, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 17 – A Kenyan has been elected as the new Director General of the Universal Postal Congress (UPC).
Bishar Hussein will take over in January 2013 and retire in 2016. He will succeed the current UPC Director General Edouard Dayan.
Hussein is a former ambassador and postal executive, who served as chairman of the UPU’s Council of Administration from the year 2009 to 2012.
Member countries selected him over Uruguay’s Serrana Bassini Casco, currently secretary general of the Postal Union of the Americas, Spain and Portugal, a restricted union of the UPU based in Montevideo, Uruguay.
One hundred and fifty countries out of the UPU’s 192 membership were eligible to vote. Of these, 87 supported Hussein, against 72 for Bassini Casco.
“I accept with humility the honour and privilege given to me today,” said Hussein, shortly after being elected. “Under my watch, the UPU will work to fulfill the mandates given to it by this Congress. We will take the UPU to the next level.”
Hussein looks back on a long career in postal matters, having spent 15 years working for the Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (KP&TC) before being appointed the first Postmaster General of the Postal Corporation of Kenya when it split from KP&TC in 1999.
He was then appointed Kenya’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates in 2002, a position he held for five years. He also chaired the 24th UPU Congress held in Geneva and became the chairman of the Council of Administration from 2009 to 2012.
As director general, he will run the day-to-day operations at the UPU’s International Bureau in Berne, Switzerland, represent the UPU at major international meetings, and act as secretary general during the annual meetings of the organization’s official bodies, the Council of Administration and the Postal Operations Council.
He will also act as secretary general of the Universal Postal Congress, which convenes every four years.
The Deputy position on the other hand was taken by Pascal-Thierry Clivaz, from Switzerland.
“I am very honoured of the trust given to me by this Congress. I look forward to pursuing reforms at the UPU and supporting the new director general in the initiatives that will be taken as the UPU faces various challenges,” he said after his election.
Clivaz has been director of finance and strategic planning at UPU headquarters in Berne since 2005. He is a former executive of the Swiss Post and was a Swiss delegate at the UPU before joining the organisation in 2005.
He will take over from China’s Guozhong Huang, who finishes his second mandate in that position at the end of this year.