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Industry: Postal service
Founded: 1874
Headquarters: Universal Postal Union
International Bureau
P.O. Box
3000 Berne 15
Country: Switzerland
Website: info.post
Facebook: Universal Postal Union
LinkedIn: Universal Postal Union
Key People
Bishar Hussein, Director General
Pascal Clivaz, Deputy Director General

The Universal Postal Union (UPU) was established in 1874 and is headquartered in Berne, Switzerland. It is one of the smallest United Nations specialized agencies,[1] as well as the second oldest international organization in the world. The UPU contains 191 member countries, making it one of the most important forums for cooperation between entities in the postal sector. The UPU also sets the rules for the sake of international mail exchange and provides recommendations to help enhance the parcel, the volumes of financial services and enhance the quality of the service to the consumers. It also helps in ensuring that there is a true universal network for the latest products and services. [2]

It is the sponsoring organization for the .post sTLD.


There are stark similarities between ICANN and the UPU, since they are both active forums for international representatives, from governments and the private sector, working to serve billions of people across the globe. Both are governed by a bottom-up process.

.Post sTLD

During the first round of ICANN's gTLD expansion program in 2000, the UPU submitted an application for the .post top level domain name (TLD). [3] .Post was not included in the first batch of approved TLDs. In 2003, UPU again submitted its application for the .post during ICANN's sponsored top level domain name (sTLD) expansion program. The application underwent an extensive evaluation, and ICANN and UPU negotiated several issues within the application. On November 3, 2009, the two organizations resolved the issues and reached a sponsorship agreement, which was posted for public comments.[4][5][6]

On December 11, 2009, ICANN and UPU signed the .post sTLD agreement.[7] Through the partnership, ICANN and the UPO maintain their traditional autonomy, core values, and separate missions. The agreement was considered an achievement for both organizations and the global Internet community. According to then ICANN CEO, Rod Beckstrom, "“This contract with the UPU is an important contribution to the Internet. It is part of our desire to provide a single interoperable communications network that can connect all people around the globe. It also strengthens ICANN’s role as a leader in dealing with IGOs.” [8] .Post is a highly restricted TLD dedicated to facilitating secure and trusted postal services over the internet.


The UPU is comprised of four bodies, which include the Congress, the Council of Administration (CA), the International Bureau (IB), and the Postal Operations Committee (POC). It also consists of 2 cooperatives, the EMS Cooperative and Telematic Cooperative.[9]


  • General policy issues
  • Letter post
  • Electronic services
  • Financial services
  • Technical cooperation
  • Parcels
  • Postal economics
  • Sustainable development[10]

The paradigm shift in the postal arena led the UPU to devise strategies that could be implemented worldwide. The strategic planning of the UPU helps its member countries to meet the modern challenges of the postal industry and also assist them synchronize their working methods with postal sector trends. The UPU also defines relations between the operators, regulators, restricted unions and the governments.[11]