Who we are

The Ethics Office promotes an ethical organizational culture based on our shared values of integrity, professionalism and respect for diversity.

We are:

  1. Independent from management and all other services.
  2. Impartial in how we treat individuals.
  3. Confidential with information that is entrusted to us.​
  4. Professional in our dealings with our stakeholders.

All employees, regardless of rank or contractual status, can feel free to consult on ethical issues, including harassment, or report unethical behavior. ​ We offer protection for those who do so in good faith. 

What we do

The Ethics Office is responsible for providing confidential advice and guidance on ethics to the Organization and its personnel on the following:

  • conflicts of interest 
  • moral and sexual harassment
  • abuse of power or authority
  • discrimination

The Office is also responsible for: 

  •  the protection of UNESCO employees for reporting misconduct and/or for cooperating with audits or investigations through its Anti-Retaliation Policy 
  •  the development and implementation of the Declaration of Interest and Financial Disclosure Programme 
  • delivering training sessions on ethics, standards of conduct and harassment related issues to all employees of the Organization. The training sessions are designed to empower staff and management to take responsibility for their actions and for making informed and ethical decisions in many situations

What we don’t do

The Ethics Office is not responsible for taking administrative decisions regarding employment matters, and we can’t conduct investigations either.

Why an ethics office?

Rules and regulations can never cover every possible scenario. That is why the Ethics Office was established to assist UNESCO’s employees, at Headquarters and in the Field, in identifying any potential ethical dilemma so that appropriate steps can be taken to prevent problems before they arise.

The Ethics Office assists UNESCO’s personnel in upholding ethical standards perform to the highest standards of integrity as required by the UNESCO Constitution and UNESCO’s Staff Regulations and Staff Rules since the reputation of UNESCO is determined by its personnel. Establishing an ethical culture in the Organization will enhance UNESCO’s internal climate of trust and transparency.

The Ethics Office believes that by establishing a strong ethical working environment, UNESCO personnel will be motivated to perform to their highest standards and the job satisfaction on our personnel will increase.  


UNESCO Introducing the Ethics Office unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002474/247454E.pdf

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