2018, Diwali

TYPE:
Commemorative
DATE OF ISSUE:
19 october 2018
ISSUED BY:
un postal administration
NUMBER OF STAMPS PRINTED:
120,000
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In 2018, the UN Postal Administration issued a special event sheet to commemorate the festival, Diwali. The sheet in the denomination of US$ 1.15 contains ten stamps and tabs featuring festive lights and the symbolic "diya" clay lamps, as well as the United Nations Headquarters in New York illuminated with a "Happy Diwali" message.

Diwali was recognised by the UN for the first time at the 69th General Assembly in 2014, with a resolution calling for UN bodies to "avoid holding meetings on Diwali."

Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, Permanent
Representative of India to the UN 2016 - 2020,
reminisces on the recognition of Diwali at the UN,
and the issue of the Diwali stamp.

Two years later, Diwali was commemorated for the first time at the United Nations, with the facade of its headquarters lit on the occasion, and the words 'Happy Diwali', together with the image of a traditional 'diya', projected onto the building. A month later, the United States Postal Service's Diwali stamp was recognised at the UN headquarter, where campaigner and chair of Diwali Stamp Project, Ranju Batra presented USPS's first-ever Diwali stamp. In 2018, the UN Postal Administration issued the iconic Diwali stamp.

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Ranju Batra, chair of Diwali Foundation USA, presenting the UNPA Diwali stamps
at a special Diwali event at UN HQ, 2018. Photo: UN Photo

As Ambassador Akbaruddin, Permanent Representative of India to the UN at the time put it,
Diwali is not only a part of the Indian tradition but reflects universal values fundamental to
the UN Charter. It embodies the victory of righteousness over evil, light conquering darkness - the
highest aspirations of civilization.