Established in 1874, the UPU with its Headquarters in Berne (Switzerland), is the primary forum for cooperation between postal-sector players and helps to ensure a truly universal network of up-to-date products and services. With 191 member countries, this specialized agency of the United Nations fulfils an advisory, mediating and liaison role, and renders technical assistance where needed. It sets the rules for international mail exchanges and makes recommendations to stimulate growth in mail volumes and to improve the quality of service for customers.
As a non-political organization, it does not interfere in matters that fall within the domestic domain of national postal services. For example, Posts set their own postage rates, decide which and how many postage stamps to issue, and how to manage their postal operations and staff. The UPU has for objective to develop social, cultural and commercial communication between people through the efficient operation of the postal service. As an inter-governmental institution, the UPU is called upon to play an important leadership role in promoting the continued revitalization of postal services.