WCO Secretary General addresses UPU Ministerial Conference
At the invitation of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the WCO Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya delivered an online speech at the UPU Ministerial Conference held in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire on 10 August 2021.
During the panel session on the challenges generated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the proposed solutions for a sustainable future, Secretary General Mikuriya explained the WCO’s efforts, in close cooperation with the UPU, to ensure the flexibility and adaptability of the postal supply chain, especially in meeting the challenges stemming from the exponential growth of e-commerce.
Referring to the WCO Framework of Standards on cross-Border e-commerce and the associated E-Commerce Package, Dr. Mikuriya highlighted the importance of exchanging electronic advance data to allow Customs to manage risks in an automated, fast and effective manner and thus facilitating the flow of legitimate parcels. He appreciated the UPU cooperation and participation in the WCO's global conferences and regional workshops on e-commerce and called for further cooperation between Customs and Post to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and consumers while protecting health, safety and security of citizens. He also invited the UPU to contribute to the review cycle of the WCO E-Commerce Package.
The theme of the UPU Ministerial Conference was “COVID-19 and the postal sector – what has and has not changed, and what needs to change”. It brought together ministers in charge of the postal sector, chiefs of regulatory authorities, heads of intergovernmental agencies and other high-level representatives of organizations. The message of the Director General of the UPU, Mr. Bishar A. Hussein was to consider the best policies, investments, regulations and partnerships to enable the postal sector to unleash its full potential in terms of service delivery and profitability. The Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire, Mr. Patrick Achi, shared his views about the economic shock waves that followed the pandemic and the need to bridge the digital divide.