World Stamps

By Denise McCarty

New United Nations stamps honor Education First initiative

September 19, 2014 03:45 PM

  • Oamul Lu’s illustrations of students walking in the woods, visiting an art museum and boarding a school bus are shown on three Education First stamps issued Sept. 18 by the United Nations Postal Administration.

  • Three long single-stamp souvenir sheets in the United Nations Postal Administration’s Sept. 18 Education First set resemble bookmarks.

The United Nations Postal Administration issued six stamps Sept. 18 with the theme of “Education First.”

Three of the stamps are in souvenir sheets that resemble bookmarks. The other three stamps are in separate panes of 20.

“Education First” refers to the Global Education First Initiative launched by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in September 2012.

In announcing the initiative, he said: “Education is a major driving force for human development. It opens doors to the job market, combats inequality, improves maternal health, reduces child mortality, fosters solidarity, and promotes environmental stewardship. Education empowers people with the knowledge, skills and values they need to build a better world.”

The initiative focuses on three priorities: put every child in school, improve the quality of learning and foster global citizenship.

Illustrator and animator Oamul Lu of China designed the stamps and souvenir sheets. His illustrations focus on experiences of everyday life.

The stamp and souvenir sheet for use from U.N. headquarters in New York City are denominated $1.15 and $1.50, respectively.

The $1.15 stamp shows a teacher and students making discoveries while walking through the woods.

One boy is peering at a plant through a magnifying glass. A girl, with open book in hand, is studying what looks like a slug crawling up a tree.

Two students in a science laboratory are pictured on the $1.50 stamp in the souvenir sheet. Planets and stars are shown in the selvage.

Both the stamp and souvenir sheet for use from the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, are denominated 1.90 francs.

On the stamp, students are drawing while on a field trip to an art museum.

The souvenir sheet features a library scene. The selvage shows a boy at the top of a long ladder reaching for a book from the stacks. Pictured on the stamp at the bottom of the sheet is a girl propped on her elbows, reading a book.

The 1.70-euro stamp for use from the Vienna International Center in Vienna, Austria, depicts children getting on the school bus.

On the 2-euro stamp in the souvenir sheet, a tree is growing out of an open book held by a young man and woman.

The Lowe-Martin Group of Canada printed the stamps and souvenir sheets by offset in the following quantities: 130,000 ($1.15); 110,000 (1.70-euro); 100,000 (1.90fr stamp); 42,000 (2-euro); 35,000 ($1.50); and 34,000 (1.90fr souvenir sheet).

The stamps measure 40 millimeters by 30mm each and are perforated gauge 13.

The website of the UNPA is

Ordering information also is available by writing to UNPA, Box 5900, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163-5900; telephone 800-234-8672; e-mail;or fax 212-963-9854.