Personal Integrity


Integrity begins with each of us - the judgments and decisions that we make as individuals and the actions we take.

How do we demonstrate integrity? First, we must exemplify the United Nations core values in our own conduct and comply with United Nations policies and procedures, even when we may not agree with them. Second, we must voice our concerns when we believe that colleagues are acting contrary to United Nations regulations, rules, policies and procedures. Collectively, we are the United Nations and the actions of one of our colleagues can damage the reputation of all of us.

When someone compromises United Nations core values, he/she acts contrary to our values or policies. In such cases we should either inform the person directly or use other available channels to express our concerns. The best option is usually discussing the situation with your supervisor. Alternatively, staff may bring their concerns to functional experts at OIOS, Security and Safety or Human Resources.

As integrity begins with each of us, we must:

  • take personal responsibility for performing assignments consistent with the United Nations regulations, rules and policies;
  • learn the applicable regulations, rules, policies and procedures; and
  • consult our managers if we have any doubts about whether an action is appropriate or violates UN regulations.

Complying with Regulations, Rules and Policies

Personal integrity necessitates adherence to rules, procedures and mechanisms for supervision and control. It requires covers both complying with rules and demonstrating responsibility and awareness.

This means that staff must:

  • comply with the prevailing applicable rules and procedures (lawfulness);
  • handle United Nations property and resources carefully, economically and sensibly (efficiency);
  • behave in an objective and just manner to avoid stereotypical responses (impartiality) and;
  • take full responsibility for their words and actions (professionalism).

It is not possible to cover every type of appropriate behaviour by rules, guidelines or codes. New and complex situations that have not yet been covered by rules will crop up from time to time. In these situations, staff should have the requisite level of integrity and judgement to independently take well-considered and rational decisions in line with the Organization's purposes.

The United Nations raises awareness through advice (information circulars and administrative instructions) or training (HR initiated) to help staff understand our responsibilities. Common sense, our conscience and good intentions are NOT ALWAYS ADEQUATE in helping us comply with regulations, rules and procedures.We need to learn enough about the rules that affect what we do so that we can detect potential issues and accountability problems, and then follow through to get answers about the correct way to proceed.The following four areas highlight circumstances staff might face in which they must separate personal interest from that of the Organization. The aim is to have you recognize the factors you must consider in deciding when and where to seek advice.