On World Post Day, UN spotlights mail services’ crucial role in electronic world

9 October 2002

Not only do worldwide mail services deliver nearly 445 billion letters every year, they are also increasingly tied to newer means of communications such as electronic transactions, the head of the United Nations postal agency said today in commemorating World Post Day.

Thomas E. Leavey, Director General of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), noted that the role of postal services today goes far beyond the physical delivery of mail. Products ordered over the Internet can be delivered through the postal network, while more posts are also providing Internet services through their own outlets by setting up Internet “cafés” or kiosks in post office lobbies.

"Such initiatives reaffirm the role of the postal service as an important provider of information," he said.

And while information is now readily available on the Internet, access is still unequally distributed, Mr. Leavey added. "This growing 'digital divide' between developed and developing countries, between rich and poor, means that the physical mail network remains indispensable to a very large part of the world's population," he said.

World Post Day is celebrated annually to commemorate the founding of the UPU in 1874 in Berne, Switzerland. Postal services throughout the world use the celebrations to introduce new products and services and to organize philatelic exhibitions.

 

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