Mission Statement

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

The Ethics Office is mandated to strengthen ethical principles within the Organization through the following actions:

Promote ethical awareness

  • Plays an important preventative advisory role by providing guidance and confidential advice to UNESCO employees on ethics related concerns, in order to reflect the values, principles and standards of conduct of the Organization.
  • Raises awareness through the dissemination of basic principles of professional ethics via information meetings, bulletins and web portals.
  • Delivers mandatory training sessions on ethics to all UNESCO employees, both at Headquarters and in the field offices and institutes around the world. 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.

Clarification of rules on the following domains pertaining to conflicts of interests

  • Honours, Gifts and Remuneration
  • Favouritsm
  • Outside Employment and Activities
  • Use of Privileged Information
  • Use of UNESCO Property and Assets

No abuse of power or authority and no discrimination

Ensures a working environment where there is no abuse of power or authority and no discrimination

Implement the Anti-Harassment Policy

Promotes a zero tolerance approach for cases of sexual and moral harassment

Respond, Resolve and Protect

  • Receives concerns from UNESCO personnel and external stakeholders on possible unethical behaviour via the reporting system (consultation, email, telephone, and reporting form)
  • After an initial screening, the Ethics Advisor proposes an early resolution when feasible
  • Requests the Director-General to launch a formal investigation via the Internal Oversight Service (IOS) if need be
  • The anti-retaliation policy of UNESCO protects personnel who reveal any unethical behaviour or who cooperate with an authorized authority
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