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The UPU is a specialised agency of the United Nations and the primary forum for cooperation between postal operators to ensure a truly global postal network across all of its member countries. It sets the legal framework for international mail exchanges via Acts and Regulations. it also makes recommendations to stimulate growth in mail volumes and to improve the quality of service for customers of postal services.
Every five years the UPU meets in Congress when all member countries come together to review, and where necessary, make changes to the legal framework and to set a programme of work for the following five years. Between Congress that work is taken forward by a Council of Administration and a Postal Operator's Council; each of which is composed of forty members elected by Congress. An advisory Committee of representatives of the wider sector assists the Councils. Further information about the work of the UPU can be found on their website.
The Department along with Royal Mail (the UK's designated universal service provider) represent the interests of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (together with the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories) at the UPU.