Friday, June 1, 2012


To view high resolution images, click on the images above.

On 1 June 2012, the United Nations Postal Administration issued three commemorative stamps on the theme "RIO+20".

The UN General Assembly adopted a Resolution agreeing to hold the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012. Also referred to as "Rio+20" or Earth Summit 20, the conference will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 20-22 June 2012 to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro, and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg.

Special First Day Cancellations

On 1 June 2012, special first day hand-cancellations for the “Rio+20” stamps were made available at United Nations Headquarters in New York; the Palais des Nations, Geneva; and the Vienna International Centre. The same can be viewed in the scanned FDCs' above.

Stamp Specifications

The stamps, in denominations of $1.05, F.s. 1,40 and € 0,70, were issued in three separate sheets, one for each of the three United Nations Post Offices—New York, Vienna and Geneva. The stamps measure 34mm horizontally by 45mm vertically, perforation to perforation. Perforation:13 


The stamps were printed in offset by Lowe-Martin Group (Canada). 

Lowe-Martin has won the Gold Award for the Most Environmentally Progressive Printer in Canada. They have also won the Partners in Project Green Award for Leadership in Sustainability manufacturing for 2011. In addition, a portion of Lowe-Martin’s operations offer carbon-neutral printing. Lowe-Martin has been recognized as an industry leader for encouraging investment in greener processes, for sharing ideas and best practices, and for promoting environmental sustainability.

The Artists

Gail Armstrong (U.K) is an experienced and professional illustrator specializing in the craft of paper sculpture. Ms. Armstrong’s paper engineering skills are used to create 3D paper cut images for a wide variety of projects and clients worldwide. She now works with a wide range of international clients and in recent years her work has gained worldwide recognition in the form of several prestigious industry awards. This is Ms. Armstrong’s first stamp design for the United Nations.

Shailesh Khandeparkar (India) is a Freelance Illustrator and Designer, based in Mumbai, India. He is a graduate of the Goa College of Art. Mr. Khandeparkar prefers to work on styles that fall into what he calls an ”Indian-Urban genre”, which is a mix of classical Indian styles of design with modern techniques. His work has been featured in numerous international design magazines and publications and he has won many prestigious awards. This is Mr. Khandeparkar’s first stamp design for the United Nations.

Fei is an illustrator based in China. He is originally from Yunnan, where early on in life he discovered his love for drawing and creating his wonderful dream worlds. He graduated from the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute with honours. After moving to Shenzhen, he quickly pursued a career in illustration. Fei loves to work with clients to create different kinds of illustrations with unique styles and themes. This is Fei’s first stamp design for the United Nations.

About the Issue

The objectives of the Conference are to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development; to assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development; and to address new and emerging challenges. 

The Conference will focus on two specific themes: “A green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication” and “an institutional framework for sustainable development”. Sustainable development emphasizes a holistic, equitable and far-sighted approach to decision-making at all levels. The concept of green economy focuses primarily on the intersection between environment and economy. 

Focusing on green economy also ensures that the discussion moves forward from just a low carbon economy. In fact, green economy is characterized by low inputs, low emission, low wastes, higher efficiency in resource uses and better product designs, as well as creating jobs that can lift people out of poverty. 

The first UN Conference on Environment and Development, the Earth Summit was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. For the first time, during this unprecedented UN meeting, governments and leaders from across the globe re-thought economic development and fully recognized the integral and interdepen-dent nature of our home, the Earth. The Summit’s shared message was to ensure a healthy planet by drastically changing our attitudes and behaviours. During this Conference, Agenda 21, a programme of action for sustainable development, was adopted —a blueprint to rethink economic growth, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection. 

Twenty years after the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, the UN is again bringing together governments, international institutions and major groups to agree on a range of smart measures that can reduce poverty while promoting decent jobs, clean energy and a more sustainable and fair use of resources. 
Rio+20 is a historic opportunity to revise the enthusiasm and spirit to define pathways to a safer, more equitable, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for our future.