Background and Mandate
The Ethics Panel of the United Nations (formerly known as the United Nations Ethics Committee) was established in December 2007 with the adoption of the Secretary General's Bulletin ST/SGB/2007/11 entitled "United Nations system-wide application of ethics: separately administered organs and programmes" to help ensure coherent application of ethical standards within the United Nations.
The Ethics Panel of the United Nations is charged with developing a unified set of ethics standards and policies for the UN Secretariat and the separately administered funds and programmes, and to consult on important and complex cases and issues having United Nations-wide implications. Any Ethics Office or the Chairperson of the Ethics Panel can bring items to the attention of the Ethics Panel.
The Ethics Panel is chaired by the head of the UN Ethics Office, who provides functional leadership in order to promote the development of capacity and to ensure adherence to consistent methodology in the delivery of ethics-related services.
The Ethics Panel’s main priorities are to harmonize policies and practices among member organizations in the areas of financial disclosure, protection against retaliation, ethics training, ethics annual reporting, standard setting, benchmarking and peer support.
The Ethics Panel played the lead role in developing the draft system-wide Code of Ethics for United Nations personnel, as requested by the General Assembly in paragraph 161(d) of its resolution 60/1 on the 2005 World Summit Outcome and paragraph 16(a) of resolution 60/254.
The Ethics Panel meets on a regular basis.
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