The 40th anniversary


Since its fortieth anniversary, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) had decided to use the ending date of the Chicago Conference, i.e. 7 December 1944, to calculate its anniversaries. In the following correspondence sent to all ICAO Contracting States (State Letter O 1/6.4 – 82/108, dated 4 August 1982), the ICAO Secretary General, Yves Lambert, suggested to the Civil Aviation Authorities to consider the issuance of postage stamps to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the signing in Chicago of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (i.e. 7 December 1984). The attachment to the State Letter proposed three postage stamp designs.



Within the framework of the above project for stamps to commemorate the 40th anniversary of ICAO, two designs refer to artwork exhibited in the ICAO premises, i.e. the Man in Flight mural by Hans Erni and the Solar Princess tapestry by Saliou Diouf. As it is the case for other buildings of the United Nations, the ICAO building houses a remarkable collection of art and artefacts, donated or loaned by its Contracting States, international organizations, companies or individuals, which include ceramics, furnishings, mosaics, murals, paintings, sculptures, tapestries, etc. While the gifts of art works at the United Nations are in harmony with the environment of peacekeeping, most of the gifts to ICAO exemplify its goals for civil aviation. The decor of the ICAO building, currently located at 999 University Street in Montreal, was an early concern to promote the best placement of the art works available when the Organization moved from its prior headquarters located at 1000 Sherbrooke West.


Forty-seven countries issued stamps and first day covers to commemorate the 40th anniversary, with dates ranging from 1984 to 1987. Among these, only two countries used all three designs for their stamps, i.e. Anguilla and Cameroon. In addition to that, some countries prepared commemorative covers or postal stationery. The following pictures show only a limited portion of the philatelic items released for the 40th anniversary.





Guyana  - 6 September 1984

Original stamps were overprinted and/or surcharged three times.


Tanzania – 15 November 1984

First Day Cover with the four stamps of the issue



China – 7 December 1984

Postal stationery



Yemen – 20 September 1985

This souvenir sheet shows a poor design of the ICAO emblem.



Guatemala – 2 April 1987

This country still calculated ICAO’s 40th anniversary on the basis of the constitution of the new permanent International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO, on 4 April 1947.