress,

Considering
that international mail processing centres (IMPCs) serve vital functions as offices of exchange in the interna­tional postal network,

Aware
that IMPCs, in the increasingly complex postal environment, are now operated by designated operators and other operators in support of social, commercial, diplomatic, scientific, military, and other purposes,

Bearing in mind
that as the postal environment continues to evolve, a means for clear and direct identification of parties authorizing and responsible for IMPCs is of ever-increasing importance,

Noting
that IMPCs are identified by a six-character code, which has proven to be a valuable, simple, and effective manner to distinguish IMPCs for operational, accounting, and other purposes,

Conscious
that the IMPC code is now in widespread daily use beyond just letter, parcel, and delivery bills, and is an element present on over 50% of the list of UPU forms,

Recognizing
that currently, determining the party that has authorized and is responsible for an IMPC requires the use of an electronic database that must be regularly maintained and updated,

Acknowledging
that not all places where the IMPC code is used have access to the electronic database or other required capabilities,

Convinced
that the direct identification of the party authorizing and responsible for the IMPC is a necessary component of the IMPC code to ensure that proper accounting, handling, and security measures are used

Also convinced
that clear indication of the responsible party within the IMPC code provides greater transparency and accountability, and enhances other efficiencies such as ease of assignment, and greater flexibility in usage,

Understanding
that the UPU has a strong heritage of responsibility and accountability of members, and that transparency and visibility is the best preparation for future development,

Further noting
that the UPU and other UN organizations use a common, simple, international code list to identify countries and territories, which provides clarity regarding country names, which may vary due to language differences,

Instructs

the Postal Operations Council to modify the IMPC code to increase the transparency and visibility of the party that has authorized, and is responsible for, the IMPC,

Also instructs

the Council of Administration, in consultation with the Postal Operations Council, to study the possibility of amending article 115 of the General Regulations to include the ISO 3166 country code for each UPU member, and to also include the country code applicable to the entity responsible for the operation of postal services in territories represented by UPU members,

Further instructs

the International Bureau, in liaison with the POC, to:

– coordinate with members any modifications necessary to the list of existing IMPC codes to provide for increased transparency and visibility;

– coordinate with relevant POC groups in drawing up a plan and a timeline that will provide parties adequate opportunity to make any preparations, if needed, to their systems for these modified IMPC codes to become effective no later than 2015.

Reasons. – International mail processing centres serve a vital function of identifying offices of exchange within the international postal network. Every country has at least one IMPC for exchanging mail with the rest of the world. International mail processing centres are operated by UPU designated operators and others for various purposes in support of social, commercial, diplomatic, scientific, military, and possibly other opera­tions, in the increasingly complex postal environment. The need for clear and direct identification of parties authorizing and responsible for IMPCs is increasingly important to ensure that all fully understand who they are working with and relying upon.

The current IMPC code was designed before the advent of extraterritorial offices of exchange, and conse­quently the IMPC code design no longer meets the above-mentioned need for transparency and visibility. In the past, all mail sent from an office of exchange within a country was understood to be dispatched by the designated operator of that country. Today, we have situations where mail dispatched from a city might have been sent from another entity with no obvious connection to the location of dispatch.

Supported by. – Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Spain.

25th CONGRESS

77

Proposal of a general nature


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Resolution

Enhanced information regarding transit policy, procedures and charges

Congress,

Noting
the provisions regarding transit policy, procedures and charges in the Letter Post Regulations and Parcel Post Regulations, particularly the requirements in articles RL 261 and RL 262 regarding the publication of compendia, manuals, tables and documents to assist member countries in the implementation of these provisions,

Aware
of the existing publications relating to transit policy, procedures and charges, such as the Statistics and Accounting Guide, the List of Airmail Distances, the Transit Manual, the CN 68 General List of Airmail Services and the CP 81 and CP 82 tables,

Taking into account
that, while accounting procedures for the transit of letter post and parcel post differ in some aspects, it would be beneficial to harmonize these procedures as much as possible,

Instructs

the Postal Operations Council, in conjunction with the International Bureau, to:

– review the relevant provisions of the Acts to ensure the uniformity and clarity of transit-related terms;

– review the instructions for preparing the CP 81 and CP 82 tables in order to promote greater uniformity in their preparation by member countries and ensure that these tables clearly reflect the closed transit charges and missent rates applicable;

– enhance the Statistics and Accounting Guide by including in it additional examples of parcel post accounting procedures and more detailed information and examples regarding the policies and procedures involved in preparing CP 81 and CP 82 tables, including information on parcels in transit à découvert and missent items;

– review developments relating to the handling costs of transit mail, including parcels in transit à découvert and missent items, and consider how this information could be incorporated into instruc­tional material and forms provided to designated operators for guidance on settlement;

– design a web-based interface on the UPU website that would enable designated operators to quickly access and update transport information, drawing from the information and procedures in the Statistics and Accounting Guide, the List of Airmail Distances, the Transit Manual, the CN 68 General List of Airmail Services, the CP 81 and CP 82 tables and other UPU documents relating to the provision of transit services.

Reasons. – Work is being done by several POC groups on issues relating to open (à découvert) and closed transit (rates, handling costs, bonuses for the transmission of transit codes, missent items, items returned to sender and other matters). There are changes proposed in areas where designated operators have a different understanding of procedures (for example, the ways in which designated operators prepare CP 81 and CP 82 forms can vary a great deal and this situation could worsen as new rules and policies come into effect).

Designated operators could benefit from efforts to improve the information available on the policies, procedures and accounting methods covering transit mail, including instructions and examples for the standardized preparation of CP 81 and CP 82 tables, and to make this information available in a centralized, password-protected database.

