ISLAMABAD-World Post Day will be observed on October 9 (Sunday) across the globe. The day highlights the significance of the free flow of international mail around the world.

In many international organizations and countries, high ranking officials or ministers make speeches or issue proclamations on the history or achievements of national or international postal services. 

Postal services may issue special postage stamps to commemorate the history or achievements of the national postal service. 

These are prized by stamp collectors and philatelists (people who study stamps). In addition, special lessons on these topics may be arranged for school children and the postal services and their employees may receive extra training or recognition and attention in the media.

The Universal Postal Union in cooperation with UNESCO has, for the past 35 years, organized an international letter-writing competition for young people. Many participating postal services use World Post Day to award prizes to the winners of the competition.

From the earliest times in history, “postal services” existed in the form of messengers who travelled large distances on foot or horseback. In the 1600s and 1700s, many countries set up national postage systems and entered into bilateral agreements for the exchange of mail between countries. 

By the late 1800s there was a large web of bilateral agreements that made the distribution of international mail complicated, non-transparent and inefficient.

In 1863, Montgomery Blair, the then Postmaster General, USA, organized a conference of representatives from 15 European and American countries. During this conference, the delegates laid down a number of general principles for mutual agreements on international postal services but could not come up with an international postal agreement.