Pascal Clivaz, who is standing for election to be UPU deputy director-general this week, tells James Cartledge how he believes the UPU must support the postal sector during the next four years.
In today’s challenging global economy, Posts can not only survive the current threats to their traditional positions – but also become leading players in the communications market, says Pascal Thierry Clivaz, who is one of the candidates standing in this week’s UPU leadership election.
Clivaz is bidding to become UPU deputy director general for the next four-year term following this year’s UPU Congress currently underway in Doha, Qatar.
- See also: Post&Parcel interviews with candidates for UPU director-general, Uruguay’s Dr Serrana Bassini and Kenya’s Ambassador Bishar Hussein.
A qualified lawyer and economist, Clivaz has had a career that has included several high-level positions at Swiss Post, PostEurop and the UPU itself.
His time at the UPU has seen him with roles including vice president of the Development Cooperation Commission in the UPU Council of Administration and head of the Swiss delegation at the UPU.
As director of strategy at the Universal Postal Union he was a leading figure in the development of the UPU’s roadmap for the last four years – the Nairobi Postal Strategy.
“I have gathered a wide experience from the business side in management, finance, strategy and operations,” he says of his background, adding that his positions have always required a person of integrity and trust, involving “broad decision-making and financial authority”.
Perhaps naturally given his career history with Swiss Post, an operator known for its digital innovation, Clivaz says that for him, the future of postal communications must be one of embracing the digital era, with the UPU helping postal operators get to grips with the opportunities offered by Internet communications – including both ecommerce and digital mail.
“In order to facilitate this, the UPU needs to continue its successful work in developing and providing efficient, easy-to-use, affordable and standardized electronic solutions like its Track & Trace System or the financial service exchange platform IFS,” he says, adding that the UPU should be leading projects in this area, as it is with the dot-post project delivering a top-level domain for the postal sector.
A strong UPU
Clivaz believes that the UPU has never been as strong as it is today, thanks to reforms that have taken place within the UN-affiliated agency over the past years. This is shown by the growing demand for UPU products and services from its member countries, he says.
“This is a clear proof of confidence in the UPU and its role building and maintaining a coherent and efficient global postal network,” he says.
Nevertheless, Clivaz does believe the UPU needs to keep an eye on transparency and efficiency of its own procedures to ensure it can engage with its members in an even more inclusive manner.
The strength and positioning of the UPU itself is “essential” to help shape the development of markets like digital communications, a “key opportunity for posts”, Clivaz says.
He suggests further new initiatives within the UPU are needed to develop tools to help the “promising” growth of international cross-border e-commerce, such as work on secure international networks and standards.
Clivaz says to help sustainably support the growth of ecommerce on particular area the UPU should further develop is its own financial services.
Looking forward to the next four years, Clivaz highlights the clear role that the new Doha Postal Strategy sets out for posts in the global economy, urging governments to recognise the postal system as a key driver for economic development and social inclusion.
He says: “The Doha Postal Strategy of the UPU has the clear vision to position the postal sector as an essential part of the economic development of its member countries. It is in line with the changes in the world economy and the emergence of new major economy players.”
Economically, he says postal operators have been central to national economic development and social cohesion as far back as the 17th Century, but he says in today’s challenging economy, posts are still vital for modern business.
“By providing a countrywide physical collecting, transportation and delivery network postal operators contribute in a significant way to the creation of workplaces not only in urban but also in rural areas,” he says.
“In addition, such a network enables the quick and reliable physical distribution of a public economy’s essential goods like, for example, medical supplies and education materials.”
Clivaz adds that posts are important for national public information campaigns, and also stresses that the environment and sustainability are key responsibilities for posts to support.
The candidate for UPU deputy director-general states that in the UPU’s work, “special attention” is particularly being given towards postal affairs in emerging economies, where as a multi-lateral organisation it must take all needs into account.
Clivaz says the UPU is willing to play a “vital role” in promoting social inclusion, and that the postal sector is a “major player” in this regard.
He notes the policy papers presented at this week’s Ministerial Conference at the UPU Congress on addressing and financial inclusion, which have been developed as a result of the commitment of several organisations including the World Bank, UNESCO, ITU, ISO and others.
“For the financial inclusion, we have involved strong partners and donors who are committed to help the UPU and the postal sector providing the unbanked populations with basic financial services,” he says.
“Inclusion and partnership are key concepts for today’s postal world and for the UPU this is the only way we will insure a safer and stronger postal network.”
Pascal Clivaz is standing in the UPU leadership election on 10th October for the position of deputy director-general against Dennis Delehanty of the United States, who was also invited to participate in a Post&Parcel interview. More information on Delehanty’s platform can be found here.
Source: James Cartledge, Post&Parcel