Saturday, October 9, 2010

World Postal Day

9th of October is celebrated as the World Post day as it was this day in 1874 when the Universal Postal Union (UPU) was established. In those days, the postal services were in their infancy all over the world and there was requirement to coordinate and harmonize the postal services for the people living in various parts of the world. In other words, the main objective of union was to maintain and create the structure for open flows of the worldwide mail around world.

It was Montgomery Blair, Postmaster General in USA, who prepared the conference of the legislature from 15 American and European countries in 1863, which could be termed as the cue for the establishment of the UPU nine years later. In fact it all started when on September 15, 1874, Heinrich von Stephan, a senior postal official in the then North German Confederation (an area that now forms parts of Germany, Poland and Russia), opened a conference in Berne, Switzerland, with delegates from 22 countries. On October 9, 1874, the delegates signed the Treaty of Berne and established the General Postal Union. The number of countries that were members of the General Postal Union grew rapidly and the union's name was changed to the Universal Postal Union in 1878. In 1948, the Universal Postal Union became a specialized agency of the United Nations.

Today with 189 member countries across the globe, the UPU is the world's largest physical distribution network, that regulates all matters related to post and postal services.

For the last 35 years, UNESCO and UPU have joined hands to organize the global competition of the letter-writing for the young people. Most of the participating postal services use this special day to award the prizes to competition winners.

Like all other countries, Pakistan is also celebrating the day with its postal system that dates back to 1852, when the Scinde Dawk ushered in a new era of postal services for the first time in the South East Asia. To mark the occasion, an impressive UPU-flag hoisting ceremony was organized in the Directorate General, which was attended by a huge gathering of Postal Officer and staff. Despite the era of e-mails and SMSs, the postal services of Pakistan are one of the best, efficient and available in the remotest parts of Pakistan.

Related Links/Reading: Scinde Dawk


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