Established in 1874, the Universal Postal Union (UPU) is a specialised agency of the United Nations. It governs the international postal sector and helps ensure a universal network of up-to-date products and services. There are approximately 192 member Countries in the Union. Ireland became a member in 1923.
There are three Acts of the UPU which are binding on all its members. These are the Constitution, General Regulations and the Universal Postal Convention.
The fundamental Act of the UPU is its Constitution. Adopted in 1964, it is a diplomatic act and contains the rules of the Union. Amendments to it can only be made at Congress and are recorded in an additional Protocol. Adopted in 1969, 1974, 1978, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2008, there have been 8 Additional Protocols so far. The 26th Universal Postal Congress will be held in Istanbul, Turkey, from 20 September to 7 October, 2016.