March 26, 2021, via videoconference

Webinar presentation by the Belgian candidate for the post of Director General of the UPU Mr. Jack Hamande: "The UPU Horizon 2025: Innovation, Sustainable Growth and Inclusive Development through the Postal Sector." took place on March 26, 2021 using the Webex Platform.

The above meeting was opened and Marc Pecsteen, the organizer of the webinar, addressed the participants with a welcoming speech.

Also, the Ambassador of Belgium to Switzerland, Mr. Willie de Buck, made a welcoming speech. The Ambassador characterized the personal and business qualities of the candidate and stressed that the Belgian government fully supports the candidacy of Jack Hamande for the post of UPU Secretary General.

Jack Hamande made a detailed presentation, emphasizing the significant role that mail plays in modern life. It serves millions of clients and employs millions of employees. Currently, the legislative regulation of postal activities is changing and the requirements of its customers to the quality of postal services are increasing. Digitalization is becoming one of the requirements of the times.

The coronavirus epidemic led to border closures and the postal sector was forced to operate in difficult conditions. The provision of some postal services had to be suspended, but the sector coped with this challenge.

What needs to be changed in postal activities? First of all, move more actively to online services. It is necessary to pay more attention to changes in the legislative regulation of postal activities. Be more courageous to innovate, especially in developing and small countries.

Jack Hamande noted that the UPU must meet the needs of all its customers - not only those who come to post offices, but also those who work there. It is necessary to develop e-commerce and work with representatives of all types of businesses, especially small and medium-sized ones. It is important to anticipate and be prepared for change, ensuring the cost-effectiveness of postal activities. At the same time, a high level of technical support and respect for postal employees must be ensured.

The candidate further noted that the postal sector is a global network and therefore the interests of all regions must be taken into account on the basis of a compromise. The UPU CEO must ensure an open dialogue within the organization. The candidate emphasized his willingness to contribute to this, noting that his entire family, starting with his parents, were postal workers.

During the Q&A that followed the presentation, Jack Hamande also highlighted his experience in both the private and public sectors. The candidate was asked about ways of solving financial problems within the UPU. In response, he noted a decrease in income from membership fees, but at the same time said that increasing the size of membership fees will not solve the problem. From his point of view, the more promising is the regrouping of employees in more demanded areas, as well as the development of partnerships. The introduction of innovations and the creation of "ecosystems" is also, from his point of view, a more appropriate way to solve the financial problem.

During the webinar, a question was asked about UPU assistance to small countries. The candidate noted the need to develop innovations, strengthen the capacity of postal services, and provide timely advice on issues for which small countries may not have enough resources. Also noteworthy is the creation of “ecosystems” with the participation of private capital that can bring new technologies to small countries.

The webinar participants were interested in how a candidate can avoid the rise in unemployment among postal workers. The answer was to change the infrastructure, build new skills among employees, and create a new financial and business environment.

In conclusion, Marc Pecsteen, the organizer of the conference, asked why it is worth voting for the candidate from Belgium. Mr. Hamande noted that in Belgium they know how to find a compromise and live in a multicultural environment, but most importantly, they know how to find answers to the challenges of the time.

At the end of the meeting, Marc Pecsteen called for support for Jack Hamande and thanked all participants for joining.