January 19, 2015

1316, 1413 UNITED NATIONS - Ban Ki-moon

Posted on 25.10.2014, and 19.01.2015
The Secretary-General of the United Nations (UNSG) is the head of the UN Secretariat, and acts as the de facto spokesperson and leader of the organization. He is appointed by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council, and serves for five-year terms that can be renewed indefinitely, although none so far has held office for more than two terms. The selection is subject to the veto of any of the five permanent Members of the Security Council (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States). The current UNSG (the eighth) is Ban Ki-moon, elected in 2006, and re-elected in 2010. He was named the world's 32nd most powerful person by Forbes Magazine's List of The World's Most Powerful People in 2013, the highest among Koreans.

Born on 13 June 1944, Ban Ki-moon was a career diplomat in South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the UN. He entered diplomatic service the year he graduated from university, accepting his first post in New Delhi, India. In the foreign ministry, he established a reputation for modesty and competence. When Ban became Secretary-General, The Economist listed the major challenges facing him in 2007: "rising nuclear demons in Iran and North Korea, a haemorrhaging wound in Darfur, unending violence in the Middle East, looming environmental disaster, escalating international terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the spread of HIV/AIDS. And then the more parochial concerns, such as the largely unfinished business of the most sweeping attempt at reform in the UN's history"

Ban's term opened with a flap. At his first encounter with the press, he refused to condemn the death penalty imposed on Saddam Hussein by the Iraqi High Tribunal, remarking, "The issue of capital punishment is for each and every member State to decide". He has taken particularly strong views on global warming, and on the Darfur conflict, where he helped persuade Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir to allow peacekeeping troops to enter Sudan. Among many other things, he focused on what he termed "intolerance" in the Arab world, increased the role of women in the UN, and urged the Council to place greater emphasis on combating homophobia and promoting LGBT rights.

He split the peacekeeping operation into one group handling operations and another handling arms. Throughout the conflict in Libya, he lobbied for peaceful solutions to the crisis. Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he criticized both sides, but in 2013 admitted that the UN was biased against Israel. On the other hand, he didn't take any action to stop the violence in Iran after the crackdown on peaceful post-election protests, but subsequent criticized the Iranian leadership due to their statements regarding Israel's destruction and denying the Holocaust. Ban also rejected the request of Taiwan to admission into the UN.

About the stamps
On the postcard 1316
The first stamp is part of the series World Heritage - Taj Mahal,about which I wrote here. The second is part of the series Cultivating Hope / Cultiver L'Espoir / Hoffnung Pflanzen,about which I wrote here.

On the postcard 1413

The first stamp (0.08 USD) is based on a photograph taken by Lois Conner of the cherry blossom trees in flower in the gardens at the UN Headquarters in New York, adapted as stamp by Robert Stein. The Secretariat building can be seen in the background. These trees were included in a donation of 170 flowering cherry trees made by Albert D. Lasker.

The second stamp is part of a series of definitive stamps issued on 2011. Designs are hand-drawn illustrations representing street and aerial views of the UN buildings in New York, Geneva and Vienna, made by Scott Solberg:
• aerial view of the UN buildings in New York (0.11 USD) - it's on the postcard 1413
• street view of the UN buildings in New York (5.00 USD)
• aerial view of the UN buildings in Geneva (0.10 CHF) 
• street view of the UN buildings in Geneva (0.50 CHF)
• aerial view of the UN buildings in Vienna (1.25 EUR)
• street view of the UN buildings in Vienna (2.85 EUR)

The third stamp is part of a series of definitive stamps issued on 2010. The images selected are from the book Art Forms from Nature by German biologist / artist Ernst Heinrich Haeckel (1834-1919), adapted as stamps by Deborah Halperin:
• a species of arachnid (1.60 CHF)
• a species of starfish (1.90 CHF)
• a species of Hydrodictyaceae (colonial algae) (0,05 EUR)
• a species of boxfish (Ostraciidae) (0,20 EUR)
• a species of humming-bird (Trochilidae) (0.15 USD) - it's on the postcard 1413
• a species of liverwort (related to mosses) (1.50 USD)

The fourth stamp is a a definitive one issued in 1995, and designed by John B. De Santis, Jr. The stamp design is a combination of illustration and computer graphics were used to portray the United Nations General Assembly building and the Secretariat building with the multicoloured flags of the Member States in the foreground. The semicircle represents the universality of the Organization, and the stamp is bordered by the laurel leaves of the UN emblem.

The fifth stamp is part of a definitive series of Roses, designed by Jaime Arredondo and issued in 2009:
• Cielo Rosado (0.01 USD) - It's on the postcard 1864
• Rosa de Sangre (0.09 USD) - It's on the postcard 1864
• Espiritu de Mujer (0.10 USD) - It's on the postcard 1413

The sixth stamp is part of a series of six definitive stamps issued in 2014, about which I wrote here.

The seventh stamp is a definitive one issued in 1998, and designed by Gregory Halili (Philippines),. On the stamp are seen elongated figures in silhouette performing a circle dance around a brilliantly glowing United Nations emblem.

The eighth stamp is a definitive one issued in 1991. The image of the United Nations flag was adapted as stamp by Rocco J. Callari from a photograph taken by Unmesh.

Ban Ki-moon - Wikipedia

Sender: Denise 
Sent from United Nations (New York / United States), on 30.08.2014
Photo: William Johnson / 1995

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