UPU commemorates postal workers who died from COVID-19
In a virtual ceremony held at the Universal Postal Union’s headquarters in Bern, Switzerland today, the UN agency for postal matters celebrated World Post Day with a series of high-profile events.
The UPU’s Director General Bishar A. Hussein unveiled a plaque and led a moment of silence for postal workers who had died due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Today is the day – World Post Day – when we should commemorate their bravery and courageousness, and in doing so, recognize them for what they are: heroes. I offer my sincere condolences to their families, friends and loved ones.”
Postal workers are considered an essential service in many countries alongside police, health and sanitary workers. The commemorative plaque will hang in the main conference hall at the UPU’s headquarters.
Mr. Hussein then announced 11-year old Volga Valchkevich from Belarus as the gold medal winner of UPU’s annual International Letter Writing Competition (ILWC).
Volga’s letter was one of more than a million entries, although this year fewer countries took part due to the COVID-19’s impact on the school year. “Today I am proud to have represented our country, and I succeeded,” Volga said.
The ILWC’s judges awarded silver and bronze medals to Jana Popovska, aged 12 from North Macedonia, and to Phan Hoang Phuong Nhi, aged 13 from Vietnam, respectively.
Following a musical interlude, which included a medley of songs, related to posts, the UPU announced the winners of its Integrated Index for Postal Development 2020 (also known as 2IPD).
Switzerland (Swiss Post), was announced the 2IPD winner with a balanced and superior performance in every dimension of postal development. Austria (Austria Post) took second place, followed by Germany (Deutsche Post DHL Group) in third place.
Speaking about Swiss Post’s success, Mr. Hussein described Swiss Post as a beacon for the rest of the international postal sector.
In a statement at the closing, the Deputy Director of the Universal Postal Union Pascal Clivaz discussed postal development and multilateralism’s importance.
“As we celebrate our birthday today, I want to say how proud I am that we are part of the UN family and how—in the best spirit of the United Nations—we will continue to add our voices to the UN for the cause of multilateral solutions to all global problems,” he said.