Treaty of Bern

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The Treaty of Bern (formally the Treaty concerning the formation of a General Postal Union), signed on 9 October 1874, established the General Postal Union, which is today known as the Universal Postal Union. Named for the Swiss city of Bern, where it was signed, the treaty was the result of an international conference convened by the Swiss Government on 15 September 1874. It was attended by representatives from 22 nations. Plans for the conference had been drawn up by Heinrich von Stephan, Postmaster-General of the German Reichspost.

Universal Postal Union Specialised agency of the United Nations

The Universal Postal Union, established by the Treaty of Bern of 1874, is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that coordinates postal policies among member nations, in addition to the worldwide postal system. The UPU contains four bodies consisting of the Congress, the Council of Administration (CA), the Postal Operations Council (POC) and the International Bureau (IB). It also oversees the Telematics and Express Mail Service (EMS) cooperatives. Each member agrees to the same terms for conducting international postal duties. The UPU's headquarters are located in Bern, Switzerland.

Bern Place in Switzerland

Bern or Berne is the de facto capital of Switzerland, referred to by the Swiss as their "federal city", in German Bundesstadt, French ville fédérale, and Italian città federale. With a population of about 140,000, Bern is the fifth-most populous city in Switzerland. The Bern agglomeration, which includes 36 municipalities, had a population of 406,900 in 2014. The metropolitan area had a population of 660,000 in 2000. Bern is also the capital of the canton of Bern, the second-most populous of Switzerland's cantons.

Heinrich von Stephan postmaster

Ernst Heinrich Wilhelm von Stephan was a general post director for the German Empire who reorganized the German postal service. He was integral in the founding of the Universal Postal Union in 1874, and in 1877 introduced the telephone to Germany.

Contents

The purpose of the treaty was to unify disparate postal services and regulations so that international mail could be exchanged freely. The signatories of the treaty were the German Empire, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, Spain, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, the Russian Empire, Serbia, the United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway, Switzerland, and the Ottoman Empire.

German Empire empire in Central Europe between 1871–1918

The German Empire, also known as the Second Reich or Imperial Germany, was the German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918.

Austria-Hungary Constitutional monarchic union between 1867 and 1918

Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy in Central and Eastern Europe between 1867 and 1918. It was formed when the Austrian Empire adopted a new constitution; as a result Austria (Cisleithania) and Hungary (Transleithania) were placed on equal footing. It dissolved into several new states at the end of the First World War.

French Third Republic Nation of France from 1870 to 1940

The French Third Republic was the system of government adopted in France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed during the Franco-Prussian War, until 10 July 1940 after France's defeat by Nazi Germany in World War II led to the formation of the Vichy government in France.

Originally called the General Postal Union, the organization established by the Treaty was renamed the Universal Postal Union in 1878 due to its large membership. World Post Day is now observed on 9 October, recalling the date on which the Treaty was signed.

The Treaty of Bern was amended a number of times after its conclusion. On 10 July 1964, the UPU incorporated the treaty into a new Constitution of the Universal Postal Union, which is now the treaty that is ratified by states when they wish to join the UPU.

See also

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References

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