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.
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, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, the Russian Empire, Serbia, the United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway, Switzerland, and the Ottoman Empire.
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.
An international reply coupon (IRC) is a coupon that can be exchanged for one or more postage stamps representing the minimum postage for an unregistered priority airmail letter of up to twenty grams sent to another Universal Postal Union (UPU) member country. IRCs are accepted by all UPU member countries.
The foreign relations of Switzerland are the primary responsibility of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). Some international relations of Switzerland are handled by other departments of the federal administration of Switzerland.
A treaty is a formal written agreement entered into by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may also be known as an international agreement, protocol, covenant, convention, pact, or exchange of letters, among other terms. Regardless of terminology, only instruments that are binding upon the parties are considered treaties subject to international law.
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.
Eugène Borel was a Swiss politician and member of the Swiss Federal Council (1872-1875).
The North German Confederation was the German federal state which existed from July 1867 to December 1870. Although de jure a confederacy of equal states, the Confederation was de facto controlled and led by the largest and most powerful member, Prussia, which exercised its influence to bring about the formation of the German Empire. Some historians also use the name for the alliance of 22 German states formed on 18 August 1866. In 1870–1871, the south German states of Baden, Hesse-Darmstadt, Württemberg and Bavaria joined the country. On 1 January 1871, the country adopted a new constitution, which was written under the title of a new "German Confederation" but already gave it the name "German Empire" in the preamble and article 11.
The Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 are a series of international treaties and declarations negotiated at two international peace conferences at The Hague in the Netherlands. Along with the Geneva Conventions, the Hague Conventions were among the first formal statements of the laws of war and war crimes in the body of secular international law. A third conference was planned for 1914 and later rescheduled for 1915, but it did not take place due to the start of World War I.
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.
Franking comprises all devices, markings, or combinations thereof ("franks") applied to mails of any class which qualifies them to be postally serviced. Types of franks include uncanceled and precanceled postage stamps, impressions applied via postage meter, official use "Penalty" franks, Business Reply Mail (BRM), and other permit Imprints (Indicia), manuscript and facsimile "franking privilege" signatures, "soldier's mail" markings, and any other forms authorized by the 191 postal administrations that are members of the Universal Postal Union.
The Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation of 18 April 1999 is the third and current federal constitution of Switzerland. It establishes the Swiss Confederation as a federal republic of 26 cantons (states). The document contains a catalogue of individual and popular rights, delineates the responsibilities of the cantons and the Confederation and establishes the federal authorities of government.
Human rights are comprehensively guaranteed in Switzerland, one of Europe's oldest democracies. Together with other European states, Switzerland is often at or near the head in international civil liberties and political rights rankings. Switzerland places human rights at the core of the nation's value system, as represented in the Federal Constitution and political model. Promotion of peace, mutual respect, equality and non-discrimination are central to the country's democratic election.
The Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment, or Cape Town Treaty is an international treaty intended to standardize transactions involving movable property. The treaty creates international standards for registration of contracts of sale, security interests (liens), leases and conditional sales contracts, and various legal remedies for default in financing agreements, including repossession and the effect of particular states' bankruptcy laws.
The Postal Union Congress is the main international meeting of the Universal Postal Union, used to discuss various issues affecting international postal services, such as legislation, the political climate, and other strategic issues. The first congress was held in Bern, Switzerland in 1874, and was attended by delegates from 22 countries, most of them European. The meetings are normally held every four years, although they were cancelled during the two World Wars. Extraordinary Meetings can also be called outside the four-year cycle.
The Treaty of Lisbon is an international agreement that amends the two treaties which form the constitutional basis of the European Union (EU). The Treaty of Lisbon was signed by the EU member states on 13 December 2007, and entered into force on 1 December 2009. It amends the Maastricht Treaty (1992), known in updated form as the Treaty on European Union (2007) or TEU, and the Treaty of Rome (1957), known in updated form as the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (2007) or TFEU. It also amends the attached treaty protocols as well as the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM).
The Barbados Postal Service (B.P.S.) is the national postal operator of Barbados and operates as a department within the Government of Barbados where it reports to the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Barbados Postal Service (B.P.S.) is headed by the Postmaster General, Margaret Ashby, who is responsible for maintaining the island’s postal services, subject to the laws of the island. In 1852, the Postal services for Barbados were reconstituted following the passage of local legislation enabling the delivery of inland postage.
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