United Nations announces its 2021 stamp program
By Denise McCarty
The United Nations Postal Administration revealed its 2021 stamp program in its bulletin for collectors, Fascination (issue No. 133).
The subjects range from Mother Teresa, to a campaign to fight against racism and discrimination, to World Toilet Day.
The program will begin Jan. 22 with a pane of 10 $1.20 stamps and 10 labels celebrating the Year of the Ox. This is the 11th pane in UNPA’s Chinese Lunar Calendar series, and the $1.20 stamps are for use from the U.N. post office at U.N. headquarters in New York City.
The UNPA also issues stamps for use from post offices at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; and the Vienna International Center in Vienna, Austria.
On Feb. 11 the UNPA will issue stamps in its Endangered Species series. This long-running series began in 1993. The new set is to include three blocks of four se-tenant (side-by-side) stamps, $1.20 1.50 francs and €0.90, in three panes of 16.
The March 19 United Against Racism and Discrimination issue will include what the UNPA describes as three “mini-sheets” of 10 stamps denominated 55¢, 1fr and €0.85, respectively.
The March 19 issue date is two days before the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which is observed annually on March 21 “on the day the police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid ‘pass laws’ in 1960,” according to the United Nations website.
A pane of 10 $1.20 stamps and se-tenant labels to be issued April 30 will commemorate the 70th anniversary of UNPA in New York.
The UNPA says on its website: “The idea of the United Nations issuing its own stamps was first proposed by Argentina in 1947.
“An agreement with the United States postal authorities was reached in 1951 and it stipulated that the stamps be denominated in United States currency, and used only at UN Headquarters.
“The first United Nations stamps were issued in U.S. dollar denominations on United Nations Day, 24 October, in 1951. The stamps were an immediate success and sold out within days.”
A pane of 10 1fr stamps and 10 labels will celebrate May 26 as the International Day of Vesak. This international observation commemorates Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death.
The Sport for Peace issue, slated for release June 4, honors the upcoming Tokyo Summer Olympic Games. The issue is to include six stamps, 55¢, $1.20, 1fr, 1.50fr, €0.85 and €1, in panes of eight.
These Olympic Games originally were scheduled to take place in 2020 but because of the COVID-19 pandemic were rescheduled to July 23 to Aug. 8, 2021, for the Summer Olympic Games and Aug. 24 to Sept. 5 for the Paralympic Games. Likewise, the Sport for Peace stamps originally were included on the UNPA’s 2020 stamp program but were delayed a year.
One of the three UNPA stamp issues planned for August 2021 also commemorates an event in Japan. This souvenir sheet of three stamps in three denominations, $1.20, 2fr and €1.80, will be released Aug. 25, the opening day of Philanippon 21, the Japan World Stamp Championship exhibition, in Yokohama. The exhibition will close Aug. 30.
Also on Aug. 25, the UNPA will continue its World Heritage series with 55¢, $1.20, 1fr, 1.50fr, €1, and €1.80 stamps in sheets of 20 and three related prestige booklets with text and illustrations in addition to stamps.
A pane of 10 €1 stamps and 10 labels on Aug. 27 will mark the 25th anniversary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. This treaty banning all nuclear testing was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly Sept. 10, 1996, but it has not entered into force because it still needs ratification from some nations.
A definitive stamp featuring Mother Teresa (1910-87) is scheduled to be issued Sept. 3. The UNPA reports that the denomination for this stamp is to be determined.
The UNPA will honor two other events postponed because of COVID-19, the Balkanfila philatelic exhibition in Romania and Expo 2020 Dubai, on souvenir sheets to be issued Sept. 29 and Oct. 1, respectively. Each souvenir sheet will contain three stamps: $1.20, 2fr and €1.80.
The rescheduled dates for Balkanfila are Sept. 29-Oct. 4.
Expo 2020 Dubai, a world expo with the theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” will run for six months from Oct. 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022.
A second UNPA issue for October is called “Celebrations.” Scheduled to be released Oct. 8, it is described as a “New York, Geneva and Vienna special event sheet [pane] of 10 stamps.”
Three Crypto souvenir sheets are to be issued Nov. 4. Crypto refers to cryptocurrency, a form of currency that only exists digitally.
Concluding the 2021 program will be a set of six stamps (55¢, $1.20, 1fr, 1.50fr, €0.85 €1) for World Toilet Day on Nov. 19. According to the United Nations, the day “celebrates toilets and raises awareness of the 4.2 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation. It is about taking action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.”
This 2021 program is tentative and subject to change.
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