• Text size Normal size text | Increase text size by 10% | Increase text size by 20% | Increase text size by 30%

Moldova issues stamp to mark 60th anniversary of refugee convention

News Stories, 25 November 2011

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

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.




UNHCR country pages

60 Years in Photos

For more than six decades UNHCR has been helping the world's uprooted peoples.

The agency's first task was to help an estimated 1 million, mainly European civilians, who remained displaced in the aftermath of World War Two.

But during the 1950s the refugee crisis spread to Africa, later to Asia and then back to Europe, becoming a global problem.

At the end of 2009, on the eve of its 60th birthday, more than 26 million forcibly displaced people were receiving protection or assistance frpm UNHCR. During its lifetime, the agency has assisted more than 50 million refugees to successfully restart their lives. More than half of the refugees the agency helps now live in urban areas.

In the past two decades, UNHCR has been helping increasing numbers of internally displaced people as part of an inter-agency approach. UNHCR has also been helping hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the crisis in Iraq, both inside and outside the country. UNHCR also has a mandate to help the world's stateless people, who number an estimated 12 million.

This is a pictorial history of those turbulent years, UNHCR's role and the struggle for survival of one of the world's most vulnerable groups of people.

60 Years in Photos