The Universal Postal Union (UPU) has held an official handover ceremony to welcome Masahiko Metoki as the new director general and Marjan Osvald as deputy director general.
Taking place at UPU’s headquarters in Bern, Switzerland, the ceremony included the reading of the official UPU oath by Metoki and Osvald, as well as the exchange of the key to the International Bureau.
Speaking at the ceremony, Metoki said, “Throughout my term, I will do everything possible to strengthen the ties that bind us closely together. Although symbolic, this key has tremendous significance. If we work in an effective and efficient manner, we can collectively unlock success for the entire postal industry.”
Referring to the postal strategy guiding his term in office, Metoki added, “It sets out a vision of the post as an essential engine for sustainable development and invites governments to do everything possible to reduce the gaps in postal development around the world. As director general, I pledge that I will work in all sincerity with member countries to make this strategy successful.”
Adding further comment, Osvald said, “During my term in office, I encourage the responsible owners [of the post] to define the role of the post in their environment and to support its development. The UPU will thus guide, coordinate and help members to enhance the quality and importance of postal services.”
Isaac Gnamba-Yao, who represents Ivory Coast as chair of the UPU’s Council of Administration, also presided over the ceremony. Welcoming the new leadership team, Gnamba-Yao said, “All the member states have witnessed your commitment to continue the work of reforming the postal industry and to rise to the challenges that it faces, with the inclusion and participation of all member countries.”
Expressing his congratulations to the incoming team, former director general Bishar A Hussein said, “I wish to call on member countries and the International Bureau staff to support the two leaders and enable them to continue with their momentous task of transforming this organization to address the demands and the dynamics of the ever-changing postal market.”
Metoki and Osvald officially began their respective mandates on January 1, 2022. They were elected by member countries during the UPU’s 27th Universal Postal Congress in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, in August 2021.
Ahead of his election, Metoki served as the senior vice president of international affairs at Japan Post and represented Japan as chair of the Postal Operations Council from 2012 until 2021. Osvald previously served as director of international mail at Pošta Slovenije, but has also worked to coordinate developments across the sector through his involvement with PostEurop, the Postal Union for the Mediterranean and the International Post Corporation.