Malawi and nine other African countries were on Wednesday elected into the Council of Administration (CA) of the 192-member global intergovernmental postal body, the Universal Postal Union (UPU), one of the specialised agencies of the United Nations.
Malawi first attempted to get into UPUâ€™s Council of Administration in the 2008 elections held in Geneva, but flopped.
The countryâ€™s delegation, led by Information Minister Moses Kunkuyu, successfully excelled in the elections that took place in the Qatar capital, Doha, where the 25th Congress of the UPU is underway.
â€œToday is a happy day for every Malawian as the world has shown its confidence in our capabilities to actively take part in global affairs,â€ Kunkuyu observed after the election results were announced.
He added that for the next four years, when Malawi will be serving her first term in the CA, the country would show the world that it was ready to take up any challenging responsibilities in global affairs.
This is the first time in the history of Malawi that the country has been elected a member of the organ of the UPU since joining the union on October 25 1966.
Established in 1874, the UPU Congress meets once every four years to adopt the new global postal strategy, which guides the global postal sector in the subsequent four years and reviews how postal services have fared during the previous four year.
The CA is composed of 41 countries and its mandate is to ensure the continuity of the UPUâ€™s work between congresses, supervise its activities and study regulatory, administrative, legislative and legal issues.
The CA can also take measures it considers necessary to resolve urgent issues. It also approves the UPUâ€™s biennial budget and accounts as well as yearly updates on the unionâ€™s strategy and budget.
During the day, delegates also elected members of UPUâ€™s Postal Operations Council, a technical and operational mind of the UPU mandated to help posts modernise and upgrade their postal products and services. It deals with the operational, economic and commercial aspects of the postal business.
The delegates also elected UPUâ€™s director general, Ambassador Bishar Hussein, a Kenyan diplomat and postal executive as well as his deputy, Pascal Clivaz, a Swiss national.
During the Doha Congress, the delegates have also considered and adopted the Doha 2013 â€“ 2016 Postal Strategy that will help improve the interoperability of international postal networks, provide technical knowledge and expertise related to the postal sector, promote innovative postal products and services, and foster sustainable development of the postal sector.