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Opening of the plenary session of the Postal Operations Council (POC), May 5, 2023 in Bern

Jean-Paul FORCEVILLE, Chairman of the POC, underlines the difficult context, and highlights the issues of openness and Electronic Advanced Data (EAD).

In his opening speech, Jean-Paul FORCEVILLE praised the record attendance at this meeting, with 134 countries represented and almost 700 participants.

He reviewed the major events since the October session, citing the climatic and natural disasters that had struck Turkey and Syria in particular, and the enduring or emerging conflicts in various regions of the world. He paid tribute to postal workers everywhere, who have worked to make life easier for their fellow citizens, often at great danger to themselves.

Turning to the global economic situation, Mr. FORCEVILLE spoke of the post-COVID consequences, notably the negative impact on e-commerce volumes, the resurgence of inflation putting pressure on the margins of many postal operators, and the accelerating digitization of society with advances in artificial intelligence. He reiterated the urgent need for designated operators to do their utmost to restore the global postal network as quickly as possible.

Mr. FORCEVILLE praised the quality of the exchanges during the meetings of the four POC Committees, and stressed the importance of maintaining this constructive spirit throughout the cycle.

He highlighted two subjects: the opening of the UPU, and customs Electronic Advanced Data (EAD).

Regarding the opening up of the UPU to external players, Mr. FORCEVILLE praised the work accomplished by the POC task force. Opening up the UPU to external players could be the subject of a consensus proposal to Congress.

EAD has mobilized a great deal of energy, in line with the new requirements of the European Union (ICS2). A major issue for the future of postal services, he stressed that "we cannot believe that we will be transformed into goods transport operators with rules designed for letters".


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