Award Ceremony of the 2013 UNESCO International José Martí Prize
On behalf of the Director-General, the Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, Pilar Alvarez Laso, will award the 2013 UNESCO International José Martí Prize to the Dominican monk “Frei Betto” during an official ceremony that will take place at La Habana, Cuba, in the framework of the Third International Conference on World Balance, organized by the Cuban Government, from 28 to 30 January 2013, at the Palacio de las Convenciones. This conference will also commemorate the 160th anniversary of birth of José Martí.
The designation of the Dominican monk Frei Betto as laureate of the 2013 UNESCO International José Martí Prize, by the UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, was recommended by an international jury, to pay tribute to his work as an educator, writer, and theologian; his opposition to all forms of discrimination, injustice and exclusion; and his promotion of a culture of peace and human rights.
The author of more than 50 books, Frei Betto was born Carlos Alberto Libânio Christo in Belo Horizonte (Brazil) in 1944. He joined the Dominican Order at the age of 20 while studying journalism. During the time of military dictatorship in Brazil, Frei Betto was imprisoned twice, once briefly in 1964 and again from 1969 to 1973.
The purpose of the UNESCO International José Martí Prize is to promote and reward an activity of outstanding merit in accordance with the ideals and spirit of José Martí. It was instituted in November 1994 by UNESCO Executive Board at the initiative of the Government of Cuba. In creating the Prize, the Members of the Executive Board recognized the universality and supreme value of the ideals of José Martí.
The Prize consists of a monetary award and a diploma. In 2013, it is awarded for the 6th time.