Access to such clear and useful information could promote a standardized understanding of the policies, procedures, charges and settlement methods involved in the conveyance operations and transit services that form an integral part of the international exchange of mail. Greater use should be made of Internet technology in order to centralize the extensive information on transport and transit accounting contained in these UPU publications so that designated operators can more easily update and retrieve this information.

25th CONGRESS

83.Rev 1

Proposal of a general nature 


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Resolution

Disclosure of audit reports of UPU projects, activities and finances

Congress,

Aware
that the finances of the Union have been the subject of external audits for many decades, and that internal auditing is a management function that was introduced to the International Bureau in the 1990s,

Recognizing
that the emerging trend among international organizations towards greater transparency with respect to au­dits, financial reporting, risk management and internal controls has strengthened accountability and increased public confidence,

Conscious
that several other UN organizations are poised to begin publishing, on a publicly available website, docu­mentation regarding their regular financial and programmatic audits,

Instructs

the Council of Administration to study the feasibility of arranging to have published, on a section of the UPU website that is freely accessible to the public, full and complete documentation on both external and internal audits of the Union's finances and programmes, with appropriate safeguards for protecting individual confi­dentiality and due processes rights,

Further instructs

the International Bureau to provide, upon request by member countries, access to the original copies of finalized internal audit reports to be viewed in an appropriately secure location at the International Bureau and with appropriate safeguards for protecting individual confidentiality and due process rights, including the use of redaction, as deemed necessary by the head of internal audit.

Reasons. – Over the past several years, there has been a broad-based effort to improve the governance of international institutions by making information on financial and management matters more readily available. As a result, member states and donors now have confidential access to internal audit reports at many inter­national organizations. Such limited disclosure falls short of the level of transparency that ought to be pro­vided by these institutions, and a new trend is emerging. Audits of central management functions at the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) are available to the public. Further, UNOPS, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Population Fund and the United Nations Children's Fund have all made a commitment to disclose all internal audit reports to the public, with the approval of their respective executive boards.

Transparency builds trust between the UPU and its stakeholders. As a steward of public funds, the UPU must be able to show the general public that it upholds the highest standards of accountability. To help achieve this goal, audit information concerning the UPU's projects and activities should be publicly available, except in specific circumstances where full disclosure would not be appropriate: protection of individual pri­vacy, due process rights, safety and security, and commercial information whose release could cause harm to the UPU or its members. Therefore, the Council of Administration's review of best practices for releasing this type of information and its recommendation for an appropriate course of action represent an important step in ensuring that the UPU reaches a level of transparency expected by UPU stakeholders.

Of more immediate concern is the ability of member countries to provide effective oversight and ensure good governance of the organization. Member countries play an important role in ensuring that their contributions are being used wisely and effectively. The Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) has twice recommended that UN organizations make internal reports available to interested member countries upon request. Currently in the UN system, the UPU is one of the only organizations that restrict member countries' access to the organiza­tion's full internal audit reports. It is common practice in the UN system for organizations to allow, upon request, representatives of member countries to view full internal audit reports on-site, with appropriate measures taken to safeguard sensitive information.

We would expect and encourage that any disclosure would include appropriate redaction in order to ensure the privacy of individuals, avoid prejudice to any ongoing or potential administrative actions or legal pro­ceedings and prevent the exploitation of information aimed at evading management controls or otherwise perpetrating waste, fraud or mismanagement.

Supported by. – Ecuador, Mexico.

25th CONGRESS

87

Proposal of a general nature


Amendment to proposal 46

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Resolution

Future work on letter post development and supplementary remuneration associated with quality performances, standards and targets

Congress,

Conscious
that the mission of the Union, as set out in the preamble to its Constitution, "is to stimulate the lasting devel­opment of efficient and accessible universal postal services of quality in order to facilitate communication between the inhabitants of the world",

Recognizing
that the universal postal service is a cornerstone of the Union and of its members, underpinning the single postal territory of the Union, as outlined in article 3 (Universal postal service) of the Universal Postal Convention,

Realizing
that the permanent provision of quality basic postal services at all points in the territory of the member coun­tries of the Union, at affordable prices, carries with it the need to "ensure that the universal postal service is provided on a viable basis, thus guaranteeing its sustainability", as set out in article 3.4 of the Convention, and that basic and supplementary letter-post services constitute a fundamental core of quality basic postal services throughout the world,

Also recognizing
that other product and service areas covered under the Acts of the Union, such as postal parcels, postal financial services, electronic products and services and EMS, have benefited from being guided by inte­grated overall action plans that take into account all aspects of how the Union and its various stakeholders can mobilize resources and innovate to ensure the continued success of the Union's member countries in these areas, and to foster international trade and postal development,

Noting
that the 24th Congress mandated the Postal Operations Council to consider how to improve various letter-post services, and to develop an integrated, forward-looking action plan to address the fundamental needs of the world's inhabitants for modernized letter-post services and the specific challenges and opportunities for letter-post services in a 21st century environment,

Further noting
that such a letter post action plan has been submitted to this Congress, through Congress–Doc 20a,

Exhorts

the Postal Operations Council to:

– support all viable means to foster universal postal service for letter-post services through innovation and appropriate investment in the modernization of basic and supplementary letter-post services so as to ensure the sustainability of the universal postal service;

– encourage initiatives to effect the positive changes needed to assure the sustainability of basic and special letter-post services on the territory of their respective member countries,

Further exhorts

the parties concerned to take active steps to invest in modernized basic and supplementary letter-post ser­vices, with a view to fostering the sustainability and economic viability of the universal postal service for letter post,

Instructs

the Postal Operations Council:

– to take active steps to ensure the implementation and continuous review and updating of the letter post action plan as a critical part of meeting the goals of the Doha Strategy;

– to place particular emphasis on the development and implementation of outbound delivery and inbound return logistics services in support of the major market opportunity in the e-commerce seg­ment, while also structuring the future work to integrate the review of market requirements, product development, implementation and remuneration across the range of relevant letter-post and parcel-post services, and in coordination with the EMS Cooperative;

– to implement to the extent possible, prior to the 2016 Congress, specific initiatives identified as part of the letter post action plan;

– to include amongst these initiatives specific proposals and supporting studies, that will rationalize, simplify and align the letter-post services portfolio, including the mandatory supplementary ser­vices, to keep pace with current and future market requirements and customer expectations and reaffirm the need to focus member country resources on providing excellent quality of service across a limited range of services; and

– where it is not feasible to implement initiatives during the coming cycle, to present to the 2016 Congress proposals designed to ensure the implementation of elements of the next letter post action plan during the 2018 to 2021 period.


