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Ethics office

United Nations Leadership Dialogue 2019

 

Welcome to the resource page for the 2019 United Nations Leadership Dialogue. Between ‎now and 30 November 2019, all managers in the Secretariat are asked to host a one-and-a-half-hour ‎dialogue session with their direct reports on the topic, “Conflicts of Interest – Why Do They Matter?”. This year’s Leadership Dialogue focuses on the importance of maintaining public trust through mitigating risks arising from personal interests. Such conflicts can interfere, or appear to interfere, with the performance of official duties and responsibilities or with the integrity, independence and impartiality required by the staff member’s status as an international civil servant. Undisclosed conflicts of interest could amount to misconduct, with consequent administrative or disciplinary actions.

Each Head of Entity should lead the first Leadership Dialogue ‎session for his or her direct reports. Following that initial session, those direct reports ‎will schedule and lead the next sessions. The dialogues should occur in this “cascading” ‎fashion, until all managers have engaged their staff in a Leadership Dialogue. Upon completion of the activities, respective Executive or Administrative Officers or designates are requested to submit to the Ethics Office final participation statistics for their respective Entity by 31 December 2019.

All materials needed for the Leadership Dialogue are provided via the link box above. Detailed instructions for the 2019 Leadership Dialogue activities may be found in the Leader’s Guide. The Guide additionally contains feedback forms for Entities to complete and return to the Ethics Office. To open or download the document(s), click on the link(s) provided. If you cannot download the materials, or if you have reviewed the materials and still have questions, please contact the Ethics Office directly.

The most important aspect is that you enjoy the session. Having been conducted since 2013, feedback on the Leadership Dialogue initiative has been very positive. We are confident that you will have a similar experience regarding the 2019 Leadership Dialogue.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.‎ Why should I do this activity?

A. All Heads of Entity and managers in the United Nations Secretariat are asked to host a one-and-a-half-hour session with their direct reports on this year’s topic, “Conflicts of Interest – Why Do They Matter?”. All Heads of Entity will be asked to confirm to the Ethics Office that their managers have completed their Leadership Dialogue sessions. In delivering UN mandates, public trust in the integrity of the Organization is paramount. Scarce public resources are entrusted to the Organization in the public interest of the international community. Conflicts of interest matter because they adversely impact the integrity of UN operations through diverting financial and other resources and unduly influencing decisions for private purposes. They also matter for staff because undisclosed conflicts of interest could amount to misconduct, with consequent administrative or disciplinary actions.

Q.‎ I am expected to lead the dialogue for my team, but I am not a great trainer or public speaker. Do I have to do this activity?

A.‎ Don’t worry! The Leader’s Guide was designed with you in mind. Just follow the ‎Guide that has been provided and you will find that it is relatively easy to lead ‎your session. We have also provided a PowerPoint presentation to help facilitate and guide the discussions. The most important thing you can do, besides being prepared, is to be honest and open with your team during this discussion. While the Guide provides practical examples under each topic, for your ease of reference, you may wish to think about examples from your own experience or that of your colleagues as this may make the session more authentic. You can also ask for the assistance of a facilitator to make the session more participatory.

Q. What if I cannot answer all the questions raised during the session? ‎ ‎

A. The Leader’s Guide provides summary points that should address most questions ‎that may be raised. However, it is entirely possible that your staff will ask questions ‎or raise issues not previously considered. This is a good opportunity for the ‎group to consider the issue and reach its own answers. For matters that you continue to ‎struggle with, document the question(s) and consult with the Ethics Office. After your ‎consultation, you can go back to your staff and share helpful information.

Q. I am ready to conduct my session, but my manager has not yet done his/her ‎session with our team. Can I go ahead with my own session?

A. The Leadership Dialogue is designed in a “management cascade” style, which anticipates that ‎you will lead your session once your manager has conducted his/her session with you. ‎However, you may go ahead with your session if you are ready.

Q. Can I ask another manager to do these sessions ‎instead of me?

A. No. The purpose of the dialogue session is to allow you and your direct reports to engage in ‎a discussion with each other about the importance of conflicts of interest and why they matter. Having someone, other ‎than the manager, lead the discussion does not achieve the purpose of the activity.‎ ‎

Q. My manager has scheduled the Leadership Dialogue session. As we do this every year, can I skip one session?

A. You should not skip a session, as the topic is different every year. The Leadership Dialogue began in 2013 with conversations about What does it mean to be an international civil servant?; in 2014, the topic was Treating each other with respect and tolerance; in 2015, it was Fulfilling our mission: Taking individual responsibility; in 2016, the focus was on Fraud awareness and prevention: How do I fit in?; in 2017, Standards of conduct: What’s expected of me?; and in 2018, the topic was on Speaking up: When does it become whistle-blowing? This year’s topic, Conflicts of interest: Why do they matter? focuses on the importance of maintaining public trust through mitigating risks arising from personal interests. Such conflicts can interfere, or appear to interfere, with the performance of official duties and responsibilities or with the integrity, independence and impartiality required by the staff member’s status as an international civil servant. In addition, participating in the Leadership Dialogue session offers yet another opportunity for you and all colleagues to exchange thoughts, experiences, challenges and solutions with your team and manager.

How can I learn more about ethics standards and issues?

A. Feel free to download and view additional information from the Ethics Office website. ‎In particular, you are encouraged to download "Putting Ethics to ‎Work : A Guide for UN Staff ” (pdf icon) and The Roadmap: A Staff Member’s Guide to Finding the Right Place (pdf icon) on the Ethics Advice and Guidance page.

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