February 2-4, 2024, International Conference “Making the world “one postal territory” UPU / Bern Switzerland

May 23-24-25, 2024 INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE 1974-2024 “The history of contemporary international relations. » Sorbonne University – Paris France
21 September 2023
November 1-3, 2023 INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE “Cultural transfers between North and South” Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, ITALY
21 September 2023

February 2-4, 2024, International Conference “Making the world “one postal territory” UPU / Bern Switzerland

On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Union in 2024

Making the world “a single postal territory”

February 2-4, 2024, Bern (Switzerland)


On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Union in 2024, the UPU and Poste France are organizing a conference on the theme “Making the world “one postal territory”. History and current affairs of a global promise.”.


Since its founding, the Universal Postal Union (UPU) has set itself the task of organizing the world into “a single postal territory”, to use the terms of the first article of the Convention signed in Berne in 1874. genesis of this promise of global communication, the way in which it accompanied the encompassing of the world by the colonial powers, its uninterrupted perpetuation over the decades and its reformulations, but also its divergent interpretations and its always incomplete realization deserve all attention historians of contemporary societies and their globalizations.

The UPU as an organization is a fascinating object of global history, whose singular longevity invites reflection. Its rapid expansion to member countries from all continents struck contemporaries in this sense, as did its attachment to the United Nations system, decided in 1947.

If the Union has not prevented wars, as the most optimistic could envisage, it has until now always survived them. How did it cope with armed conflicts and other economic, financial and health crises? How did it constitute a means of mitigating its effects or repairing the damage? What does the Universal Postal Union tell us more broadly about globalization or rather about the globalization regimes of the contemporary era, about wealth inequalities and power rivalries, about the capacity to bridge or overcome them?

The UPU as a platform for negotiating standards and settling disputes is a space for sharing and pooling, on the one hand, and for delimitation and differentiation, on the other. On what basis was the balance found and how did it evolve? Was the global promise made by this organization not received and implemented differently in the different member countries?

The celebration of the 150th anniversary and the location of the conference at the headquarters of the International Bureau of the Universal Postal Union should allow sharing and mutual enrichment between researchers and witnesses.

The Arab Postal Union, Three-quarters of a century after its founding in 1952

Radioscopy of a specialized Arab organization and cooperation relations with the Universal Postal Union

Mohieddine HADHRI

Professor of International Relations at the University of Tunis

About seventy years ago, on April 12, 1952 to be precise, the Arab Postal Union (UPA) was created in Damascus (Syria). This foundation followed the recommendations of the postal conference of the work of the Communications Commission of the League of Arab States, held in Cairo on December 9, 1946.

Considered one of the oldest postal federations in the world, bringing together more than around twenty affiliated members, including at least two countries, namely Egypt and Tunisia, had joined the Universal Postal Union very early in Geneva, the day after its founding in 1874.

Given the importance of the Arab Postal Union whose dynamics and audience have continued to grow over the last decades, not only in the Arab World but also in Africa, this contribution aims to carry out a retrospective and prospective approach at the same time and will focus on four aspects, namely:

1) Provide insight into the constitution of the UPA, its status and its main objectives as an Arab regional organization specializing in the postal field.
2) Examine the close relationship of the UPA with the UPI in Geneva in terms of monitoring, cooperation and coordination in the field of postal legislation, administration and training, while questioning the challenges multifaceted, particularly those of digitalization, which the UPA as a regional Arab platform is confronted with today.
3) Present a case study from the Arab and African geographical field, that of the Tunisian model, through the performance of the Tunisian Post. Indeed, in its latest report on postal development (April 2018), the Universal Postal Union awarded the best place to Tunisia, in Africa and in the Arab region, for the third consecutive year.
4) Finally reflect on the processes of evolution in the postal field as well as the mechanisms of cooperation on an international scale which are likely in the future in the context of globalization, technological revolutions, satellite communication and transport throughout the world, .to “Make the world a single postal territory. » In accordance with the theme of this conference.