Code of Ethics

Created in 1947, the UNESCO Staff Union (STU), according to the article I of its Statutes, has the following mission:

a) to safeguard the collective and individual rights and interests of members of the Union as UNESCO staff members;

b) to preserve and strengthen the unity of the staff of the UNESCO Secretariat as a body of international civil servants;

c) to help achieve the purposes set out in the Constitution of UNESCO, more particularly by promoting the efficient functioning of the Secretariat and by stimulating among its members interest in UNESCO’s objects and programme;

d) to ensure that staff working conditions are satisfactory and are in accordance with the principles set forth in the Constitution, the Staff Regulations and Staff Rules and all other relevant provisions, so as to enable the members of the Secretariat to serve the Organization with the greatest possible effectiveness;

e) to improve the status of staff members; to see that staff morale is maintained, and to aid those of its members who find themselves in difficulties;

f) to organize cultural and recreational activities for the UNESCO staff.


1. STU Constitution

STU is composed of three bodies, namely:

- the Staff Assembly,

- the Council, et

- the Executive Bureau. 

Obligations incumbent on these bodies are developed in the Rules of Procedure as well as in STU Statutes.

These obligations shall be fulfilled, in addition, in accordance with the Code of Ethics, as described below.


2. STU vision

The purpose of the commitments of STU to its members is to ensure a professional environment which respects the Organization’s human resources policies, an absolute prerequisite for the proper functioning of the Organization.

Through investment of its human and financial resources, STU aims to ensure to its members an adequate and healthy workplace, where talent and personal merit are recognized, diversity valued, and privacy respected.

STU recalls that the fulfilment of these demands requires the respect of legal norms and rules in force in UNESCO and at the international level. Consequently, STU undertakes to use all its means to defend their implementation as well as to ensure that these regulatory texts are respected and not circumvented.


3. STU commitments

STU operates according to the Statutes of the Organization and plays a leading role with the Administration, staff members and Member States.

Indeed, its mission is to advise the Administration about issues regarding staff policy, as well as to highlight system failures, in order to better inform both the Administration and staff members.

STU accompanies staff members in their administrative or legal business, giving them support and advice, as well as in their appeals against the Administration.

STU undertakes to keeping its accounts in complete transparency and have its books checked by accredited auditors.

In addition, STU promotes and develops recreational activities of its members through arts, cinema, exhibitions, shows, etc.

By the nature of its activities, STU members and, in particular, members of its Executive Bureau and Council must show: 

solidarity and benevolence towards colleagues;

ethical behaviour: since union representatives are in service of staff members, they must not use their position neither in their own interest, nor with the objective of getting career advancement for themselves or anyone else;

impartiality in avoiding representing the staff of the same Sector (conflict of interest);

constructive encouragement of colleagues to respect the ethical norms of the Organization;

respect for the laws and regulations in force;

commitment to listen to any requests from staff members (in priority STU members) and giving them an appropriate answer in compliance with legal provisions in force in the Organization.

respect for the confidentiality of requests. This concerns in particular the President of STU, who is the main interlocutor of staff members concerning receipt of demands and complaints.


STU recalls that union work is above all a mission, and encourages staff members to join and contribute to developing its activities.