Further instructs

the International Bureau:

– to support the work assigned to the POC;

– to implement the action plan for letters for 2014–2017;

– to support the work of user groups and to handle participant issues arising from pay-for-performance schemes implemented following POC decisions, as well as promoting those schemes to encourage to the largest extent possible the participation of the UPU members' designated operators;

– to update the user manual of the supplementary remuneration programme for supplementary services (registered, insured and express);

– to update the Global Measurement System Quality of Service User Group User Manual;

– to update the direct access database and operational guide.

Reasons. – This amendment is being proposed to ensure that all mandatory products and services in the letter-class portfolio are evaluated in the next cycle in order to ascertain their relevance in current and future markets, how well they meet customer expectations, and whether they are sustainable by all designated operators. This is in line with the recommendations from the 2010 Adrenale study, which urged Posts to launch new products and discontinue outdated products in order to respond to customer needs and stay relevant in the market.

Designated operators also face ever increasing cost-coverage problems as volumes continue to shift, and it is no longer practical or economical to require them to provide services that are not sustainable when less costly alternatives may be available. It is therefore imperative that the POC supports the study of sustainable customer and cost-responsive letter-class products which can be supported by all designated operators.

25th CONGRESS

89

Proposal of a general nature


Amendment to proposal 54.Rev 2

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Resolution

Development of postal financial services

Congress,

In view of
the encouraging results of the implementation of several projects undertaken within the framework of resolu­tion C 74/2008 of the 24th Congress on postal financial services,

Considering
– that the provision of basic postal financial services through the post office network contributes signifi­cantly to global financial inclusion and economic and social development, and plays an important role in improving living standards;

– that the postal network, with its worldwide coverage and the combination of electronic, financial and physical dimensions, ensures that all citizens of the world have access to electronic payment services and, more generally, to efficient, reliable, secure and affordable financial services;

– that postal financial services play an important role in achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, notably combating poverty, particularly as a result of their presence in rural areas;

– that the postal network facilitates the development of small and medium-sized companies at local and international levels;

– that the development of electronic postal payment services and postal financial services is particularly suited to cooperation with a growing number of international organizations;

– that a 2005 UN General Assembly resolution (A/RES/60/1) reaffirmed "the need to adopt policies and undertake measures to reduce the cost of transferring migrant remittances to developing countries and [welcomed] efforts by Governments and stakeholders in this regard";

– that in 2009 the heads of state and government at the G8 Summit in L'Aquila adopted a quantified target to reduce the cost of remittances, and that in 2011 the heads of state and government at the G20 Summit in Cannes further enhanced the target by stating: "We will work to reduce the average cost of transferring remittances from 10% to 5% by 2014, contributing to release an additional
15 billion USD per year for recipient families";

– that the 2012 high-level segment of the UN Economic and Social Council issued a ministerial declara­tion which stated the following: "We also recognize the need for Member States to continue consider­ing the multidimensional aspects of international migration and development in order to identify appro­priate ways and means of maximizing the development benefits and minimizing the negative impacts, including by exploring ways to lower the costs of transferring remittances, garnering the active engagement of expatriates and fostering their involvement in promoting investment in countries of origin and entrepreneurship among non-migrants",

Noting
– that significant progress has been made in the expansion of the UPU worldwide electronic postal pay­ment services network since the 24th UPU Congress;

– the benefits of postal financial services for designated operators, particularly in the form of increased revenue, adding to the viability of the postal network;

– that today's world market is undergoing rapid and profound change and that users are demanding a speedy, secure and high-quality service;

– the important contribution to economic stability made by postal financial services in a number of coun­tries during the 2008−2009 economic crisis;

– that the current financial crisis shows that populations in different countries around the world are seek­ing alternative ways of ensuring the security of their savings and international payments,

Also noting
– that the use of computerized data exchange systems, such as the UPU's IFS, enables postal payment orders transmitted in paper format or sent by telegraph or telex to be replaced with postal orders transmitted by the UPU electronic network, including urgent and ordinary cash–cash, cash–account, account–cash and account–account payments;

– that the development of the electronic postal payment services network has a direct impact on the cost of remittances by offering more affordable options to migrants;

– that the postal network of member countries can also be used to provide account-based postal finan­cial services, in particular to facilitate financial inclusion in rural areas, as long as any financial services provided by designated operators are subject to relevant international financial standards as applica­ble and in accordance with designated operators' national legislation or appropriate national regulatory authority, and also provided that operations are conducted in a manner that encourages competitive neutrality for all providers of financial services,

Recognizing
– the UPU's need to continue and reinforce its work on developing postal payment services and facilitating access to postal financial services worldwide;

– the ongoing work of international organizations such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on competitive neutrality, which seeks to ensure that no entity operating in a market is subject to undue competitive advantages or disadvantages, and that private-sector operators face the same set of rules and have the same potential for providing financial services as state-owned providers of postal payment services,

