The British £1 stamp for the 1929 Postal Union Conference, designed by Harold Nelson.

The Postal Union Congress is the main international meeting of the Universal Postal Union, used to discuss various issues affecting international postal services, such as legislation, the political climate, and other strategic issues. The first congress was held in Bern, Switzerland in 1874, and was attended by delegates from 22 countries, most of them European. The meetings are normally held every four years, although they were cancelled during the two World Wars.[1] Extraordinary Meetings can also be called outside the four-year cycle.

Delegates are usually presented with special albums of stamps by the other participating countries, to cover the period since the previous congress.

Quadrennial Congresses

Number Year Location Topic
1st 1874 Bern, Switzerland System of base rates developed.[2]
2nd 1878 Paris, France Colour coding of postage stamps,[2] international parcel post service proposed by Germany.[3]
3rd 1885 Lisbon, Portugal Reply-paid postcards authorised.[2]
4th 1891 Vienna, Austria-Hungary Rules about Paquebots.[2]
5th 1897 Washington, DC, United States Cheaper international postage.[2]
6th 1906 Rome, Italy Free postage for prisoners of war.[2]
7th 1920 Madrid, Spain Meter mail and window envelopes approved.[2]
8th 1924 Stockholm, Sweden
9th 1929 London, United Kingdom Postage paid franking approved,[2] first airmail regulations.[4]
10th 1934 Cairo, Egypt
11th 1939 Buenos Aires, Argentina Introduction of Fonopost.[2]
12th 1947 Paris, France
13th 1952 Brussels, Belgium Approval of Aerogrammes.[2]
14th 1957 Ottawa, Canada
15th 1964 Vienna, Austria
16th 1969 Tokyo, Japan
17th 1974 Lausanne, Switzerland
18th 1979 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
19th 1984 Hamburg, West Germany [5]
20th 1989 Washington, DC, United States [6]
21st 1994 Seoul, South Korea [7]
22nd 1999 Beijing, People's Republic of China [8]
23rd 2004 Bucharest, Romania [9]
24th 2008 Geneva, Switzerland [10]
25th 2012 Doha, Qatar
26th 2016 Istanbul, Turkey

Extraordinary Congresses

Number Year Location Topic
1st 1900 Berne, Switzerland 25th anniversary of the UPU[11]
2nd 2018 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Sustainability of the postal sector[11]
3rd 2019 Geneva, Switzerland Remuneration of small packets
  1. ^ "The Universal Postal Union (UPU)". Worldmark Encyclopedia of Nations. Encyclopedia. 2007. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "The Evolution of the Postal Service in the Era of the UPU" by Jamie Gough in The London Philatelist, Vol.114, No. 1331, December 2005, pp.362-363.
  3. ^ The international parcel service, which allowed the orderly shipment of mailed packages and parcels from one country to another according to predetermined rates, was established by the Universal Postal Union on 1 October 1881 (Great Britain, India, The Netherlands and Persia, 1 April 1882), following the agreement of 9 October 1880 in Paris. The service was difficult to introduce as in several countries the carriage of parcels was a monopoly of the railway companies, and Egypt, Great Britain, India, Canada and Italy all initially claimed that there was no parcel service in their country. Source: "The Universal Postal Union: Its History and Progress. A paper read before the Leeds Philatelic Society by E. Egly, President, on December 19th, 1905." in The London Philatelist, Vol. XV, No. 169, January 1906, pp. 2-11.
  4. ^ Retrieved 18 March 2010.
  5. ^ United Nations Staff (1985). Yearbook of the United Nations, Vol. 39. The Netherlands: United Nations, Department of Public Information. p. 1342. ISBN 0-7923-0503-5.
  6. ^ "Arago: 20th UPU Congress Issue". Arago: Smithsonian National Postal Museum. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
  7. ^ U.S. Postal Service : Postal and Telecommunications Sector Representation in International Organizations. Washington: United States General Accounting Office. 1998-10-29. p. 39.
  8. ^ "The 22nd UPU Congress". China Post. Archived from the original on January 19, 2005. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
  9. ^ "Andorra führt Postleitzahlen ein" (in German). Andorra Intern. 2004-02-27. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
  10. ^ International Geneva Yearbook 2009, Volume 21. Geneva: United Nations. 2008. p. 179. ISBN 978-92-1-000161-8.
  11. ^ a b c "Frequently Asked Questions: Third Extraordinary Congress | UPU". Universal Postal Union. 17 September 2019.

External links