Statutes

1. Purpose

The purpose of the UNESCO Avicenna Prize for Ethics in Science (the “Prize”) is to reward the activities of individuals and groups in the field of ethics in science. The objective of the Prize is in conformity with UNESCO’s policies, and is related to the programme of the Organization in the field of ethics of science and technology.

2. Designation, amount and periodicity of the Prize

2.1    The Prize shall be entitled the “UNESCO Avicenna Prize for Ethics in Science”.

2.2    The Prize shall be funded by the Islamic Republic of Iran and shall consist of a recurrent payment of US $135,000 in each biennium. The Islamic Republic of Iran shall strive to contribute the amount of US $405,000 at the beginning of the six-year life cycle of the Prize to ensure its financial stability. The cash value of the Prize shall be a minimum of US $50,000, to be determined by the Director-General in consultation with the Islamic Republic of Iran on the basis of the contribution received, the interest on the sum deposited in the special account, in accordance with the Financial Regulations of UNESCO, and the charges to be borne by the account for the cost of administering the Prize. In addition to the monetary value of the Prize as thus determined, the prizewinner shall receive a gold medal of Avicenna along with a certificate. Costs relating to the academic visit specified in Article 7.4 shall not be covered by the special account.

2.3    All funds received and the interest accrued thereon shall be kept in a special interest-bearing account for the Prize (see financial rules).

2.4    The full staff support and operating/management costs of the Prize, including all costs related to the jury meeting, lecture by the laureate, award ceremony and public information activities, as well as an external evaluation of the Prize once in every six-year period, shall be fully covered by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The direct support and operating/management costs are estimated at US $69,469 (excluding US $9,031 of indirect cost). In addition, the Director-General will determine a mandatory overhead cost amount to be applied and charged against the funds in the special account, which is to be established under the financial regulations for the Prize.

2.5    The Prize shall be awarded every two years, in the second year of each biennium, on an initial basis for three biennia.

3. Conditions/qualifications of candidates

Candidates shall have contributed to high-quality research in the field of ethics of science and technology. The Prize may be conferred upon individuals, institutions, other entities or nongovernmental organizations.

4. Designation/selection of the prizewinner

The prizewinner shall be selected by the Director-General of UNESCO, on the basis of the assessments and recommendations made to him/her by a jury.

5. Jury

5.1    The jury shall consist of three independent members, being personalities of a recognized reputation in the field covered while also taking into consideration the need for equitable geographical distribution, gender equality and the principle of non-payment of honoraria. They shall be appointed by the Director-General from among the members of the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) for a period of two years, for a maximum term of three consecutive two-year periods. Representatives and alternatives of Members of the Executive Board cannot be appointed as jurors. Jurors involved in a real or potential conflict of interest shall recuse themselves from further deliberations or be asked by the Director-General to do so. The Director-General may replace members of the jury for this reason.

5.2    The jury shall elect its own chair. Members shall receive no remuneration for their work, but will receive allowances for travel and accommodation, where required. A quorum of two present will be required for jury deliberations to proceed. The working languages for deliberations by the jury shall be English and French.

5.3    The jury shall conduct its business and deliberations in conformity with these Statutes and shall be assisted by a member of the UNESCO Secretariat designated by the Director-General. Decisions shall be taken by consensus to the extent possible, and otherwise by secret ballot until a simple majority is obtained. A member shall not take part in a vote concerning a nomination from his or her country.

5.4    The jury shall meet once every two years.

5.5    The jury shall send an assessment on nominations and accompanying recommendations to the Director-General of UNESCO no later than 1 September of the second year of each biennium.

6. Nomination of candidates

6.1    When the Secretariat has received the funding of the Prize, as specified by Article 2 above, the Director-General of UNESCO shall invite the submission of nominations to the Secretariat of the Prize, by 1 November of the first year of each biennium, from the governments of Member States, in consultation with their National Commissions, from non-governmental organizations maintaining official partnerships with the Organization and active in relevant fields covered by a prize, as well as from international, regional and national professional, academic and non-governmental organizations active in the field of ethics of science and technology, including members of relevant UNESCO’s expert bodies and partners.

6.2    Nominations shall be submitted to the Director-General by the governments of Member States, in consultation with their National Commissions, and by non-governmental organizations maintaining official partnerships with UNESCO, and by international, regional and national professional, academic and non-governmental organizations active in the field of ethics of science and technology, including members of relevant UNESCO’s expert bodies and partners. A self-nomination cannot be considered.

6.3    Each nomination shall be accompanied by a written recommendation, which shall include, in English or French, inter alia:
(i)    a description of the candidate’s background and achievements;
(ii)    a summary of the work submitted to the Jury for consideration, including a clear description of the candidate’s contributions of major importance in the field of ethics of science and technology, as well as publications and other supporting documents;
(iii)    a review of the way in which the work submitted has contributed to the development of research in the field of ethics of science and technology and a definition of the candidate’s contribution to the Prize’s specific objectives;
(iv)    a high-resolution photo portrait of the candidate.

7. Procedure for the awarding of the Prize

7.1    The Prize shall be awarded by the Director-General at an official ceremony held for that purpose in a location and on an occasion determined by him/her with due regard to their significance with respect to the ethics of science and technology. UNESCO shall present to the prizewinner a check for the amount of the Prize along with a certificate and a medal. UNESCO shall officially announce the name of the prizewinner.

7.2    If a work being rewarded has been produced by two or three persons, the Prize shall be awarded to them jointly. In no case may a prize amount be divided among more than three persons.

7.3    The prizewinner, if possible, shall give a lecture on a subject relevant to the work for which the Prize has been awarded. Such a lecture shall be organized during or in connection with the Prize ceremony.

7.4    Following the Prize ceremony, at a date to be determined by the Islamic Republic of Iran, the prizewinner shall be invited to participate in a week long academic visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the delivery of speeches in the relevant academic gatherings. Costs relating to the academic visit shall be borne directly and exclusively by the Islamic Republic of Iran and are not included in the recurrent payment specified in Article 2.2.

7.5    The work produced by a person since deceased shall not be considered for a Prize. If, however, a prizewinner dies before receiving the Prize, then the Prize may be presented posthumously.

7.6    Should a prizewinner decline the prize, the jury shall submit a new proposal to the Director-General.

8. Sunset clause – mandatory renewal of the Prize

8.1    After a period of six years, the Director-General of UNESCO together with the Islamic Republic of Iran will undertake an external evaluation of all aspects of the Prize and decide about its continuation or termination. The Director-General will inform the Executive Board of UNESCO about the results of this review through the submission of a document summarizing all pertinent developments in this regard in order to enable the Executive Board to adopt a decision on whether to renew or terminate the Prize.
8.2    In case of termination of the Prize, the use of any unspent balance of funds shall be determined in consultation with the donor(s), in accordance with the financial regulations of the special account for the Prize.

9. Appeals

No appeals shall be allowed against the decision of UNESCO with regard to the award of the Prize. Proposals received for the award of the Prize may not be divulged.

10. Amendments to the Statutes of the Prize

Any amendment to the present Statutes shall be submitted to the Executive Board for approval.

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Financial Regulations of the Special Account

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