Ethics Office staff member offering advice.

The Ethics Office is mandated to provide confidential advice and guidance to staff on ethical issues (e.g., conflict of interest), including administering an ethics helpline The Ethics Office provides confidential ethics advice to all staff, wherever they are based. Any individual may approach the Ethics Office for assistance in navigating a complex situation. Through this service, staff members are better able to describe their problem or concern, identify the rules and regulations that may apply, examine their options, and understand the consequences. Through the advisory process, staff are better able to make ethical decisions that serve the interest of the UN. Ethics advice is confidential to the person requesting assistance.

Staff Regulation 1.2 (m) provides that a conflict of interest occurs when, by act or omission, a staff member’s personal interests interfere with the performance of his or her official duties and responsibilities or with the integrity, independence and impartiality required by the staff member’s status as an international civil servant. When an actual or possible conflict of interest does arise, the conflict shall be disclosed by staff members to their head of office, mitigated by the Organization and resolved in favour of the interests of the Organization.

Ethics advice may be provided for the following conflict of interest situations:

  • Outside activities
  • Employment-related questions
  • Financial interests
  • Pre-appointment reviews for senior appointments
  • Honours, decorations, favours and gifts
  • Institutional integrity matters
  • Procurement ethics
  • Due diligence and risk assessment process
  • Other conflicts of interest

For questions or concerns, contact the UN Ethics Office

Helpline: available on iSeek or