My fellow citizens and residents, I bid you warm greetings. It is indeed a distinct honour and privilege to address you on the observance of World Post Day, which is celebrated on the 9th of October each year. The purpose of World Post Day is to create awareness of the role of the postal sector in the everyday lives of ‘people and businesses’ and also its contribution to the social and economic development of countries.
It is important for the people of the world because on this day we recognize the work of the Universal Postal Union that was founded in 1874 to encourage co-operation and development within the postal sector on a global scale. The Federation of St Kitts and Nevis is one of 192 countries who is part of the Universal Postal Union. We use this opportunity therefore not only to reflect upon our achievements in attaining universal postal service in our country but also to introduce and/or promote new postal products and services.
The theme for 2017 is “Transform to remain an enabler of inclusive development and an essential component of the global economy.” 2 As designated operators in the region, we are proud to highlight the importance of the postal sector in ensuring the secure and efficient transmittal of mails and packages via the postal chain. The postal sector globally is going through a renaissance in an effort to remain relevant and competitive in our global community, especially in this digital age where communication is instant.
In today’s world, we have seen the extremely high rise of social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and text messaging service as well as other established modes of communication like email as the primary means of social and commercial interaction. In spite of this, the postal sector has stood the test of time and still carries the major responsibility in global communication, which continues to evolve.
The Ministry of Post and the General Post Offices on St Kitts and Nevis therefore recommit to the Federation to provide efficient and effective postal services of the highest quality. Together we will ensure that the post transforms itself with modern services in order to increase its customer base and attract the younger generation with goods and services. With the changing demands placed on operators, our postal software network will have to evolve to these changes.
The upgrading from IPS Light to IPS Post by 2018 will allow the post 3 office to be ready for e-commerce and to transition ourselves to be more competitive in our global economy. The time has come for the postal sector to be more adaptive to the change globally. In September 2017, the UPU World CEO Forum in Moscow stated that economic growth and trade, the e-commerce explosion along with changing demographics were all factors affecting the postal sector.
These factors in combination with the desire of customers for immediate personalized digital services and government stipulations for universal service have created both opportunities and challenges for the post. The St. Kitts and Nevis Postal Services intends to explore these opportunities. For this to become a reality, however, technology must be adopted and used to the advantage of the postal sector.
In 2015, countries all over the world committed themselves to working together towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to end extreme poverty and hunger, fight inequality and injustice, and take action to reverse climate change– just to name some of these 17 agreed new Goals. Playing its part in this global effort, the Post today has a more relevant role than ever by providing infrastructure for development. On the 9th October 2015 and in response to the worldwide challenges to reduced mail volumes and the growth of e-commerce, 4 the St. Kitts and Nevis Postal Services responded by introducing the US Mailbox Service.
On October 9, 2016, World Post Day, St Kitts and Nevis Postal Services officially launched the Postal Code System. It is simply a post code or zip code that identifies addressees’ location and assists in the sorting and delivery of mail items. Customers are encouraged to visit our main offices in Basseterre, St. Kitts, and Charlestown, Nevis, for more information. The Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Post, Urban Development and Transport recognizes the importance of the Post in the socioeconomic development of our beloved Federation.
On this World Post Day, we thus convey profound gratitude to the postal staff within the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis for its continuing dedication and hard work, to ensure that mails are delivered in an efficient and timely manner. Together let us make use of postal services and new technologies to build our local and national economies and to strengthen our contribution as a people of St Kitts-Nevis to world culture and development so as to ensure the fulfilment of our universal obligations.
Today as workers, we celebrate and indeed it is with great pride I take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy World Post Day. 5 Thank you and may God continue to bless our Federation.