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UNDP Ethics Office Welcome to New Staff Members


UNDP is committed to maintaining the highest ethical standards which must guide all of our actions and decisions. As staff members in UNDP, it is critical to the success of our important work, and essential to fostering trust in and maintaining the credibility of UNDP, that we exemplify UNDP’s values of integrity, accountability, transparency, professionalism, mutual respect and results orientation in all that we do at UNDP. Ethics at UNDP is fundamentally about keeping UNDP’s best interests ahead of our own self-interests. UNDP is seeking to establish and reinforce a strong “ethical culture “within the Organization. This means that:
“We must establish and encourage, from the top of the organization down, an overall environment that supports ethical behavior and decision-making. Simply put, we instill in every staff member an obligation to do what's right. This culture must underscore everything we do, and must be part of the essential spirit of our organization, so that when employees make decisions, large and small, regardless of who is in the room when they make them, and whether or not lawyers or regulators or clients or anyone else is looking, they are guided by a culture that reinforces doing what's right.”
Some tips and guidance for new staff members beginning their journey at UNDP:
·         Staff members must demonstrate commitment to the values of the Organization through their personal conduct. This should be reflected in respect for fundamental human rights, the dignity and worth of the human person, equal rights of men and women, and respect for all cultures. These apply in respect of our partners, stakeholders, clients and beneficiaries and our staff.
·         When staff members observe actions and activities that do not live up to UNDP’s standards or values, or behaviors fall short, we are expected to step in and be a champion for change. If we see such prohibited workplace behaviors that violate or ignore policy we must step in, raise objections/concerns to management, OHR or if needed, OAI who can investigate allegations of wrongdoing.
·         Every person in UNDP is expected to exhibit role model behaviors – do not tolerate discrimination (sex, race, national origin, ethnicity etc.), harassment, sexual exploitation and abuse, mobbing, abuse of authority, retaliation, exclusion/isolation and so on.
·         Culture is not an excuse for poor behavioral choices or actions that violate UNDP policy. Personal culture must take a back seat to organizational culture and policies.
·         Accountability and transparency are key. There is a duty on staff to set a high standard of ethics/integrity and to hold others accountable. Business processes and transactions must be transparent. Corruption and bribery avoided. People pay close attention to what UNDP staff members do - lead by example. Take ownership for compliance. Avoid even the appearance or inference of impropriety, or of conflicts of interest. Maintain objectivity. SEE something, DO something!
·         Demand that colleagues and peers all march to the same beat. If integrity pervades the organization and those who commit misconduct are called to task, the message will be come through. The UN is looked upon as the standard bearer for ethical and humanitarian behavior. Staff members have an obligation to uphold that legacy.
·         Individual actions can affect the image, credibility and reputation of the Organization. Protect your - and UNDP's – reputation. It is all that we have (personal and organizational). We are not subject to national laws, rules and regulations, but we should be aware of and abide by them.
·         The simplest way is to think about the newspaper test: If what you do today were to appear on the front page of the country’s leading newspaper tomorrow, would you make the same decision? Perceptions and appearance often rule the day; sound judgment and common sense are paramount.
·         Building an environment of trust supports and fosters loyalty to the Organization and its aims and values; it is part of everyone’s responsibility. Ethical conduct builds trust and translates to a healthy work environment.
UNDP’s Ethics Office is independent of all units, offices, and bureaux, and reports directly to the Administrator. We have five main responsibilities:
1.       Developing and communicating standards on ethics issues;
2.       Providing training and education opportunities to staff and other personnel;
3.       Offering guidance and confidential advice to staff and management to prevent conflicts of interest and other ethics matters;
4.       Administering the financial disclosure programme; and
5.       Protecting staff against retaliation for reporting misconduct. 
Don’t be afraid to seek guidance:            Ethics Helpline: +1-212-909-7840
Fax:                  +1-212–906-6153