The Universal Postal Union (UPU) works with national agencies, including the U.S. Postal Service (this post office is in Portland, Maine) to ensure prompt delivery of letters and packages.
Photograph by David Alan Harvey, National Geographic
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    On October 9, 1874, the Universal Postal Union (UPU) was established in Bern, Switzerland. The UPU “sets the rules for international mail exchanges and makes recommendations to stimulate growth in mail, parcel and financial services volumes and improve quality of service for customers.”
    In 1969, the date was recognized as International Post Day, celebrating “the role of the postal sector in people’s and businesses’ everyday lives and its contribution to the social and economic development of countries.”
    One of the most fun parts of the Universal Postal Union is its annual letter-writing competition for students. The contest helps strengthen students’ writing skills and develops international cooperation. In 2017, the prompt was "Imagine you are an advisor to the new UN Secretary-General; which world issue would you help him tackle first and how would you advise him to solve it?"
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    annual Adjective


    cooperation Noun

    the act of working together.

    economic Adjective

    having to do with money.

    establish Verb

    to form or officially organize.

    exchange Noun

    process of trading or changing one thing for another.

    financial Adjective

    having to do with money.

    international Adjective

    having to do with more than one country.

    parcel Noun

    small package or bundle.

    postal Adjective

    having to do with a post office or mail service.

    recognize Verb

    to identify or acknowledge.

    recommend Verb

    to advise, approve, or suggest.

    sector Noun

    section or a part of something.

    stimulate Verb

    to encourage someone or something to act or respond.

    transport Verb

    to move material from one place to another.