World Stamps

Denise McCarty

United Nations reuses souvenir sheet design for new definitive stamp

April 10, 2018 11:00 AM

  • The United Nations Postal Administration will issue a $2.50 definitive stamp May 3 honoring the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and repeating the design from the selvage of a souvenir sheet issued in 2017. A pre-release ceremony for the stamp will be held April 27 at Westpex.
  • The selvage of this 2017 U.N. souvenir sheet pictures Eleanor Roosevelt holding one of the original documents of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

By Denise McCarty 

The United Nations Postal Administration will issue a definitive stamp May 3 with the theme of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The $2.50 stamp is for use from the UNPA post office at U.N. headquarters in New York City.

The stamp’s design may look familiar as it is based on last year’s souvenir sheet commemorating the translation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into 500 languages. The sheet was issued Oct. 27, 2017, at UN Expo 17 in Bellefonte, Pa.

Like the selvage of that souvenir sheet, the $2.50 stamp depicts Eleanor Roosevelt holding one of the original declarations; Roosevelt chaired the committee to draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This image of Roosevelt is based on a photograph taken Nov. 1, 1949, during her visit to U.N. headquarters, which at the time was in the former Sperry Gyroscope factory in Lake Success, N.Y.

Rorie Katz of the United Nations designed both the new $2.50 stamp and the 2017 souvenir sheet.

The stamp measures 50 millimeters by 35mm. Lowe-Martin Group of Canada printed it in sheets of 20 in a quantity of 5,000 sheets (100,000 stamps). The sheets include marginal inscriptions.

A pre-launch ceremony for the definitive stamp will take place Friday, April 27, at the Westpex stamp show at the San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront Hotel, 1800 Old Bayshore Highway, Burlingame, Calif.

The ceremony is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.

Adopted Dec. 10, 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights will celebrate its 70th anniversary this year.

The United Nations Human Rights Office of High Commissioner’s website commemorating that anniversary, said: “Seventy years after its adoption by the UN General Assembly, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is just as powerfully relevant as it was on its first day.

“Thanks to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and States’ commitments to its principles, the dignity of millions has been uplifted, untold human suffering prevented and the foundations for a most just world have been laid. While its promise is yet to be fulfilled, the very fact that it has stood the test of time is testament to the enduring universality of its perennial values of equality, justice and human dignity.”

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As reported in Linn’s of Nov. 6, 2017, the three stamps in the souvenir sheet included all 5,400 words of the declaration and its preamble: 1,771 words microprinted on the $1.15 stamp; 1,969 on the 2-franc stamp for use from the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; and 1,660 on the €1.70 stamp for use from the Vienna International Center in Vienna, Austria.

As also reported in that article, the UNPA has applied for a Guinness world record for the most words on a souvenir sheet.

For ordering details for the 70th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights definitive stamp, visit the website; or write an email. The souvenir sheet was also available on the UNPA website.