Statutes of the UNESCO-UNAM Jaime Torres Bodet Prize in Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts

Article 1 – Purpose

The purpose of the UNESCO-UNAM Jaime Torres Bodet Prize in Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts is to reward the efforts of a person, group of people or international institution that has contributed to the development of knowledge and society through art, teaching and research in social sciences and humanities. It is meant to encourage pioneering initiatives that may contribute to the development, diffusion and consolidation of the values of humanity. 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 Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts.


Article 2 – Designation, amount and periodicity of the prize

2.1 The Prize shall be entitled UNESCO-UNAM Jaime Torres Bodet Prize in Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts.

2.2 The Prize shall be funded by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and shall consist of a single donation of US $381,000, which will concomitantly cover the monetary value of the Prize and the administrative costs for three biennia. The value of the Prize shall be determined by the Director-General (in consultation with the donor) on the basis of the contribution received from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), 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, which is estimated at US $50,000.

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 in Annex II).

2.4 The full staff support and operating/management costs of the Prize, including all costs related to the award ceremony and public information activities, estimated at US $71,000, shall be fully covered by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). To this end, 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 for three biennia, and the prize amount may be equally divided between up to three winners, each of which is considered to merit a prize.

Article 3 – Conditions/Qualifications of candidates

Candidates shall have made a significant contribution in one of the following three categories: Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts. Prizes may be conferred upon individuals, institutions, other entities or non-governmental organizations.

Article 4 – Designation/Selection of the prize-winner/s

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

Article 5 – Jury

5.1 The Jury shall consist of three independent members, being personalities with 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 for two year periods for a maximum period of six years. Representatives and alternates 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 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 jurors present will be required for jury deliberations to proceed. The working languages for deliberations by a 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 in the performance of its task by a member of the UNESCO Secretariat designated by the Director-General. Decisions shall be taken by consensus to the extent possible. A member shall not take part in a vote concerning a nomination from his or her country.

5.4 The Jury shall deliberate every two years by electronic means, including telephone or videoconference or e-mail.

5.5 The Jury shall send an assessment on nominations and accompanying recommendations to the Director-General of UNESCO no later than 30 of June in each year in which the Prize is to be awarded.

Article 6 – Nomination of candidates

6.1 When UNESCO has received the funding of the prize, as indicated in Article 2 above, the Director-General of UNESCO shall officially invite the submission of nominations to the Secretariat of the Prize, by January, every two years, from the governments of Member States, in consultation with their National Commissions, as well as from non-governmental organizations maintaining official partnerships with the Organization and active in relevant fields covered by the prize.

6.2 Nominations may 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. 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:

  • a description of the candidate’s background and achievements;
  • a summary of the work or the results of the work, publications and other supporting documents of major importance, submitted for consideration;
  • a definition of the candidate’s contribution to the Prize’s objectives.

Article 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 on World Philosophy Day (the third Thursday of November). UNESCO shall present to the prize-winner/s a cheque for the amount of the prize. UNESCO shall officially announce the name/s of the prize winner/s.

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 between more than three persons.

7.3 The prize-winner/s, 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 the Prize ceremony.

7.4 The work produced by a person since deceased shall not be considered for a prize. If, however, a prize-winner dies before he has received the prize, then the prize may be presented posthumously.

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

Article 8 – Sunset clause – mandatory renewal of the Prize

8.1 Six months prior to the agreed end of the term of the Prize, the Director-General of UNESCO together with the donor will undertake a review 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.

8.2 In case of termination of a Prize, the use of any unspent balance of funds shall be determined by the Director-General, in accordance with the financial regulations for the Prize.

Article 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 a prize may not be divulged.

Article 10 – Amendments to the Statutes of the Prize

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

Back to top