Remarks delivered by the Honourable Minister Kwame McCoy on the occasion of World Post Day 2021

Deputy Postmaster General, Ms Anastasia Jessemy Lynch, staff of the Guyana Post Office Corporation; special invitees, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

Today more than 150 countries observe World Post Day 2021 under the theme “Innovate to recover” while honouring the noble men and women who play a vital role in delivering our post around the world.

I am pleased to be here in celebration with you on behalf of Prime Minister, the Honorable Mark Phillips who is unavoidably out of the jurisdiction.

I have taken note of the theme for this year’s observances “Innovate to Recover” as one that is most fitting in the context of the COVID 19 Pandemic still raging across our fragile world.

Ladies and gentlemen, change in today’s world is perhaps even more constant than it was two years ago. On this occasion last year, we remarked on the fact that the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) was one of the biggest challenges in our path. Today, that situation remains the same, and, having affected the daily lives of every human being in the world, expecting daily changes to our global existence has become the new norm. 

COVID-19 dealt a massive blow to our health, social, educational, environmental and economic existence, taking millions of lives and infecting and affecting the lives of hundreds of millions of people in its wake. Now, with the advent of life saving vaccines, developed in record time, we are all hopeful that we can return to some semblance of normalcy. And so, the concept of “recovery” becomes pertinent.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, postal workers showed the extent of their resilience by having to face the world daily while many persons were allowed to work from home. The role of the post was revealed as an essential channel for the delivery of just about every item, including life-saving equipment. Where personal interaction was not recommended, the post proved to be ideal.

Last year, this commemoration focused on how the Postal Service was about “more than just mail”, and I couldn’t agree more. Even while digital communications thrive, postal services have indeed evolved beyond just mail to become one of the most fundamental means of satisfying our needs, doing business and facilitating economic activity worldwide.

Throughout the ages, humanity has found ways to communicate across societies and borders as a means of keeping the threads that bind us to the commonalities in our existence on this earth, unbroken.

And throughout these ages, the POST has been a constant denominator, helping to both start and prevent wars; trigger preventative measures to avert catastrophes and disasters; and deliver good and bad tidings for governments, corporations, communities, families and individuals alike.

The Postmen and women who blazed the unbeaten trails long before automobiles, trains, aeroplanes or the worldwide web, remain to this day, an invaluable and indispensable resource in the global communication continuum.

I’ve also noted that for you here at the Guyana Post Office Corporation, this is not a new charge with which you now have to grapple, as your innovative transformation began years ago and has already resulted in us having one of the most diversified and robust postal service in this part of the world.

From your same-day money transfer services to your wide array of bill payment options, the GPOC is living its mission of “helping people, organizations and communities grow by keeping them connected through the transfer of mail, money and information”.

This transformation began more than a decade ago under a PPP/C Administration and will continue into the future, as we upgrade and expand existing infrastructures and build new ones for the emerging new and modern Guyana.

We will continue to work with you to improve legislative and other policy frameworks to enable not only your recovery, but your emergence as a competitive growth enabler and value chain contender for the public and private sectors in an oil-producing Guyana.

I’m proud to let you in on one of my favorite-movies secrets in the hope that you won’t let the other public servants know that you are some of my all-time favorites. I have seen the movie “The Postman” many times, and each time I watch, I see a new eliment that allows me to positively increase the profoundness of my sentiments towards Postal Workers.

The movie is based on true historical events that vividly depict the dexterity and dogma that characterized the Postmen and women of yesteryear… but, what makes it most endearing to me, is the fact that such characteristics are still quite evident today among you… day after day you brave sun and rain and the unforgiving terrain of the Guyanese landscapes to get the job done… you climb hills and cross trenches, you navigate treacherous alleyways and dams, you survive pit bulls and packs of ravenous rice-eaters in your quest to deliver the mail, not to mention the colourful countrymen and women who are not always happy to see you, especially when you are delivering bills and unwanted notices.

Yours is a task that is at the heart of our functional democracy, development of our economy and our society.

Your task remains a noble one!

Guided by the Universal Postal Union, the GPOC has worked in close collaboration with all agencies in the postal supply chain to ensure the up-to-standard operations of all agencies and stakeholders so that the work of global post services continues unhindered.

With the launch of the UPU’s Customs Declaration System in January of this year, as well, the GPOC is now able to process parcels and small packages faster than before due to the advanced tracking information that is collected on each parcel from the moment it departs its origin country. These expedited operations are an archetype for the kind of innovation we hope to see continue in the postal sector.  

With a focus on flexibility and convenience in these trying times, much of the GPOC’s manpower is now more structured towards reaching customers in the field better, particularly those that are incapacitated or disabled.

This transformation of operations speaks to the fact that innovation moves far beyond technology and touches novelty ways of thinking and creating solutions for problems at hand. This innovation by the GPOC paves the way for the institution to strengthen its relationships with people in the communities in which they serve and lends to the institution’s sustainability in the future.

This government is proud of the continued efforts of the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) to deliver quality service and will continue to offer its unwavering support as this institution moves to “innovate to recover”.

So as we observe another year of honouring our postal workers, I wish to highlight that while the situation may be daunting at times amidst all the challenges, and while it may seem from time to time that your job is thankless, we see you. We honour you today for the unrelenting commitment you have placed into your work. We recognise your purpose in society as you make connections among us, bringing us much more than our mail, but fulfilment to our lives.

So, we celebrate each of you, those in the fields and those at the decision-making tables… we applaud the innovative diversification which you have already embraced, and we express full confidence in your ability to continue innovating to not only survive but thrive.

Again, on behalf of Prime Minister Phillips and indeed on behalf of His Excellency President Irfaan Ali and my Cabinet colleagues, happy World Post Day.

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