Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Kenya re-elected to 4-year term at UN Agency for Postal Services, UPU


Kenya has been re-elected to two key decision making organs of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the UN specialized agency for the postal services.

Kenya secured another term of four years in the Council of Administration (CA) and the Postal Operations Council (POC), at elections that took place on Thursday at the just concluded 27th UPU Congress of the UPU in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

Kenya sailed easily through the CA with acclamation, after the African region met the threshold of the 11 slots allocated to it with just 11 countries expressing interest, eliminating the prospects of a contest through the secret ballot.

(TOP: The Kenyan delegation at the 27th UPU Congress of the UPU in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire).

In the POC, Kenya made it through after emerging second in the African region with 124 votes after Egypt which topped 134 votes. Tanzania came in third with 123 votes to make the cut for the 11 countries that will represent Africa in this body.

Kenya, alongside the rest of the elected countries, will serve for the next 4-year cycle until the next Congress.

The CA consists of 41 member countries and meets annually at UPU headquarters in Berne, Switzerland and is responsible for the continuity of the UPU’s work between Congresses, supervising its activities and studies regulatory, administrative, legislative and legal issues.

On the other hand, the POC is the technical and operational mind of the UPU and consists of 40 member countries, elected during Congress. It deals with the operational, economic and commercial aspects of the postal business.

The body also makes recommendations to member countries on standards for technological, operational or other processes within its competence where uniform practices are necessary.

Kenya’s win on Thursday is a culmination of relentless efforts that began way back in 2019, and weathering the  storms of the COVID-19 pandemic, that saw this very Congress pushed from last year.

It also asserts Kenya’s command of respect among the community of nations and a validation of the country’s continued leadership in the global deliberations on the future of the Post.

The event also witnessed a change of guard following the election of new leadership of the UPU, with Japan’s Masahiko Metoki elected the new Director General, to be deputized by Marjan Osvald of Slovenia.

They will take over from Kenya’s Ambassador Bishar Hussein who has been the head of the UPU for the past nine (9) years, deputized by Pascal Clivaz of Switzerland.

Amb. Hussein is the first Kenyan and African to lead the UPU since its establishment in 1894 and is credited for opening up the agency for wider participation of developing countries, besides implementing a raft of reforms that have greatly transformed the organization.

The Principal Secretary for Broadcasting and Telecommunications Esther Koimett led the Kenya delegation to the quadrennial event that saw the global postal community hold a successful meeting inspite of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the first time the Congress was being held in Africa.

Others included the Ag. Director General of the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Mrs. Mercy Wanjau, alongside other officials from the CA, the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, the Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

The 28th edition of the UPU Congress will be held in the United Arab Emirates.

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