Instructs

the Council of Administration:
– to ensure an ongoing dialogue with monetary policy, financial regulation and financial inclusion play­ers, such as central banks and financial regulation authorities, and financial standardization bodies (Financial Action Task Force, Bank for International Settlements, etc.);

– to encourage UPU cooperation with international cooperation players, such as the World Bank, the regional development banks, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the International Labour Organization, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United Nations Capital Development Fund, the International Organization for Migration, the World Savings Banks Institute, national cooperation agencies and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to support development of the postal payment network and promote financial inclu­sion;

– to urge member countries to give priority to the development of postal financial services and the necessary national infrastructure in a manner that encourages competitive neutrality for all providers of financial services,

Also instructs

the Postal Operations Council:
– to contribute to the development and diversification of financial services available to customers through designated operators in order to meet the needs of a changing environment;

– to encourage member countries and designated operators to develop efficient, reliable, secure and affordable electronic postal payment services;

– to facilitate an increase in the number of access points in the electronic postal payment services net­work;

– to improve the security of services by promoting the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, in line with Financial Action Task Force recommendations;

– to encourage the development of the UPU electronic data interchange system (EDI);

– to modernize electronic postal payment services through new technologies (mobile telephones, etc.);

– to promote the use of postal payment services in the area of e-commerce by developing supplemen­tary services, such as cash-on-delivery services and urgent services;

– to continue to develop and improve the operational guide by including a new series of standardized postal payment procedures and forms for use in the international and domestic systems;

– to continue developing the multilateral framework of postal payment services (multilateral framework agreement, electronic compendium and other tools);

– to create technical and quality of service standards for electronic postal payment services;

– to strengthen and promote cooperation with partners from the public and private sectors with a view to developing the UPU worldwide electronic postal payment network, and promoting its connection to other networks;

– to manage the development of the UPU worldwide electronic postal payment services network (includ­ing the operational guide, the multilateral agreement and the collective trademark);

– to encourage designated operators to carry out actions to market and promote electronic postal pay­ment services;

– to develop a quality-linked remuneration system for postal payment services.

– to facilitate the introduction of account-based postal financial services (savings services, etc.) in Union member countries;

– to promote the provision of postal financial services directly by designated operators or in partnership with banks, microfinance institutions or mobile telephone operators, with a view to promoting the financial inclusion of populations;

– to provide UPU member countries, their central banks and their regulators as well as their designated operators with information and advice on postal financial services, particularly as they relate to finan­cial inclusion,

Further instructs

the International Bureau:
– to assist the Councils in executing the tasks decided by Congress;

– to look for possibilities to raise funds from other international, regional and national organizations to promote, among other things, adoption of prudential regulatory standards and financial inclusion through the postal network,

Invites

Union member countries:
– to accede to the Postal Payment Services Agreement;

– to take the measures needed to develop electronic postal payment services, which will help to achieve the objectives of cost reduction set by the United Nations General Assembly as well as other high-level international forums (the G8 and the G20);

– to take the measures needed to facilitate access to other postal financial services, as long as any financial services provided by designated operators are subject to relevant international financial standards as applicable and in accordance with designated operators' national legislation or appropri­ate national regulatory authority, and also provided that the operations are conducted in a manner that encourages competitive neutrality for all providers of financial services,

designated operators:
– to carry out actions aimed at satisfying the requirements of the international payments market and other financial services;

– to use the collective trademark and quality standards for UPU electronic postal payment services.

Reasons. – The global postal network contributes to financial inclusion, improved living standards, and broader economic and social development through the provision of basic financial services, often serving a need where no market exists. The work must be conducted within a regulatory framework that allows for both existing and potential private-sector financial service providers to operate under the same rules if an economy is to grow to its maximum potential. At its May 2012 Ministerial Meeting, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released its initial report, "Competitive Neutrality: Maintaining a Level Playing Field Between Public and Private Business", which was welcomed by ministers and which identified key elements for ensuring that government-provided services are adequately compensated for the public service they provide, yet offer equal market opportunity to private competitors. As OECD guidelines for competitive neutrality are still being developed, this is the first opportunity to propose relevant amendments to this resolution.

See Congress–Docs 26, 26.Add 1 and 26.Add 2, as well as proposal 52 ("Creation of a UPU worldwide clearing and settlement system for postal payment services"), proposal 53 ("Management and development of the UPU worldwide electronic postal payment services network") and proposal 55 ("Development of UPU regulations on postal accounts").

25th CONGRESS

90

Proposal of a general nature


Amendment to proposal 32.Rev 1

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Resolution

Work relating to customs matters

Congress,

Noting
that customs processes form an integral and important part of the postal supply chain which facilitates free and secure global trade,

Further noting
the important nature of the work being carried out by the Customs Group since its reconstitution at the 2008 POC as a forum where postal specialists can work on customs-related issues, with the inclusion of the WCO–UPU Contact Committee providing opportunities for strong collaboration between the two organiza­tions to address issues of common interest and concern,

Considering
that in the area of customs matters, there is a need:

– to closely follow new developments relating to customs regulations for international mail which affect UPU customs procedures;

– to develop and maintain standards for UPU Customs–EDI messaging and to promote the exchange of EDI messaging data between Posts and between Posts and customs authorities;

– to enable capacity building in electronic customs messaging;

– to leverage changes in the customs area across the mail chain to improve security and address supply-chain security concerns;

– to expand the use of the Postal Export Guide, which is an information system providing UPU member countries and their postal operators with an electronic tool to ascertain whether the intended exports are prohibited, restricted or admitted in the country of destination;

– to further improve compliance with customs declarations and UPU customs procedures;

– to seek ways of reducing the number of paper copies required with multiple-part UPU customs decla­rations forms (notably form CP 72, which often requires the use of a CP 91 envelope);

