World Stamps

Hello Kitty promotes U.N. global goals in new do-it-yourself sheets

Mar 20, 2020, 8 AM

By Denise McCarty

New do-it-yourself stamps from the United Nations Postal Administration combine Hello Kitty and the United Nations’ sustainable development goals program.

The UNPA said, “The self-adhesive stamps are blank with several Hello Kitty elements in the tab [selvage], which can be incorporated on the stamps, creating their own personal designs.”

The stamps were issued March 19 in six souvenir sheets, two for each of the three UNPA post offices, which are located at U.N. headquarters in New York City; the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; and the Vienna International Center in Vienna, Austria.

The UNPA also issued three booklets, one for each post office.

The United Nations and Japan’s Sanrio Co. Ltd., the parent company of the fictional Hello Kitty character and related products, announced in September 2019 its official collaboration to promote the sustainable development goals (also known as global goals or SDGs) through a new global video series.

The UNPA had previously reported that it would issue Hello Kitty and Global Goals stamps as part of its 2019 stamp program. Those stamps were delayed twice and changed from their originally announced format before their eventual issuance on March 19.

Rorie Katz of the United Nations designed the Hello Kitty and Global Goals souvenir sheets, using artwork by Sanrio.

Except for three small inscriptions, each stamp design is blank. The inscriptions are the initials for the United Nations in pink in the upper left, the denomination in black in the upper right, and a 2020 year date in black in the lower right.

For example, the UNPA/New York stamps are inscribed “UN” and denominated $1.20. The abbreviation on the UNPA/Geneva stamp is “ONU,” and the denomination is 2 francs. The UNPA/Vienna stamps are inscribed “UN,” with a denomination of 1.80.

The souvenir sheets also have similar inscriptions in the selvage.

The U.N. emblem is in the lower left on each sheet, with “UN STAMPS” in two lines beside it. In the upper left is “#HelloGlobalGoals” with the letters in many different colors, and below that “Hello Kitty” is inscribed in a color to match the icon in the upper right of the sheet. This icon identifies the specific sustainable development goal represented.

A U.N. website about the goals provides this summary: “The Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries — poor, rich and middle-income — to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.”

The first of the two $1.20 sheets is in green to match the icon for the third goal: good health and well-being. The die-cut stickers on the sheet also relate to the goal, showing fruits and vegetables, a stethoscope and other items related to health. The Hello Kitty figure is wearing blue overalls and a yellow shirt.

The Hello Kitty sticker on the second $1.20 sheet is reading a book, corresponding to the fourth goal: quality education. The icon is dark red, and the background color of the sheet is pink.

The 2fr sheet for the fifth goal, gender equality, is light violet. Most of the stickers on this sheet show two images. For example, two mice, one blue and one pink, are together on one sticker near the bottom center of the sheet. Also, Hello Kitty is joined by a friend, probably Dear Daniel.

The other 2fr sheet has a blue background with stickers symbolizing the 11th goal: sustainable cities and communities.

In keeping with the green theme of the 13th goal, which is climate action, the first of the two €1.80 sheets features a green background. The image of Hello Kitty in the sticker is holding a trowel, apparently prepared to work in her garden.

On the second €1.80 sheet, Hello Kitty is equipped for underwater photography. The blue background corresponds to the 14th goal: life below water.

All the aforementioned sheet designs and stickers are included in each of the three Hello Kitty and Global Goals booklets. In other words, the booklet with six $1.20 sheets not only has sheets representing the third and fourth goals, but also has sheets with the background, stickers and designs of the fifth, 11th, 13th and 14th goals.

Cartor Security Printing of France printed the souvenir sheets by offset lithography, and the printing house of France’s La Poste printed the booklets. The UNPA describes them as “accordion-style booklets.”

The quantities are 20,000 each of the $1.20 sheets; 23,000 each of the 2fr sheets; and 26,000 each of the 1.80 sheets. Each booklet was printed in a quantity of 5,000.

According to an announcement on the UNPA website, the Hello Kitty stamps will not be available online. The UNPA advises that anyone wanting to place an order contact the UNPA office in New York by email at unpanyinquiries@un.org or by phone at 800-234-8672, or contact the UNPA office in Vienna by email at UNPA-Europe@un.org or by phone at 43-1-26060-4032 or 4025.

The UNPA also posted the following notice on its website: “Important information and alert: Please note that your orders and/or mail may be impacted or delayed due to the restrictions at the United Nations Headquarters and the United Nations office in Vienna as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. We are, however, committed to process and fulfill your orders as soon as we can. If there’s any question, please email us at unpanyinquiries@un.org or UNPA-Europe@un.org or UNPA-ASIA@un.org. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”

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