Rules for the International José Martí Prize

Article 1 – Purpose

The purpose of the International José Martí Prize is to promote and reward an activity of outstanding merit that contributes to the unity and the integration of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean in any region of the world and to the preservation of their identities, cultural traditions and historical values. This is in accordance with the ideals and spirit of José Martí and embodies a nation’s aspiration to sovereignty and liberty.

This international Prize bears the name of José Martí (1853-1895), a great apostle and a man of action, recognized as the intellectual author of the liberation of Cuba. A political thinker and eminent writer, he was also the chief precursor of the literary movement called "modernismo". The prize is based on the same principles as the International Simón Bolívar Prize.

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 promoting principles and ethical norms to guide scientific development and social transformation (Overarching Objective 3)


Article 2 – Designation, amount and periodicity of the Prize

2.1 The Prize shall be entitled “the International José Martí Prize”

2.2 The Prize (and all expenses related thereto) shall be funded by the Government of Cuba (the Donor), and shall consist of a sum of a recurrent payment of a minimum of US $15,000. 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 Donor, 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, and shall not be less than US $5,000. The Prize will comprise a diploma.

2.3 The financial contribution for the Prize will be made by the Donor every two years during the first trimester of the year of the award of the Prize. All funds received and the interest accrued thereon shall be kept in the Special Interest-Bearing Account for the Prize in conformity with its Financial Regulations.

2.4 The full staff support and operating/management costs of the Prize - estimated at about US $10,000 - shall be fully covered by the contribution from the Donor, received to the Special

Account for the Prize. 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 second year, in the years of UNESCO’s General Conference sessions. It was awarded for the first time in 1995, this year marking the centenary of the death of José Martí. A prize amount may be equally divided among a maximum of two laureates.


Article 3 – Conditions/Qualifications of candidates

Candidates shall have made a significant contribution, in any region of the world, to the unity and the integration of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and to the preservation of their identities, cultural traditions and historical values. The Prize may be conferred upon individuals, institutions, other entities or non-governmental organizations.


Article 4 – Designation/Selection of the prizewinner/s

The prize-winner/s (up to two laureates) 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 a number of five independent members, of different nationalities and gender, appointed by the Director-General for a period of six years, eligible for re-election. Members of the Jury should have internationally recognized reputation in relevant fields covered by the Prize. 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 reason.

5.2 The Jury shall elect its own Chair and Deputy Chair. Members shall receive no remuneration for their work, but will receive allowances for travel and accommodation, where required. A quorum of three jurors present will be required for jury deliberations to proceed. The working languages for deliberations by the jury shall be English, Spanish 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, 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 deliberate by correspondence once every two years after the closing date for the submission of nominations, to make its recommendations to the Director-General for the selection of that year’s prizewinner.

5.5 The Jury shall send an assessment on nominations and accompanying recommendations to the Director-General of UNESCO no later than the end of September of the year in which the Prize is 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 15 July of the year of the award of the Prize, from the governments of Member States, in consultation with their National Commissions, as well as from non-governmental organizations maintaining formal consultative relations with the Organization and active in relevant fields covered by the Prize.

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 formal relations with UNESCO. A self-nomination cannot be considered.

6.3 Each nomination shall be accompanied by a written recommendation of not more than five standard pages in length, which shall include, in English, French or Spanish, inter alia (all other materials may be attached as an annex; they will not be returned to nominators):

(a) a description of the candidate’s background and achievements;

(b) a summary of the work or the results of the work, publications and other supporting documents of major importance, submitted for consideration;

(c) 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 in Cuba or another Latin-American country on the occasion of an intellectual seminar or conference whose contents and values are in accordance with the ideals of José Martí. UNESCO shall present to the prizewinner/s a check for the amount of the Prize as well as a diploma. UNESCO shall officially announce the name/s of the prizewinner/s.

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

7.3 The prizewinner/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 or in connection with the Prize ceremony.

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

7.5 Should a prizewinner 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 After a period of six years, 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 the 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 the 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.

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