– to study, in collaboration with the World Customs Organization and, as appropriate, border control authorities, opportunities for reducing the number of customs declaration forms affixed to mail items in cases where electronic customs information has already been transmitted to the appropriate authori­ties;

– to continue its efforts, in cooperation with the World Customs Organization and other stakeholder groups associated with cross-border exchanges of postal items, to review the standards and proce­dures entailed in the postal customs model, and to develop and enhance those standards as neces­sary:

• with specific reference to the WCO, initiate a review and joint action with the WCO for purposes of accelerating accession of member states to the WCO Revised Kyoto Convention and special annex J2 on postal matters;

– in concert with the various bodies of the Postal Operations Council, to initiate a review of the current customs-related regulations found within the UPU texts, for the purpose of aligning them to the exist­ing and future needs of stakeholders, and develop and implement the necessary changes to existing regulations to transform existing paper-based processes to processes that are more efficient, through the use of electronic and automated technologies;

– to strengthen capacity-building activities among UPU member countries by developing e-learning courses and implementing training workshops at regional level;

– to continue to operate effectively with stakeholders in combating infringements of intellectual property rights in relation to postal traffic;

– to develop facilitative customer tools such as returns solutions, duty estimation and prepayment tools, and other initiatives that respond to mailers' needs,

Convinced

that achieving the above-mentioned objectives should be considered a priority in the context of the Doha Postal Strategy and in order to sustain the exchange of international mail under the distinct legal framework facilitated by the UPU Acts and Regulations,

Further convinced

that having as the UPU authority on customs matters a group of postal specialists who can also represent the postal sector at the WCO–UPU Contact Committee (the joint forum between Posts and customs authori­ties) will facilitate the achievement of these objectives,

Charges

the Postal Operations Council, in collaboration with the International Bureau, to take all necessary measures to implement these objectives as well as the customs action areas outlined in Congress–Doc 23c.
Annex 1,
to re-establish a UPU customs function within its structure, and to re-establish the UPU–WCO Contact Committee in order to continue the collaboration between the two organizations and pursue joint actions in areas of common interest.

Reasons. – This amendment is being proposed to add an additional work item to the POC's work relating to customs matters. It should be noted that this work item is consistent with areas 2 and 4 of the customs plan set out in Congress–Doc 23c. Annex 1.

As more postal operators provide item-level customs information electronically, much of the old paper-based processes are becoming redundant and environmentally wasteful. Moreover, paper-based processes should be reviewed to ensure that they are not an obstacle to postal customers providing this information, or to the development of efficient postal customs systems and procedures based on electronic data transmission.

In order to avoid duplication, the proposed amendment also combines the two supply chain-related objec­tives into one item. The "Charges" section has also been amended to better clarify exactly what the POC is instructed to do, and to link the objectives with the proposed customs activities in the customs plan set out in Congress–Doc 23c.Annex 1.

25th CONGRESS

91

Proposal of a general nature


Amendment to proposal 23.Rev 2

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Resolution

Address infrastructure strategy

Congress,

Considering
that addressing systems serve many uses and help to form the very basic infrastructure that enables society to function,

Mindful
that the experiences of countries provide examples of the many social benefits of a sound nationwide addressing system and reliable address data accessible to all, and that incorrect or incomplete addresses or the lack of an addressing system adversely affect the provision of public and private services and can have serious consequences, including the possible loss of life, whose value cannot be economically assessed,

Bearing in mind
that, in view of the measures adopted by previous Congresses, considerable effort has been made at inter­national, regional and national level to underscore the importance of quality addressing and to develop and implement effective addressing systems in various countries,

Conscious
that the use of geo-referenced address databases has dramatically increased, particularly in public admini­strations, local communities and the business sector and that, when available, address data can be incorpo­rated into many IT systems and products used by both the public and private sectors,

Noting
that, in order to implement this resolution, countries should be classified into categories based on level of development, particularly in relation to a best-case scenario that includes the presence of signage identifying street names and house numbers nationwide, a postcode system, addressing standards compliant with inter­national standards (including UPU standards) and up-to-date geo-referenced address databases accessible to all through the use of various addressing tools,

Convinced
that the continued support and promotion of quality addressing and postcode systems is essential to the social and economic development of countries, and vitally important to Union activities,


Urges

the governments of member countries that have not yet introduced an addressing system to:
– develop the basic rules for creating a national register for address data accessible to all;

– make the introduction of an addressing system (including the provision of practical instructions and allocation of necessary resources for national and local authorities and possibly designated operators) part of national policies,

the governments of member countries that have partly introduced an addressing system to:
– continue efforts to enable local authorities and postal operators to finalize physical and postal address­ing nationwide;

– endorse addressing standards that are in line with international standards;

– adopt the use of technological addressing tools based on up-to-date information and geo-referenced addresses;

– engage the business sector in developing, deploying and maintaining addressing tools,

the governments of member countries that have a sound addressing system to:
– support the development of such systems in other countries by sharing best practices and by co-financing projects through the voluntary funds;

– update national standards in line with international standards in order to increase the interoperability of data at international level and enable the creation of an international change-of-address system;

– provide universal access to the national address database, free of charge or at an affordable cost on the basis of fair and transparent terms and conditions, and in compliance with national laws,

the governments of all member countries to support the "Addressing the world – An address for everyone" initiative as a step towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, particularly those relating to gov­ernance, the rule of law, democracy and the provision of basic services,

Urges also

the designated operators of member countries to:
– take necessary measures and allocate appropriate resources for developing and implementing a post­code system based on UPU recommendations;

– take actions to adopt postal addressing standards compliant with UPU standards S42 and S53;

– develop and maintain postal databases (to delivery point level where possible), and prepare the rele­vant technical documentation;

– provide universal access to postal databases free of charge or at an affordable cost on the basis of fair and transparent terms and conditions, and in compliance with national laws;

