UNESCO-UNAM / Jaime Torres Bodet Prize in social sciences, humanities and arts

UNESCO-UNAM / Jaime Torres Bodet Prize in social sciences, humanities and arts

Established by the Executive Board of UNESCO at its 195th session on 27 October 2014, the Prize is awarded every two years to a person, a group of people or an international institution that has contributed to the development of knowledge and society through art, teaching, and research in social sciences and humanities. It strives to promote pioneering initiatives that contribute to the development, diffusion, and consolidation of the values of humanity. It also highlights the close links between UNESCO and the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Candidates are required to have made an outstanding contribution to the development of knowledge and society through art, teaching and research in the social sciences and humanities. The winners of the Prize receive a monetary award of 50,000 USD.

Who was Jaime Torres Bodet?

This Prize was inspired by the life of one of the founding members of UNESCO and Director-General of the Organization from 1948 to 1952.

Born in 1903, Jaime Torres Bodet graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He began his career as Head of the Libraries Department of the Ministry of Education. He held the position from 1922 to 1924 before his appointment as Professor of French Literature at the University of Mexico City. In 1929, he joined the diplomatic service, where he occupied various posts in Europe. He then served as Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs (1940-1943) and Minister of Education (1943-1946), in which capacity he launched a campaign on an unprecedented scale to combat illiteracy. In 1945, he headed the Mexican delegation to the United Nations Conference for the establishment of UNESCO in London before becoming Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1946.

Eminent poet, novelist, essay writer and diplomat, Jaime Torres Bodet, as Director-General of UNESCO as of 1948, reinforced the importance of the Organization in the world. He struggled for international social justice and against illiteracy by promoting the reconstruction of the educational system, facilitated women's access to education, and supported cultural developments as a condition for international peace.

He passed away in 1974.

Jaime Torres Bodet

Contact information

Pedro Manuel Monreal Gonzalez
Secretary of the UNESCO/UNAM Jaime Torres Bodet Prize
Social and Human Sciences Sector - UNESCO
7 place de Fontenoy
75352 Paris 07 SP FRANCE
Tel.: +33 1 45 68 14 21
E-mail: pm.monreal-gonzalez@unesco.org