On the eve of the opening of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), UPU Director General Edouard Dayan calls on participating countries to include the postal sector in their national sustainable development policies.
"Recognizing the impact of their activities and their social and economic role, many Posts are already committed to sustainable development. The UPU supports this commitment and is actively promoting the social, economic and environmental responsibility of an entire sector, which is the main employer and a major transporter in most of our member countries," recalls Dayan.
The world's Posts employ 5.4 million people, operate 807,000 post offices and process and deliver more than 380 billion letter-post items and six billion parcels.
For several years now, the postal sector's contribution to sustainable development has been a focus of discussions at the UPU. The UPU has concluded agreements with several international organizations to help its member countries and their Posts to increase their social responsibility in matters relating to decent work, health and climate change. These include the International Labour Office, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and the United Nations Environment Programme, among others.
"In promoting sustainable employment, gender equality, financial inclusion, responsible environmental practices, risk management and the reconstruction of postal infrastructure after natural disasters, the UPU is giving its full support to the priorities of Rio+20," Dayan noted.
The UPU, a United Nations specialized agency, joined the other UN system organizations to sign the Rio+20 joint declaration adopted by the Chief Executive Board (CEB). The CEB, chaired by the UN secretary general, gathers the heads of all UN agencies. The declaration urges countries to use the Rio Conference as a concrete stepping stone towards promoting development for all.
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development is taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 20-22 June 2012.