– develop a national change-of-address system and contribute to an international change-of-address exchange server;

– regularly provide the International Bureau (at least once a year and free of charge) with complete data and updates from their addressing systems and postcode files, together with all relevant technical documentation for general international distribution;

– maintain a permanent point of contact between the International Bureau and their national addressing service;

– promote the direct or indirect use of POST*CODE® databases, products and services;

– verify the accuracy of addresses on outward international items in order to reduce the amount of mis­sent mail;

– continue to support the Union's efforts to highlight the value of improved address quality, particularly by developing and promoting addressing products and services,

Charges

the Postal Operations Council, in conjunction with the International Bureau, to:
– actively promote, through the "Addressing the World − An address for everyone" initiative, the value of an addressing system as part of a country's basic infrastructure;

– seek partnerships with relevant international donor agencies and other intergovernmental organiza­tions for projects aimed at implementing and improving addressing systems at national and regional level;

– provide technical assistance to enable countries to introduce and make effective use of a quality addressing system (physical addresses, postcodes, postal standards, address databases and related tools), particularly by developing a national project or participating in a specific regional project as a way of increasing the reach of the postal market and as a responsibility of universal service providers in each country;

– provide continuing guidance to countries on the effective procedures and modalities of addressing projects, including benchmarking with best practices;

continue to develop and promote addressing standards relating in particular to physical and electronic aspects of addressing, to facilitate the interoperability of data, in cooperation with the ISO and other relevant organizations;

– incorporate the postal addressing and other relevant addressing data of member countries into POST*CODE® products and services, while guaranteeing the protection of intellectual property and sources of income, where applicable;

– raise the profile of improved addressing quality, enabling the continued technological development of POST*CODE® addressing products and services and derived products, particularly by studying and developing innovative technical services and tools;

– develop delivery point database management software based on UPU standards S42 and S53, to be made available to designated operators as needed on a non-discriminatory basis;

– develop, subject to the availability of funding, an international change-of-address exchange server capability to be used by designated opera­tors, other operators and trusted industry players on a rea­sonable and non-discriminatory basis, based on UPU standards making use of the secure UPU "dot.post" top-level domain, with data offered by univer­sal service providers in accordance with appli­cable privacy regulations;

– inform and consult with the CA and the Consultative Committee on the development of addressing-related activities,

Charges also

the Council of Administration to:
– monitor the progress of the "Addressing the world – An address for everyone" initiative;

– seek the commitment of governments to include addressing systems in their national policies;

– actively support the development and implementation of the goals established by this resolution,

Invites

the Consultative Committee to:
– actively contribute to achieving the goals set out in this resolution, particularly as they relate to the provision of knowledge and expertise from the perspective of customers and mailers and the determi­nation of their needs regarding the use of addressing systems;

– develop a catalogue of business solutions and funding possibilities through public–private partner­ships;

– foster dialogue with the relevant industry players to stress the importance of cooperation with coun­tries in the development of national addressing systems.

Reasons. – The references in the resolution to providing access to address databases free of charge or at minimal cost do not take account of all cost considerations. Some countries charge for access to address databases in order to recover the costs of developing and maintaining them. In addition, the resolution (as written) may be inconsistent with privacy and market protections in the national laws of many countries. For example, U.S. law prohibits the designated operator from disclosing lists of the names or addresses of postal patrons or other persons. The provisions need to be balanced against privacy protections in national legisla­tion.

25th CONGRESS

92

Proposal of a general nature


Amendment to proposal 06

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Resolution

Continuation of UPU activities in the area of the universal postal service

Congress,

Recognizing
that the essence of the UPU's mission is to stimulate the lasting development of efficient and accessible universal postal services of quality in order to facilitate communication between the inhabitants of the world,

Aware
that the universal postal service was established to ensure that users/customers have the right to high-quality, basic postal services, provided on a permanent basis so they can send and receive goods and messages from any part of the world,

Confirming
the goal of the Doha Postal Strategy to provide technical knowledge and expertise related to the postal sector, by strengthening members' capacity to implement and manage their universal service,

Acknowledging
the need for the UPU to continue to provide a platform for governments, regulators and other bodies to discuss the evolution of the universal postal service,

Decides
that the Council of Administration should continue its activities concerning the universal postal service after the Doha Congress, and that it should:

– propose actions aimed at ensuring the provision of a permanently evolving universal postal service;

– take part in the discussions, actions, etc., relating to the universal postal service conducted within the framework of the Union's various bodies;

– monitor technical cooperation actions to ensure that account is taken of the need to ensure provision of the universal postal service;

– propose awareness-raising campaigns among the bodies responsible for postal reform in each member country, to ensure that the provision of an evolving universal postal service takes priority in these reforms;

– collect information concerning the role of the regulator and analyze this role in relation to the provision of the universal postal service in member countries;

– monitor, on a yearly basis, the progress made by member countries in providing the universal postal service, by means of an electronic survey.


Reasons. – The bullet on conducting terminal dues studies duplicates proposal 37 and should be deleted from this resolution in order to prevent duplication of work within the UPU programmes and budgets.

Although promotion of universal service is at the core of the UPU mission and excellent work has been accomplished in sharing information on how members are defining universal service and implementing it within their territories, the actual definition of universal service varies by country and region, and may depend on a country's geography, demographics, or political and economic environment. As a matter of national sovereignty, it is the responsibility of individual governments to define universal service. Therefore, the UPU should not be defining universal service for members or establishing minimum standards and targets. Rather, the UPU should continue to focus its efforts on sharing best practices and information on how members are defining universal service, and on helping members ensure that the concept of universal service is a part of their national law, however it may be defined. The bullets calling on the UPU to define universal service and develop standards and targets should therefore be deleted.

