NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (OCTOBER 09, 2020) — The following is an address by Hon. Spencer Brand Minister responsible for Posts in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) on the occasion of World Post Day 2020.
I bring greetings to the citizens and residents of Nevis on this 9th day of October 2020, which marks another celebration of World Post Day as declared by the Universal Postal Union’s congress in Tokyo since 1969.
The Universal Postal Union (UPU) is the second oldest organisation worldwide, having been established in 1874. Since then this important institution has seen many changes and experienced many events in the world through which it has survived, such as the two world wars, several natural disasters, and regional and global health challenges.
This year is another significant year of celebration, as it is occurring as the world is facing a global health challenge in the COVID-19 pandemic, which has revealed many things and has tested our resilience as a people and organisations such as the UPU and its membership, including the Nevis Post Office.
The Universal Postal Union highlighted the strategic pillars for driving the Postal business as innovative, integrative and inclusive. We agree that Posts play a vital role in our society. However, due to the technological revolution worldwide, the way in which citizens interact, communicate and do business has changed significantly and the Post has to step up in a holistic manner in its entire operation.
The time has come for us to transform the Nevis Postal Services so as to remain relevant in today’s digital age. The Post’s survival is dependent on technology and innovation, recognising that we expect everything at the click of the mouse. Therefore, we have to face our challenges head on because survival depends heavily on our ability to transform and be innovate as quickly as is humanly possible.
While we strive to maintain our place in the world market, we also recognise that Post has an important role to play in infrastructural development. Post is positioned, because of its universal nature and trusted service, to drive economic, social, financial and digital inclusion to all, around the globe. With that in mind, digital transformation and diversification will contribute tremendously to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
This year’s theme, “More than mail,” is quite appropriate as it forces us to look beyond the basic function of the postal service of facilitating the movement of mail from the sender to the receiver. It forces us to reflect and it creates an awareness that the post’s role is significant in the daily lives of people, institutions, communities and businesses throughout the whole world, as it is an essential service for the social and economic development of our society. The postal workers are therefore essential workers and must be viewed as such.
We have seen here on the island of Nevis, as it was revealed during this pandemic, that the post office is providing a necessary service to a wide cross section of the population, as persons are dependent on it to conduct essential financial services such as receiving remittances and pension payments from overseas, their life-saving medicines, protective equipment for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and even receiving packages of all sorts including food items, for their social wellbeing and survival.
It is imperative then for me to express again on my own behalf, on behalf of the Ministry of Postal Services, and by extension, on behalf of the Nevis Island Administration and its Cabinet, profound gratitude and thanks to all the essential postal workers of the Nevis Post Office for being on the frontline during this difficult period, and for rising to the challenges that COVID-19 presented, just to ensure that the postal service’s mandate is fulfilled.
As the UPU Director General highlighted in his message, “The health and safety of staff who are on the frontline is paramount; but we have to learn to live with this pandemic, life cannot simply close down.”
We are thankful for the yeoman efforts of the COVID-19 Task Force, health workers and other frontline workers in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis to ensure that the spread of this dreaded disease is controlled, as we are aware that many of our fellow postal workers throughout the world were infected by it, and some have paid even the ultimate price.
Furthermore, our theme, “More than mail,” reminds us that we must continue to work with our partners, other postal services, the Caribbean Postal Union and the Universal Postal Union to adapt to the challenges of the world such as this pandemic, and diversify our services for our survival. We have done it in the past and we can do it again with God’s help.
This year the Nevis Post Office will again celebrate World Post Day with a month of reduced activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The planned activities include a church service on 11th October at the Church of God of Prophecy, Craddock Road; Primary School Lunch Sponsorship draw at the post office; T-shirt day and World Post Day speech; a nature hike to the lighthouse at 6 a.m. on 17th October; showcasing postal items at the post office throughout the month of October; and an appreciation activity for staff of the Nevis Post office.
I wish to commend the management and staff for their hard work, dedication and commitment over the past year, and I wish them God speed as we, together, execute this year’s month of activities.
Happy World Post Day to all, and May God continue to bless and keep us.