Moldova issues stamp to mark 60th anniversary of refugee convention

The stamp depicts a pyramid of human figures covered by the UNHCR protecting hands. Fifty thousand stamps have been printed as well as 500 first-day covers.

The new stamp issued by Posta Moldovei.  © UNHCR/V.Rosca

CHISINAU, Republic of Moldova, November 25 (UNHCR) - The Moldovan Post Office issued a special postage stamp on Friday to mark the 60th anniversary of UNHCR's founding and the adoption of the UN Refugee Convention.

The colourful stamp, which has a value of 1.20 Moldovan Leu, depicts a pyramid of human figures covered by the UNHCR protecting hands that form part of the agency's official logo. Fifty thousands stamps have been printed as well as 500 special first-day covers.

It was designed by respected Moldovan graphic artist Vitalie Rosca and is believed to be the only stamp issued by a national post office to celebrate the important landmark for UNHCR, which was founded in December 1950 and has since helped millions of people around the world. It also commemorates the 1951 Refugee Convention, the vital legislation underpinning UNHCR's work.

"We are very pleased to commemorate UNHCR's 60th anniversary with the support of Posta Moldovei and the Ministry of Information Technology and we are very happy that, thanks to this stamp, more Moldovans and people worldwide will become aware of the plight of refugees," Peter Kessler, UNHCR's representative to Moldova, said. The new stamp has attracted interest from collectors and dealers around the world.

The UN refugee agency has a small operation in Moldova, where it works with the government to address the needs of more than 2,200 people of concern. Most of them are stateless, but there are also several hundred asylum-seekers from former Soviet republics as well as Africa and Asia.

With UNHCR's advice and support, Moldova this year prepared legislation on statelessness determination and the integration of foreigners. The UN refugee agency is currently renovating two buildings near Chisinau to provide apartments for refugees under a European-supported local integration project. UNHCR is also providing training to border guards and police to ensure proper application of the 1951 Convention.