25th CONGRESS

93

Proposal of a general nature


Amendment to proposal 14

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Resolution

Enhancing the dissemination of postal information via International Bureau circulars and EmIS messages

Congress,

Noting
the need for member countries, designated operators, restricted unions and the International Bureau to dis­seminate postal information,

Stressing
the fact that those disseminating postal information are also the recipients of such information, and have an interest in the smooth functioning of the dissemination system used by the International Bureau,

Recognizing
that such postal information has traditionally been disseminated via International Bureau circular,

Noting
the dissemination of urgent postal information via an e-mail notification system using a global address list (EmIS),

Noting also
that those disseminating postal information that would traditionally form the subject of International Bureau circulars wish to see this information disseminated more rapidly,

Acknowledging
the need to limit the circle of addressees of the postal information disseminated where this occurs by means of an e-mail notification system using a global address list,

Recognizing also
the difficulties encountered by the International Bureau in the dissemination of postal information via EmIS messages, linked to the use of e-mail addresses bearing the name of a single individual and/or with a domain name not able to be recognized by the UPU as an institutional domain name, as well as the level of technological connectivity available to Union member countries, particularly those in the developing world,

Stressing also
the need for the International Bureau to have access to generic e-mail addresses, with institutional domain names recognized by the UPU, for e-mail notifications using a global address list for postal information,

Further recognizing
the usefulness, for addressees of International Bureau circulars, of being able to access postal information disseminated by the International Bureau ever more rapidly,

Wishing
to promote rapid, but secure, dissemination of all postal information,

Instructs

the Council of Administration to:
– monitor the development by the International Bureau of a secure notification system for postal infor­mation via e-mail using a global address list comprising generic service addresses with institutional domain names recognized by the UPU;

– decide on the possibility of discontinuing the physical distribution of International Bureau circulars once the system is fully operational, while considering arrangements to accommodate UPU member countries still wishing to receive circulars in hard-copy form as a backup to those distributed by e-mail,

Instructs

the International Bureau to:
– manage and publish the list of generic addresses provided by member countries, designated opera­tors and restricted unions, containing domain names recognized by the UPU as being associated with entities disseminating postal information;

– establish a secure system for e-mail notification of postal information using a global address list, com­prising generic service addresses with institutional domain names recognized by the UPU for more rapid dissemination of information traditionally disseminated via circular;

– establish a central, password-protected repository containing updated information associated with the settlement of accounts between designated operators (contact information, banking details, annual SDR conversion rates, etc.), as this information is often updated via International Bureau circular;

– establish a similar such repository containing updated information associated with exchange office operations (contact and facility information, hours of operation, special conditions, etc.) and used for improving coordination of mail exchange between designated operators, as this information is also often updated via International Bureau circular;

– consult those disseminating and receiving postal information on an annual basis, once this system has been established, on the possibility of discontinuing the distribution of circulars in hard-copy form;

– report annually to the Council of Administration on the progress made,

Strongly encourages

Union member countries, designated operators and restricted unions to:
– notify the International Bureau of generic service e-mail addresses, accompanied by an institutional domain name recognized by the UPU, for the dissemination of postal information;

– configure their individual mailboxes in such a way that all their relevant managers have access to all postal information disseminated by the International Bureau;

– ensure ongoing management of their generic service mailboxes.

Reasons. – See Congress Doc–17.

The original proposal calls for consideration of steps to improve the dissemination of postal information via International Bureau circulars and EmIS messages. The title has been amended to better reflect this.

As this proposal takes account of the difficulties in the dissemination of information, it should also be mindful of the potential for member countries' technical connectivity to create complications in the receipt of infor­mation being disseminated. This has been reflected in amendments to the section "Recognizing also", and to the second bullet point under "Instructs the Council of Administration to" and the fifth bullet point under "Instructs the International Bureau to".

Two (new third and fourth) bullet points have been added under the section "Instructs the International Bureau to" in order to reap additional benefits from the work that the International Bureau would already be performing in support of the original proposed resolution. If the UPU were to implement an electronic system of International Bureau circular notification, it would be appropriate to also preserve some of the information contained in the notifications by updating secured information databases. Designated operators could rely on such databases to facilitate the exchange of mails and the settlement of accounts.

The International Bureau is a clearing house of information for UPU members. It should consider ways of backing up some of the information transmitted electronically via International Bureau circular (or via an improved EmIS message network) in the form of updates to two password-protected, centralized databases containing information associated with exchange office operations and account settlement.

There have been increased calls from UPU member countries for more information databases to improve the coordination of mail exchange and the settlement of accounts. Designated operators must draw information from sources currently available in paper manuals or in PDF format only, or from International Bureau circu­lars dating back several years. Under the proposal, the International Bureau would be instructed to provide another method to ensure that designated operators using such databases would be consulting the most recent information stored in a convenient location.

25th CONGRESS

104

Proposal of a general nature


Amendment to proposal 26

BRAZIL, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Resolution

Postal market development – Worldwide postal trade facilitation for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs)

Congress,

In view of
the strategic drivers that are influencing the rapidly changing postal environment, including globalization, information technology and increasing competition, the national priorities given to development of MSME trade and formalization of the grey economy, together with more sophisticated customer demand,

Acknowledging
the challenges that governments in developing countries in particular are facing in terms of economic and social development, as reflected in countries' growth and poverty reduction strategy and inclusion papers, and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals,

Noting
the objectives, stratgies and plans of member countries to boost exports by enabling MSMEs to break through export barriers, in particular by providing easy-to-access and affordable solutions to facilitate export through the postal network worldwide,

Also noting
the views of many international organizations, which acknowledge that the UPU strategy of facilitating and reinforcing the integration and development of the physical, electronic and financial dimensions of the postal sector at the international level and among its member countries could dramatically facilitate expanding global trade,

