UPU Opens to Private Sector

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The Universal Postal Union's Council of Administration will allow external postal stakeholders such as direct marketing companies and associations to participate in meetings of the UPU's main bodies.

The announcement was made possible after the UPU's council, during its annual session last week in Bern, Switzerland, adopted the recommendations of the High Level Group on the organization's future development and role.

The UPU's structure now will include three interest groups: governments or postal regulators; postal operators; and external stakeholders. The external-stakeholder group will be known as the Consultative Committee. At present, the Council of Administration and the Postal Operations Committee are the union's two main bodies.

Formal ratification will not take place until the UPU Congress in 2004, but the action means that the Consultative Committee may formally participate in the bodies' deliberations of the CA and POC, effective 2002.

Five recognized U.S. organizations are part of the Direct Mail Advisory Group: the Direct Marketing Association, the Association of Postal Commerce, the Electronic Retailing Association, the Envelope Manufacturers Association and the International Mailers' Action Group.

The advisory board works with national postal systems to improve address management and change-of-address systems.

The High Level Group comprises 24 member organizations, including the Direct Marketing Association, The Association of Postal Commerce, the Electronic Retailing Association, the Envelope Manufacturers Association and the International Mailers Action Group.

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