15th UPU Congress, Vienna


Austria - stamp for the 15th UPU CongressThe fifteenth UPU Congress met in Vienna from 29 May to 10 July 1964 under the chairmanship of Benno Schaginger, General Director of the Austrian Post and Telegraph. The Congress was held in Vienna after both Rio de Janeiro and New Delhi withdrew because of national political problems. The Congress was meant to be held in Rio. After Rio withdrew, New Delhi was given the Congress. It was to be opened on 1 March 1963, but due to the Chinese invasion the UPU was notified in December 1962 that India had to withdraw.


Nearly 500 delegates representing 122 countries participated in the sessions. On 5 June 1964 the Congress approved a resolution expelling South Africa from the UPU by a vote of 58 in favour, 30 opposed and 26 abstentions. During the debate on this question several delegates maintained that the resolution was illegal since a country could only be expelled for violating UPU's regulations. The South African delegate remained in the conference hall after the vote but left at the request of the presiding officer when African delegates demanded his withdrawal.


Benno SchagingerThe 15th Congress devoted most of its attention to the structural revision of the Acts of the Union. As a result of its deliberations the Vienna Congress decided to divide the Universal Postal Convention into two parts so as to include in a permanent act which would seldom require amendment the organic provisions of the Union along the lines of the other specialized agencies of the United Nations.


Among its other actions the Congress decided that the Executive and Liaison Committee would henceforth be known as the Executive International Reply Coupon - Vienna designCouncil although its formal task of ensuring the continuity of UPU's work between Congresses would remain unchanged. In view of the fact that the number of UPU member countries had risen from 97 to 126 since 1957 the Congress increased the Executive Council's membership from twenty to 27.


The Congress approved a new design for the International Reply Coupon. The new IRC became valid from 1 January 1965 and remained until the Congress in Lausanne in 1974.


Having learned from the difficulties in finding a host country for this Congress, Article 101 was amended to give the Council of Administration the authority to look for a new city if for one reason or another the original candidate withdrew. Before 1964 only the Congress itself could choose a host country.



Stamp catalogue


Austria                        15 June 1964









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last revised: 15 February 2008