New Issue: Universal Declaration of Human Rights celebrated by UNPA

Earlier this week, the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) issued a special event three-stamp mini-sheet including the full text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its preamble in English, German and French in commemoration of UNExpo17.

The stamp sheet, which was issued on Oct. 27, features an iconic photograph of Eleanor Roosevelt holding one of the original versions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In denominations of $1.15 USD, 2 Swiss francs and €1.70, each of the stamps contain (in English, French and German, respectively) the entire text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its pre-amble—5,400 words altogether. The stamps were printed in offset with a micro-printing technique and silver-foil by Joh. Enschedé Stamps Security Printers, of the Netherlands. The sheet was designed by Rorie Katz.

The image in the selvage reproduces a photo taken on Nov. 1, 1949, during U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt’s visit to the United Nations headquarters, which at the time was in the former Sperry Gyroscope factory in Lake Success, N.Y.


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a “milestone document in the history of human rights,” according to the United Nations website. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on Dec. 10, 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It set out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into more than 500 languages.


The stamps were released at UNExpo17 in Bellefonte, Pa. on Oct. 27-28. The show was a joint effort between the United Nations Philatelists, Inc. (UNPI) and the American Philatelic Society (APS) to present a special World Series of Philately exhibition devoted to United Nations philately.

The UNPI is devoted to the collection, study and exhibition of the stamp issues and postal history of the United Nations, its specialized agencies, programs and world-wide topical issues calling attention to the United Nations, related organizations and peace efforts. The UNPI issues a full colour bi-monthly journal, The Journal of United Nations Philatelists, which is typically 24 pages long and keeps members informed on United Nations philately, club activities and meetings. The journal carries feature articles, on-going research and columns on postal history, postage meters, military mail, stamp issues, reprints, first-day covers and an auction.

Many of the organization’s benefits are also online, which includes a full library of journals, an online catalogue resource and ongoing studies for a number of U.N.-related subjects. Several award winning exhibits are also available for review.

“Almost any subject you can think of is depicted on stamp issues of the U.N. and its specialized agencies,” reads a statement issued by the UNPI. “If you’re a postal historian, forerunner international peace efforts began in the 1800s. Many of the areas we collect follow.”

For more information about UNExpo17, visit


The UNPA will issue the final stamp of its 2017 program on Nov. 9 with the release of another special event three-stamp mini-sheet, this in celebration of the 71st Autumn Philatelic Fair in Paris.

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