Every 9th day of October is World Post Day, a day set aside by the United Nations to create awareness of the role of the postal sector in people’s and businesses’ everyday lives and its contribution to the social and economic development of countries. The celebration encourages member countries to undertake programme activities aimed at generating a broader awareness of their Post’s role and activities among the public and media on a national scale.

The event was originally created by the 1969 Universal Postal Congress in Tokyo as a means of marking the anniversary of the Universal Postal Union’s creation in 1874. Every year, more than 150 countries celebrate World Post Day in a variety of ways. In certain countries, World Post Day is observed as a working holiday. Many Posts use the event to introduce or promote new postal products and services. Some Posts also use World Post Day to reward their employees for good service.

In many countries, philatelic exhibitions are organized and new stamps and date cancellation marks are issued. Other activities include the display of World Post Day posters in post offices and other public places, open days at post offices, mail centers and postal museums, the holding of conferences, seminars, workshops, as well as cultural, sport and other recreational activities. Many postal administrations issue special souvenirs such as T-shirts and badges.

It is important to constantly remind ourselves of the role that Posts play in our societies today because some key trends are turning our world upside down. There are four main developments in this regard. Firstly, Internet pervasiveness is growing year on year, transforming the ways in which people and businesses interact, communicate and do business. Secondly, customers in all industries are becoming ever more demanding. In this age of digital and mobile technology, we want things right here and right now, and we want choice and control. Thirdly, e-commerce and light logistics are exploding, growing at double-digit rates in most regions. And fourthly, after years of sluggish growth, the world economy and international trade are finally getting back on track.

There are so many reasons for this day to be celebrated, but above all of those reasons is the contribution of Post and postage activities to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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