U.N. honors 75th anniversary of UNICEF with a pane of 10 stamps
By David Hartwig
The United Nations Postal Administration commemorated the 75th anniversary of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on a pane of 10 stamps and labels issued Dec. 11 for use from the post office at U.N. headquarters in New York City.
The overall theme of the stamp pane is “Reimagine the Future for Every Child.” Each stamp in the pane is denominated $1.30 and promotes a more specific focus of UNICEF.
These specific focuses are health, mental health, gender, climate, nutrition, disability, water sanitation hygiene, vaccination, humanitarian response and education.
Text supplementing the stamp sheet reads: “For 75 years, UNICEF has been an unstoppable force for change in children’s lives. From short-term relief to long-term development programmes, we have been working tirelessly to save children’s lives, protect their rights and secure their future.”
UNICEF began on Dec. 11, 1946, through the U.N. Relief Rehabilitation Administration to provide relief to mothers and children affected by World War II.
In the 75 years since its founding, UNICEF has continued its focus on child protection and survival, education and gender equality. The organization won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965, the Indira Gandhi prize in 1989 and the Princess of Asturias award in 2006.
Today UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories. According to its 2018 annual report, in that year the organization assisted in the birth of 27 million babies, provided education for 12 million children, and responded to 285 humanitarian emergencies.
UNICEF also reacted strongly to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its 2020 annual report outlined the organization’s efforts to provide risk communication and public information to 3 billion people, to support 301 million children with remote learning, and to provide the leadership to help finance COVID-19 vaccines for 92 low- and middle-income countries.
Thus, the pandemic greatly influenced UNICEF’s 75th year. “We begin this momentous year faced with a number of unprecedented challenges,” Henrietta H. Fore, UNICEF executive director, said in a February 2021 statement. “So UNICEF’s 75th year will not be a year of standing still. It will be a year in which we continue to adapt and change to the needs of children. They are not facing this pandemic alone. We are standing with them together. As a UNICEF family.”
This UNICEF family has been an important aspect of the United Nations from the beginning, and its postage stamps reflect this.
When UNPA issued its first stamps in 1951 for its New York office, one of them honored UNICEF (Scott 5). And UNPA has continued to commemorate the agency, including with fairy tales stamps in 1996 to mark its 50th anniversary (688-689, Geneva 294-295, Vienna 210-211).
Each of the 10 stamps in the new pane has a generic label included. These labels allow for personalization through the U.N. headquarters in New York City.
All 10 stamps have a dark blue background with a simple image promoting the theme. Text states the theme in a blue, purple, green, orange or yellow banner at the top of each design.
Jihye Kang, a brand designer for UNICEF, designed the stamps. Matias Delfino, UNICEF’s lead brand designer was the art director, and Mary Lynn Lalonde, UNICEF chief of brand, provided creative direction.
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