I have great pleasure in updating you about the upcoming 26th Universal Postal Congress, which will be held in Istanbul from 20 September to 7 October 2016.
As you may recall, the 25th Congress of the Universal Postal Union, held in Doha in 2012, accepted the invitation from the Republic of Turkey to host the next Universal Postal Congress. The hosting agreement for the 26th UPU Congress was signed by Turkey and the UPU during the UPU Council of Administration’s plenary session on 12 November 2015.
The 2016 Istanbul Congress will take place at the Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel & Conference Center, which offers state-of-the-art facilities that fulfil all the requirements for a successful Congress. Comfortable and modern accommodation meeting international standards is available in Istanbul, as well as excellent leisure facilities to ensure that all delegates and accompanying persons enjoy their stay to the full.
I am pleased to inform you that a special Congress section will be created on the UPU website, where you will find all the relevant information, including the Congress timetable. A link will be available with practical information provided by Turkey, such as a list of recommended hotels with specially negotiated rates in the host city, along with information on visas, customs, transportation, etc. The registration form will be available online early in 2016. Please bear in mind that the shuttle service offered by the host country will only be provided between hotels on the published list and the Congress venue. Delegates staying at other hotels will not be able to benefit from the sponsored transportation.
As indicated in the attached draft agenda (CA 2015.1–Doc 13g.Annex 1.Rev 1), the ceremonial opening plenary session will take place on 20 September 2016 (yet to be confirmed with the host country), followed by eight days of committee meetings. The plenary sessions proper will commence on 3 October. A high-level ministerial conference will be held on 4 October, where heads of government, ministers responsible for the postal service, heads of United Nations organizations and specialized agencies, heads of other international organizations, and postal sector stakeholders will debate the future of the world's postal services.
Equally important dates on the Congress calendar are 5 and 6 October, when the UPU member countries will elect the Director General and Deputy Director General, as well as the members of the UPU Council of Administration and Postal Operations Council for the next cycle. The closing ceremony will take place on 7 October, followed by the constituent meetings of the two UPU councils on the same day.
The UPU International Bureau wishes to draw your attention to the fact that delegations must be provided with credentials drawn up in due and proper form. Full details are to be found in articles 2 and 3 of the UPU Rules of Procedure of Congresses. Particular note should be taken of article 3.1, which stipulates the follow-ing:
"Delegates' credentials shall be signed by the Head of State, the Head of Government or the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the country concerned. They shall be drawn up in due and proper form. The cre-dentials of delegates entitled to sign the Acts (plenipotentiaries) shall specify the scope of such signa-ture (signature subject to ratification or approval, signature ad referendum, definitive signature). In the absence of such specific information, the signature shall be regarded as being subject to ratification or approval. Credentials authorizing the holder to sign the Acts shall implicitly include the right to speak and to vote. Delegates on whom the relevant authorities have conferred full powers without specifying their scope shall be authorized to speak, to vote and to sign the Acts unless the wording of the creden-tials is explicitly to the contrary."
It should also be noted that the credentials must be deposited at the opening of Congress with the authority designated for that purpose.
All documents and information relating to the 26th Universal Postal Congress will be made available on the UPU website (www.upu.int). Formal invitations and further information will be communicated to member countries shortly.
Please note that, for the first time in the history of the UPU, in line with Doha Congress resolution C 17/2012, the 26th Congress will be PaperSmart, meaning very few printed copies. Consequently, binders will not be sent out. Delegates are invited to bring their own devices (such as laptops and tablets) in order to be able to access the Congress documentation. The International Bureau will provide IT solutions to help delegates access and download all Congress documentation. Further information on the PaperSmart initiative will be provided in due course.
I look forward to the active, high-level participation of your ministry, your regulatory body and your designated operator(s) at the 26th UPU Congress in Istanbul.
Bishar A. Hussein
Secretary General of the Universal Postal Union