18th regional postal conference CPU
The 18th annual conference of the CPU (Caribbean Postal Union) was held in the British Virgin Islands in the period from 14 through 18 September. This conference was entirely dedicated to the future of the postal sector and the future harmonization and sustainment of the postal sector. The theme of the conference therefore was: ‘The Future Post- Postal Harmonization and Sustainability’. Ministers, directors of postal organizations and various prominent delegates from governments of member states of the CPU were present. As a member state of CPU, Curaçao was also represented at the conference by the Minister of Traffic, Transportation and Environmental Planning, Mrs. Suzanne Camelia-Römer.
The CPU provides a platform to address bottlenecks and strategic plans on a regional level with regard to the postal sector. Besides this, the CPU ensures the co-ordination of the regional postal activities, while also offering technical and operational support to postal offices in the region.
The CPU aims to respond to the needs of the customer for postal facilities and services, to promote these postal services, to optimize postal security, to co-ordinate training programs in the field of operational postal services and to strengthen the international postal collaboration in accordance with the Conventions of the UPU (Universal Postal Union).
Based on this position and the envisaged objectives, the CPU for 18 years has been organizing this meeting, which is of such major importance for the postal sector.
In view of the theme of the conference, particular attention was paid to the bottlenecks the entire region experiences in the field of transportation and shipment and the proposed solutions to cope with these bottlenecks. In addition harmonization and sustainment of the postal sector, matters like e-commerce, postal security and diversification of services were also addressed extensively. The conference furthermore served as a platform for the regional strategic conference of the UPU (Universal Postal Union) and the meetings of the Council of Ministers of postal affairs. All this was in anticipation of the Universal Postal Congress in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2016.
The relevance of the postal sector under the microscope
Speakers during the event reviewed the current state of affairs in the postal sector worldwide and each from their respective representations discussed the manner in which their countries coped with the problems they encountered.
In this framework, the Minister from the British Virgin Islands brought the relevance of the postal sector to attention. In his speech he emphasized that despite advanced telecommunication systems increasingly gaining ground in developed countries, this should not be at the expense of the relevance of the postal sector, which significantly contributes to intra-trade and international trade and worldwide service provision in a broad sense. In order to accomplish this, the Minister advocates seeking a postal network and postal administration that is as efficient as possible, capable of competing with other services on the rise that increasingly manage to capitalize on more profitable postal activities (for example express mail and financial services).
Implementing and embracing new technologies and besides this also investing in personnel training are crucial in this respect, in order for the postal sector to maintain its relevance and serve as a condition for the controllability of the developments the postal sector is going through.
Also, the importance of the postal network’s ability to cope with terrorist and criminal attacks was addressed, in view of the increasing threats worldwide in that respect. Considering the role of the postal organizations in transporting goods across the border, their importance for national security is essential.
Approach British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands responds to the technological developments by using electronic tracking software programs and customer service software packages that facilitate the provision of high quality services to customers, for example like tracking systems for express mail, registered letters and registered postal packages.
Investments are also made in training courses of a proper standard for postal assistants in all possible fields where postal activities are performed. Examples of this are training courses in the field of operations and management, finance and logistics. Extensive use is made in that respect, of the training possibilities and facilities provided by and under development at the Caribbean Postal Training Centre (CPTC) for the support of the postal services of CPU member states and the further development of the knowledge in the region for the benefit of the postal sector.
The British Virgin Islands assume a proactive position where safeguarding security is concerned, by acting preventively against trafficking of weapons, drugs and other contraband, explosives, etc. By reinforcing the alliances with Customs and the Police Force, the controllability of this is secured.
For a recording of the opening of the CPU conference in the British Virgin Islands and the speech from the Minister, please click here.