The UPU in brief

The Universal Postal Union (UPU) is an intergovernmental organization with 192 member countries, which is mandated to ensure universal access to affordable public postal services of the highest standard. Established in 1874, it is considered the world’s second oldest international organization. Since 1948, the UPU is part of the United Nations family as a specialized agency.

The UPU is the only international organization representing the interests of the worldwide postal sector in a neutral fashion. In addition to maintaining a genuinely universal network - with physical, financial and electronic dimensions - it establishes the rules for international mail exchanges among its member countries and makes recommendations to modernize products and services, stimulate mail volume growth and improve the quality of service for customers.

The global postal network is a formidable infrastructure through which essential public services are provided to millions of citizens and businesses. This enables the postal sector to play a critical role in fuelling countries’ social and economic development. Postal operators also provide financial, logistics and e-commerce services to countless customers to meet their evolving needs.

Today, the world’s postal services process and deliver some 327.4 billion letters and 7.4 billion parcels annually, using a worldwide network linked through state-of-the art technology and processes. This infrastructure is staffed by 5.4 million employees in some 680,000 post establishments, making it the world’s largest physical network.