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UPU Addressing Conference Tackles Tough Global Issues

November 18, 2015

UPU_Logo~by Paul Harris, Sales and Marketing

Global-Z International’s CEO Dimitri Garder, was recently invited to attend and speak at a new Global Addressing Conference hosted by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in Berne, Switzerland. The two-day event took place on October 26th & 27th during the UPU Council of Administration session.

The Global Addressing Conference was the first of its kind. The event drew a crowd of more than 160 global addressing industry leaders. Postal operators and regulators, data processing companies, data consultants and private industry project leaders were all in attendance.

The primary focus of the conference was to enhance the understanding the complex issues developing countries face when they don’t have a reliable addressing system. For many years, the UPU has taken the position that addressing is a critical human right, fundamental to provision basic services to all people across the world.

“Developed nations take addressing systems for granted because most all individuals live in an identifiable residence that has an address,” said Garder. “However, underdeveloped countries have huge percentages of their populations that live in slums. These slums were originally intended to be temporary living situations. Unfortunately, they become permanent living situations because of economic and infrastructure issues in these countries.”

For underdeveloped countries with large populations, having no addressing system is a major problem. It’s nearly impossible to find people who have no formal address and sometimes no street names. Some countries have populations who live a nomadic life and move from place to place making the problem even more complex. From a first world perspective, global addressing is important from a commercial context, but for more undeveloped countries, having an addressing system would make the difference to be able to provide basic human services like clean water, electricity and medical relief.

Garder’s presentation focused on why address hygiene is such a critical element in designing and maintaining a reliable addressing system. “The value of an address is directly proportional to the quality of the address. That’s why address hygiene is so important. In order to maximize the value of an address it’s required that the data is regularly cleaned and updated.  A well-managed addressing system can generate significant economic advantages in both the developed and underdeveloped world”, he said.

Representatives from West African nations used examples to demonstrate how no addressing system makes it difficult to fight threats. Citing the recent Ebola crisis, they explained how they couldn’t send first responders to help aid citizens that had no address. It was a major problem.

In contrast to the West Africa discussion, representatives from more developed nations spoke about having 98% of the population in a quality addressing system. Their discussion focused on how to get the remaining 2% in the system, in order to reach 100% of the population.
“When you compare these discussions, the stark contrast is eye opening,” stated Garder. “This conference’s international audience made the event a once in the lifetime experience. For the more underdeveloped countries, the conference raised more questions than it answered.”

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