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Ethics office

Ethics Advice and Guidance


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.

The UN has adopted a variety of rules and regulations concerning employee conduct. They are compiled in the Annex, describing the Status, basic rights and duties of United Nations staff members (ST/SGB/2002/13). This body of relevant legal norms — from the Charter, the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations (pdf icon), staff regulations and rules and commentary — identifies core values and sets standards for all United Nations employees. The Annex also contains the Standards of Conduct for the International Civil Service (pdf icon), as updated by the International Civil Service Commission.

In addition to these, there are various Secretary-General’s Bulletins, Administrative Instructions and Information Circulars that help to clarify UN values and standards.

For additional guidance on ethical issues such as our obligations as international civil ‎servants and avoiding conflicts of interest, please download “Putting Ethics to Work: A ‎Guide for UN Staff,” available in English(pdf icon) and French(pdf icon).‎

The Ethics Office has compiled a Roadmap (pdf icon), a reference guide for staff members of the United Nations Secretariat. It will guide you in finding the right office to address your particular concern. This valuable resource provides practical information such as policy documents and contact details.

To contact us, please call our Helpline: +1-917-367-9858 or email us: ethicsoffice@un.org.

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