Burundi : 25th Anniversary of United Nations Postal Administration


Issue date: 10/10/1977



UN buildings by night and UN carmine stamp of 1955 (10th anniversary of ICAO; stamp-on-stamp).                             


Se-tenant block of four stamps.


Se-tenant block of four stamps - Cancelled to order (CTO).


Se-tenant block of four stamps – Imperforate.

Se-tenant blocks of 4 in miniature sheets of 6 blocks - Progressive Proofs (total of 8 sheets). With hand-stamped control numbers.









Other Progressive Proofs (total of 5 sheets).






First Day Cover.


Background: The stamps of this issue were printed in se-tenant blocks of four in a stamp‑on‑stamp format, each design in a block having the same background. Each block features a different photograph of the interior/exterior of UN building. Superimposed on the stamps are different stamps used by the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) in its 25‑year history. The issue holds 24 stamps and 2 souvenir sheets.

Burundi issued this set of stamps one year after the actual year commemorating the 25th anniversary of the UNPA, as the UN postal service was inaugurated on 24 October 1951. Burundi became a Contracting State of ICAO on 18 February 1968, bringing ICAO’s total membership to 166.

The idea of the United Nations (UN) for issuing its own stamps was first proposed in 1947 by the Delegation of Argentina to the UN. Further to that, Resolution 454(V) was adopted unanimously on 16 November 1950 by the General Assembly of the United Nations, which requested the Secretary General to proceed with the necessary arrangements for the establishment of the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) as at 1 January 1951.

The postal agreement between the UN and the Post Office Department of the United States, where the UN Headquarters were located, was signed on 28 March 1951, so that the UN could start issuing postage stamps for its own use; it stipulated that the stamps be denominated in United States currency and used only at UN Headquarters. The UN postal service was inaugurated on 24 October 1951, i.e. on United Nations Day; the first UN stamps went on sale on that day. It is recalled that the UN officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, upon ratification of the Charter by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States, and by a majority of signatories.

Similar postal agreements were reached with the Swiss and Austrian postal authorities. On 11 December 1968, an agreement between the United Nations and the Swiss Postal Telephone and Telegraph Enterprise enabled the Geneva office of the UNPA to issue the first UN stamps in Swiss francs on 4 October 1969. An agreement with the Austrian government on 28 June 1979 enabled the Vienna Office of UNPA to issue the first UN stamps in Austrian schillings on 24 August 1979.

With the founding of the UNPA, a truly unique institution was born because the UN was, and still is, the only organization in the world, which, although neither a country nor a territory, is permitted to issue postage stamps and have a worldwide coverage. Note that the Ordre de Malte started to issue stamps on 15 November 1966; its mail can be addressed only to a limited number of countries. The UNPA also became the only postal authority that issues stamps in three different currencies, namely United States dollars, Swiss francs, and Austrian schillings (now Euros). Since its inception, the UNPA has always operated with a dual mandate: first, to disseminate information on the activities and achievements of the UN and its specialized agencies through the medium of postage stamps, and second, to generate revenue for the UN.