Aware
of the results of the initiative by Brazil to provide MSMEs with easy-export and import postal solutions referred to as Exporta Fácil and Importa Fácil, which integrate export consultancy services, capacity development and customs intermediation for prompt clearance of goods moved through parcels and/or small packages,

Also aware
of the importance for member countries' governments to use designated postal operators' infrastructure as a lever for the development and social and economic inclusion of populations and MSMEs, of the increasing number of partnerships between governments and Posts, and of the growing number of export-related postal tools and programmes developed by postal operators,

Recognizing
the work undertaken by the International Bureau in the markets development and economics areas, the outcomes of the country-based research, and the development of a sustainable trade facilitation model by the International Bureau in the area of MSME trade facilitation via postal networks at national, regional and international levels,

Also recognizing
the specific needs, expectations and service requirements of governments, customers, postal operators and other stakeholders in the area of trade facilitation for MSMEs,

Mindful
that the strategies, development plans and activities of the UPU, as enshrined in the Doha Postal Strategy, should ensure that the postal sector continues to be an essential component of the global economy as well as a valued and trusted partner for merchants and buyers at national, regional and international levels,

Urges

governments to:
– develop and take full advantage of the ubiquitous postal infrastructures and networks, which are an essential platform for economic and social development, to facilitate trade at national, regional and international levels;

– encourage all key stakeholders, including the postal sector, to cooperate with a view to enhancing the potential of MSMEs by providing export and import solutions that are affordable and easy to access and implement,

Instructs

the Council of Administration to:
– consider the necessity of enabling postal network collabora­tion , including logistics and customs procedures, common principles, security and privacy protection, return and complaint procedures, interoperability standards, and means of payment;

– approve the partnerships with other relevant international and regional organizations involved in the area of trade facilitation policies and countries' capacity development,

Also instructs

the Postal Operations Council to:
– make , as a key element of its work programme for the period 2013–2016, the use of postal networks (physical, electronic and financial) a factor in facilitating trade for MSMEs;

– add value to and Importa Fácil simplified export and import procedures based on member countries’ best practices, with the aim of turning them into a UPU integrated and global postal network solution, and expand their roll out and availability throughout the universal postal network;

– consider the necessity of enabling postal network collabora­tion, including logistics and customs procedures, common principles, security and privacy protection, return and complaint procedures, interoperability standards, and means of payment;

– identify the performance gaps, challenges and opportunities that postal operators face in trade logistics and services;

– enhance the postal physical, electronic and financial networks and the postal core service portfolio wherever necessary to cope with MSMEs' trading requirements;

– further explore the economics, value and implementation strategy for a UPU shared infrastructure business model that would accelerate the closing of performance gaps related to three-dimensional trade facilitation by the postal network worldwide, with a view to overcoming the IT disconnect risk;

– develop programmes designed to increase the capacity and capabilities of postal operators to enable them to be regarded by all key stakeholders at national, regional and international levels as trusted partners for trade facilitation;

– identify initiatives and projects within the framework of the UPU, restricted unions and other interna­tional organizations that can be incorporated into and add value to simplified export and import proce­dures, mainly in relation to IT solutions, the provision of advance data for customs clearance, and means of payment;

– identify and recommend partnerships with other relevant international and regional organizations involved in the area of trade facilitation policies and countries' capacity development,

Further instructs

the International Bureau to:
– build up its internal capacity and capabilities with a view to becoming a knowledge centre and being in a position to draw on its skills and know-how to provide effective services that meet the needs of postal operators;

– facilitate the deployment and enhancement of the UPU's trade facilitation supply chain tools;

– assist postal operators in adopting easy trade solutions and acquiring a sound knowledge of the MSME sector in order to be providers of information and solutions in respect of simplified export and import procedures;

– assist member countries and designated postal operators in identifying and securing resources to launch or develop postal trade facilitation activities;

– implement the partnerships approved by the CA with other relevant international and regional organizations involved in the area of trade facilitation policies and countries' capacity development;

– report back on the progress made,

Invites

designated operators and restricted unions to:
– develop and implement a strategy to secure national and regional political commitment, national and regional stakeholder collaboration, regional funding mechanisms, and regional roll out of the UPU's easy-export and easy-import solutions;

– cooperate with the bodies of the Union to increase and share market and postal trade knowledge, acquire a sound knowledge of the dynamics of the business, and respond in a timely and effective manner to the needs of MSMEs;

– capitalize on the density of the postal network to facilitate trade through postal networks for MSMEs in all UPU member countries;

– share comprehensive and timely statistical data on postal exchanges with the International Bureau on a regular basis,

Also invites

the Consultative Committee to participate actively in the work of the POC to facilitate market growth and contribute to the activities related to postal trade facilitation for MSMEs.

Reasons. – Congress–Doc 19.Add 1, on which proposal 26 is based, presents the exports project in an objective manner, focusing on the various areas that need to be addressed in order for countries to obtain good results in introducing simplified export and import procedures. A number of important aspects discussed in Doc 19.Add 1 should be incorporated into proposal 26 in order to emphasize that the aim of the project is to promote the use of the postal network as a means of facilitating trade between micro, small and medium enterprises. Interpretations that the UPU project is to be included among the objectives of other international organizations, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), whose mission is to promote international trade, should be avoided. The aim of the UPU project is to make available and enhance postal infrastructure, and to foster its use as a logistics solution for promoting international trade.

Governance of cross-border trade issues is best left to other international organizations such as the WTO, and an additional multilateral framework is not needed for this activity, as the UPU Convention and Regulations already provide such a framework. Programmes such as Exporta Facil and Importa Facil are important initiatives to continue for trade facilitation, but an additional multilateral framework is not necessary.



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