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Kenyan takes office as head of UN postal union

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka (left) congratulates Bishar Hussein, the Kenyan candidate for the position of director-general of Universal Postal Union (UPU), during a reception at Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) in Doha October 2012. Looking on are Information and Communications Minister Samuel Poghisio, and UPU's outgoing director-general Edouard Dayan. Photo/FILE
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka (left) congratulates Bishar Hussein, the Kenyan candidate for the position of director-general of Universal Postal Union (UPU), during a reception at Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) in Doha October 2012. Looking on are Information and Communications Minister Samuel Poghisio, and UPU's outgoing director-general Edouard Dayan. Photo/FILE 

A Kenyan has taken over the position of director-general of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the UN specialised body dealing with postal matters.

Bishar Hussein, a former postmaster general of the Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) and ambassador to Abu Dhabi, officially took office on Monday promising to offer efficient management of the Union’s resources in the most transparent manner.

“We will explore every opportunity to raise sufficient funds to carry out the most important and critical programmes and projects that will further the cause of the Union,” Mr Hussein told Union members during his inauguration in Switzerland.

With its 192 member countries, the UPU is the primary forum for cooperation between postal sector players.

Mr Hussein becomes the first UPU director-general from sub-Saharan Africa since its establishment in 1874.

“I am fully aware of the expectations of developing countries, small island states and other countries that need the UPU to move forward and fully integrate into the postal community. We will not lose sight of the special needs of the industrialised countries, which are an important driving force for our organisation,” Mr Hussein said.

He takes over from Edouard Dayan who has been in office over the last eight years and will serve in the position for a period of four years.

A Kenyan team led by Ambassador and permanent representative of the Kenya Mission to the United Nations Office in Geneva Tom Mboya Okeyo graced the occasion. The Communications Commission of Kenya chairman Ben Gituku and PCK postmaster general Enock Kinara were also present.

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