The GPC is a member of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the Arab Postal Committee (APC) and the GCC Postal Committee. Qatar hosted the first conference to inaugurate the Gulf Postal Organization in April 1977 which later changed its name to the GCC Postal Committee. The Post Office in Qatar began operating modestly in 1950 with just 6 staff. Nevertheless the story begins in earnest in May 1963 when the State of Qatar took full responsibility for its own Postal Services. The world is changing faster than ever before and Postal Administrations are not immune to these changes; the postal future is thus quite daunting. However, in October 2001, specifically with the future in mind the GPC became an independent corporation. This important change is designed to enable the corporation to compete internationally, to meet its customer's needs and to provide a platform for the future service reliability of the business and to benefit the citizen's of Qatar.