United Nations, 1945-1995
Date of Issue
October 24, 1995
Perforation or Dimension
Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited.
Designed by Les Holloway Designed by Richard Kerr
On October 24, 1995, Canada Post Corporation will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations (UN) with a stamp depicting Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King signing the UN Charter in San Francisco. The term "United Nations" came into prominence on January 1, 1942, when 26 states (including Canada) signed the Declaration of the United Nations, setting forth the war aims of the Allies and pledging to continue the fight. In 1944, the Dumbarton Oaks proposals led to the San Francisco Conference of 1945. The charter which emerged was signed on June 26, and entered into force October 24, 1995, when a majority of signatories had ratified it. A January 1945 Gallup Poll found that Canadians were overwhelmingly in favour of Canada's membership in the new organization. The seven-member official delegation was non-partisan in nature, and included Prime Minister Mackenzie King, Justice Minister Louis St. Laurent, and Lester B. Pearson, ambassador to the United States. King, St. Laurent and other party leaders (Coldwell of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation [CCF] and Graydon of the Progressive Conservatives) soon left San Francisco because of the approaching Canadian general election. Senior members of External Affairs - "Mike" Pearson, Norman Robertson and Hume Wrong - remained for the duration. Article I sets forth the principal concerns of the United Nations: "international peace and security;" "friendly relations among nations;" and "international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character." Lester Bowles Pearson, Canada's 14th Prime Minister, attended the 1945 UN Conference in San Francisco as our ambassador to the U.S. He entered federal politics in 1948 as Minister of External Affairs. In this capacity, he played a key role in Canada's involvement in the Korean War (1950-1953), and in 1952 was elected president of the UN General Assembly. In 1956, Pearson proposed a UN Peacekeeping force which provided a means for easing the British and French from Egypt. In recognition for the implementation of his plan, Pearson received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957. Canada and Peacekeeping are synonymous at the United Nations. Over the years we have provided troops to many UN ventures from super-vision for elections in South Korea in 1947-1948 to the more recent efforts in Bosnia, Cambodia, Rwanda, Haiti and Somalia. Our longest mission was the UN Force in Cyprus. Troops served from 1964 until 1993, and 10 Canadians still remain on duty there. Canadians also participated in the Korean War (1950-1953) and the Gulf War (1990-1991). As well as playing a significant role in Peacekeeping, Canada has made valuable contributions in various other endeavours. We are one of the largest contributors to the UN Development Fund. The World Food Program owes a large part of its success to Canadian participation. Canada helped found the World Health Organization (WHO), and Canadian Dr. Brock Chisholm became its first Director General (1948-1953). McGill law professor John Humphrey set up the Division of Human Rights in 1946, and remained head for nearly 20 years. He was largely responsible for writing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, guiding it to adoption by the General Assembly in 1948. Canada was involved in founding the UN International Children's Fund (UNICEF) in 1946, and also one of the first countries to establish a national committee to raise non-government funds for UNICEF. In 1986, the Nansen Medal was awarded for the first time - not to an individual or an organization - but to "The People of Canada/le peuple canadien" for "providing a new homeland and citizenship to hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing persecution".
Canada Post Corporation. Canada's Stamps Details, Vol. 4, No. 5, 1995, p. 20-22.
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