Galactic Postal Union
|The Galactic Postal Union|
Based on the Earth founded Universal Postal Union(UPU) the Galactic Postal Union (GPU) is an international organization that coordinates postal policies between member nations, and hence the Galaxy-wide postal system. Each member country agrees to the same set of terms for conducting international postal duties.
The UPU established that (1) there should be a more or less uniform flat rate to mail a letter anywhere in the world; (2) postal authorities should give equal treatment to foreign and domestic mail; and (3) each country should retain all monies it collected for international postage. One of the most important results of the UPU treaty was that it ceased to be necessary, as it often had been previously, to affix the stamps of any country through which one's letter or package would pass in transit; the UPU provides that stamps of member nations are accepted for the whole international route. The GPU continues in this task on a much wider scale, having to take into account environments hostile to mail, wildly differing technological bases and a multitiude of currencies with the stipulation that "there should be a more or less uniform flat rate to mail a letter anywhere in the galaxy".
The postal service forms part of the daily life of people all over the galaxy. Even in the interstellar age, the Post remains, for billions of people, the most accessible means of communication and message delivery available. By virtue of its mission to develop social, cultural and commercial communication between people through the efficient operation of the postal service, the GPU must promote the continued revitalisation of postal services.
International Reply Coupons
The GPU also operates the system of International Reply Coupons. An international reply coupon (IRC) is a coupon that can be used to post a standard 20 gram letter anywhere in the Galaxy. IRCs are accepted and available in all Galactic Postal Union (GPU) member countries.
The purpose of the IRC is to be able to send someone a letter, along with the cost of postage for them to send you a reply. If the addressee is within the same country, one normally sends them a stamp; but if you are sending a letter to another country, it can be difficult to acquire stamps for that country to send along with your letter. So you can purchase an IRC instead from your local post office, and send it to them; they can then take it to a post office in their own country, and use it to send it back to you. This is often requested when a ham radio operator wishes to send a reception report in order to receive a QSL card - the IRC will cover postage. IRCs can also be used as international currency for small transactions, since they have at least a small nominal value in all GPU member countries.
As well as IRCs administered by the GPU, there are also reply coupons issued by other postal unions which are usable only in certain countries.
GPU Mission statement
The mission of the Galactic Postal Union is to foster the sustainable development of quality universal, efficient accessible postal services in order to facilitate communication among the peoples of the galaxy by:
- Guaranteeing the free circulation of postal items through an interconnected single postal territory
- Promoting the adoption of fair and common standards and the application of technology
- Cooperation and interaction among stakeholders
- Facilitating the effective provision of technical cooperation
- Ensuring that the changing needs of customers are addressed
Oddly, there are nations who oppose any standardization of the postal service. Those nations include: