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October 26, 09

NEWS / Postal agency set to become first UN body to have own Internet domain name

26 October 2009 – The Universal Postal Union (UPU), the world’s second-oldest international organization and one of the few United Nations agencies to pre-date the creation of the mother organization, moved a step closer today to becoming the first to have its own domain name on the Internet – to be known as .post.
The Berne-based UPU, established in 1874 as the primary forum for cooperation between postal sector players, successfully concluded negotiations with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in what Agency Director General Edouard Dayan called an “historic” agreement, providing a platform for innovation in global postal services with opportunities to link their physical and electronic dimensions.

The agreement must now go through a 30-day public comment process before ICANN’s board of directors will consider it for final approval.

“A top-level domain for a service-oriented industry such as ours is an opportunity to develop a trusted space on the Internet for integrating physical and electronic postal services,” said Paul Donohoe, e-business manager at UPU headquarters, responsible for the domain application and ICANN negotiations.

“.post will be a unique and focused Internet domain with the potential to connect the entire postal community and its customers. The domain will enable the UPU and the postal sector at large to work on delivering new innovative Internet-based international postal services, such as hybrid mail, e-commerce, e-identity, e-communication and e-government, and built on UPU standards.”

The new domain name, a distant descendant of the relay stations set up millennia ago along messengers’ routes to speed delivery, represents the latest adaptation to the cyber-age of services that began on nearly every continent with runners serving kings and emperors. The first known postal document, found in Egypt, dates from 255 BC.

“The UPU has helped mark out a path for other intergovernmental organizations to sponsor their own top-level domains and this helps us expand our multi-stakeholder relationships in this field,” ICANN president Rod Beckstrom said.

The UPU became a specialized UN agency in 1948, three years after the latter’s creation. The postal services of its 191 member countries form the largest physical distribution network in the world, employing nearly 6 million people to deliver some 430 billion letters and 6 billion parcels each year with.

The only international organization older than the UPU is the Geneva-based International Telecommunication Union (ITU), also a UN agency, which was founded in 1865 as the International Telegraph Union.


Tags: corporation, form t, document,


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