UPU Council of Admin. Endorses Qatar Resolution Calling on Int’l Bureau to Appoint 3rd Arbitrator as per General Regulations

Thursday, February 27, 2020
UPU Council of Admin. Endorses Qatar Resolution Calling on Int’l Bureau to Appoint 3rd Arbitrator as per General Regulations

The Council of Administration (CA) of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) voted in its meeting today for the resolution the State of Qatar had proposed and which affirms the right of the State of Qatar to restore postal services from and to the defendant countries (the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) through binding arbitration and “strongly urges” the UPU Director General to appoint a third arbitrator in accordance with its duties as per Article 153 (8) of the General Regulations of the UPU.

The State of Qatar appreciates all efforts made by the UPU and its Member States to address the situation.

The defendant countries (the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) have, jointly and without warning, imposed a series of coercive measures against the State of Qatar.

Part of these measures was the suspension by postal service operators in the defendant countries of all postal services from and to the State of Qatar. Since then, the postal services operator of Qatar had neither been able to receive or send any postal correspondences to the defendant countries nor been able to even receive or send correspondences to other countries through them.

The State of Qatar and the defendant countries are Member States of the UPU. Without a doubt, the stopping of postal services by the defendant countries with the State of Qatar violates the Constitution, Convention and General Regulations of the UPU. Article 32 of the UPU Constitution reads: “In the event of a dispute between two or more postal administrations of member countries concerning the interpretation of the Acts of the Union or the responsibility imposed on a member country by the application of those Acts, the question at issue shall be settled by arbitration.”

On Sep. 20, 2018, the State of Qatar sent a notification to each of the defendant countries to start the arbitration process as per Article 32 of the UPU Constitution, requesting the founding of a court to settle the dispute resulting from the defendant countries’ suspending of postal services with the State of Qatar. The State of Qatar began the arbitration process to restore direct postal services from and to the defendant countries and to obtain compensations for the harms caused by the suspension of postal services since June 2017.

The State of Qatar participated in the arbitration procedures in good faith in accordance with the text and soul of the UPU General Regulations. But, on the other hand and for more than a year, the defendant countries have been using one way after the other to hinder the founding of arbitration bodies and particularly to hinder the appointment of a third arbitrator for the arbitration bodies.

Due to such a flagrant denial of the State of Qatar’s right of settling the dispute internationally as per the UPU regulatory framework, the State of Qatar, represented by the Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA), had to seek support from the CA of the UPU, which consists of 41 Member States.    

Early today, the CA passed a resolution proposed by the State of Qatar, which emphasizes the State of Qatar’s right to seek the restoration of postal services from and to the defendant countries through binding arbitration and “strongly urges” the UPU Director General to appoint a third arbitrator in accordance with its duties as per Article 153 (8) of the UPU General Regulations. 

The decision made today follows the decision the CA made previously, and which was endorsed during the meeting of the CA of the UPU in Oct. 2017 and which strongly urged the defendant countries to reestablish direct postal services with the State of Qatar. However, the defendant countries failed to comply with that decision.

On this occasion, HE the President of CRA of Qatar Mr. Mohammed Ali Al-Mannai said “We are pleased with the endorsement by the UPU’s CA of that resolution and looking forward to establishing arbitration committees with no more unjustified delay and to settling the dispute caused by the postal measures taken by the defendant countries.”