WHAT IS THE UN ETHICS OFFICE?

The UN Ethics Office promotes an ethical organizational culture based on UN’s core values of integrity, professionalism and respect for diversity, and the values outlined in the Code of Ethics for UN Personnel which include independence, loyalty, impartiality, integrity, accountability and respect for human rights. The Ethics Office assists the Secretary-General in ensuring that all staff members perform their functions consistent with the highest standards of integrity as required by the Charter of the United Nations. We provide a secure confidential environment where staff can feel free to consult on ethical issues, and seek protection against retaliation for reporting misconduct.

The UN Ethics Office:

  • is independent from management and all other UN offices;
  • is impartial in how it treats individuals;
  • maintains confidentiality of the information entrusted to it;
  • is professional in its dealings with its stakeholders.

The office is a resource for those who seek advice before engaging in an activity, to avoid and manage conflicts of interest. By providing clear and action-oriented advice, the office helps staff carry out their jobs professionally and fairly, and manage their private lives in a way that does not interfere with their official duties. All staff are expected to cooperate with the Ethics Office and provide access to records and documents when they are requested.

The Ethics Office was established in 2006 to secure the highest standards of integrity of staff members in accordance with Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, taking into consideration paragraph 161 of the 2005 World Summit Outcome and pursuant to General Assembly resolution 60/248.

The Office carries out its work through five strategic functions: (1) advice, (2) protection against retaliation, (3) financial disclosure, (4) ethics training, and (5) coherence of ethical standards. To learn more about each of our five functions, click on the respective boxes below. If you need to speak with us, click on "Contact Us".

WHO WE SERVE

The UN Ethics Office serves the Global Secretariat, including duty stations in New York, Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi; all regional commissions, peacekeeping operations, special political missions; and other designated offices. The Office is an independent, confidential, and impartial resource for all UN Secretariat staff—everywhere.

OUR OATH OF OFFICE

As UN staff members, the UN Charter calls on us to uphold the highest levels of efficiency, competence and integrity. This commitment is reflected in the Oath of Office we all took when we began our UN careers:

I solemnly declare and promise to exercise in all loyalty, discretion and conscience the functions entrusted to me as an international civil servant of the United Nations, to discharge these functions and regulate my conduct with the interests of the United Nations only in view, and not to seek or accept instructions in regard to the performance of my duties from any Government or other source external to the Organization. I also solemnly declare and promise to respect the obligations incumbent upon me as set out in the Staff Regulations and Rules.

For questions or concerns, contact the UN Ethics Office

Helpline: +1-917-367-9858 or email: ethicsoffice@un.org

APPLICABLE NORMS

The UN has adopted a variety of rules and regulations concerning staff conduct. They are compiled in ST/SGB/2016/9 which describes the Status, basic rights and duties of United Nations staff members. This body of relevant legal norms — from the Charter, the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, the staff regulations and rules and commentary — identifies core values and sets standards for all United Nations staff. Section IV of ST/SGB/2016/9 also contains the Standards of Conduct for the International Civil Service, as updated by the International Civil Service Commission.

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