Welcome to the United Nations. It's your world.

Nelson Mandela International Day, July 18
For freedom, justice and democracy


Article 1 - Aim

1. The aim of the United Nations Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize, established by the General Assembly in its resolution 68/275 of 6 June 2014, is to recognize the achievements of those who dedicate their lives to the service of humanity, by promoting the purposes and principles of the United Nations while honouring and paying homage to Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s extraordinary life and legacy of reconciliation, political transition and social transformation.

Article 2 - Prize

1. The Prize shall be presented once every five years as a tribute to the outstanding achievements and contributions of two individuals (one female and one male), not to be selected from the same geographic region, and shall take into account the geographic region of the previous awardees so as to ensure equitable balance. The Prize shall be awarded in recognition of their dedicated service to humanity, in the promotion of reconciliation and social cohesion, and in community development, guided by the purposes and principles of the United Nations. No current staff member of any organization of the United Nations system shall be eligible for the Prize.

2. The Prize, to be awarded to each winner, in recognition of the humility of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela shall be a plaque engraved with an appropriate citation and a relevant quotation. The quotation shall be determined by the Committee for the United Nations Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize (see art. 4), in consultation with the Secretary-General.

3. The individuals who are to receive the Prize shall be announced in May of the year in which the Prize is to be awarded. The Prize shall be presented by the Secretary-General at an award ceremony that shall be part of the commemoration by the General Assembly of Nelson Mandela International Day (18 July) at United Nations Headquarters.

4. The first Prize is expected to be awarded in 2015. The Committee is requested, on an exceptional, one-time basis, to take appropriate streamlined measures, for the first bestowing of the Prize.

Article 3 - Nomination of candidates

1. Written nominations for the Prize may be received from the following: (a) Governments of Member States and observer States of the United Nations; (b) Entities and intergovernmental organizations having received a standing invitation to participate as observers in the sessions and work of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council; (c) Institutions of higher education, in particular universities and other educational establishments, which provide a programme of education beyond secondary education, grant post-secondary degrees and are approved and/or accredited as institutions of higher education by the competent authorities of Member States, as well as independent research centres and institutes that are engaged in dedicated service to humanity, the promotion of reconciliation and social cohesion, and community development; (d) Non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council; (e) Laureates of the Prize, unless they are currently serving on the Committee.

2. The secretariat of the Committee shall publicize the prize on existing websites of the United Nations and through existing communication and outreach channels. Nominations shall reach the secretariat not later than 31 December of the year prior to the year for which the nominations are to be considered. The secretariat shall transmit nominations received, in accordance with the present statute, to the members of the Committee.

3. The Committee shall, if possible, be convened during the month of March of the year in which the Prize is to be awarded, to select the two laureates for that year.

Article 4 - Committee

1. The individuals who are to receive the Prize shall be selected by the Committee (see art. 2 (2) above), to be composed of the following: (a) Five representatives of States Members of the United Nations, one to be selected by each of the five regional groups, namely, African States, Asia-Pacific States, Eastern European States, Latin American and Caribbean States, and Western European and other States, for a period of five years; (b) A representative of the Permanent Mission of South Africa to the United Nations, to serve as ex officio member of the Committee; (c) The President of the General Assembly, who shall serve as Chair of the Committee.

2. The Committee shall select five eminent individuals, based on equitable geographical representation, who have made significant contributions to the service of humanity and to promoting the purposes and principles of the United Nations. Such eminent persons shall be honorary members of the Committee and shall serve in an advisory capacity for a specific term during the selection process every five years, which may be renewed as the Committee may decide. For those eminent persons who are not present in New York, their contributions shall be shared in writing or virtually, as appropriate.

3. The Department of Public Information shall serve as the secretariat of the Committee.

4. The seven members of the Committee shall make their decisions by consensus and the Committee may adopt its own working methods.