As UNCTAD reaches this important milestone, we salute its contribution to the vital areas of trade and development, which, more than ever in this digital age, remain intimately connected to the daily activities of postal services worldwide.
The universal character of postal services make them important levers of socio-economic development, as citizens, governments and businesses rely on them to exchange communication and goods within and across borders at affordable prices, as well as a host of other valuable, public services.
Breaking down trade barriers and finding innovative development solutions are critical for countries' growth and economic prosperity. In this context, our organizations share much common ground, and this has formed the basis for a fruitful collaboration on issues ranging from strengthening countries' e-business and e-commerce capabilities to facilitating trade for micro, small and medium enterprises. Together, we can ensure that stakeholders reap the benefits of a more inclusive information society.
As it turns out, 2014 is also a landmark year for the UPU, which celebrates its 140th anniversary on 9 October, also known as World Post Day. With some 660,000 post offices around the world and 5 million employees, the global postal network has incredible reach and logistics capabilities. Policy makers must be reminded of this essential infrastructure for furthering trade and development.
Let's continue to harness our organizations' expertise and capabilities to bring viable solutions to these issues. Partnerships within the United Nations family are essential as we all strive to build a peaceful and sustainable world where everyone has equitable access to knowledge and the tools needed to improve their lives.
The UPU is committed to expanding its collaborative efforts with UNCTAD and delighted to contribute to the debates being organized this year as part of its anniversary celebrations.