WIPO Ethics Office
WIPO is committed to the highest standards of conduct, efficiency, competence and integrity. It strives to ensure a working environment characterized by professional ethics.
Established in 2010, WIPO's Ethics Office serves all WIPO personnel, offering independent, impartial and confidential services and advice. It provides guidance to think through ethical dilemmas and encourages a “speak-up” culture, without fear of retaliation.
The Ethics Office has six broad areas of responsibility.
Confidential advice and guidance
The Ethics Office provides confidential, authoritative advice and guidance to managers and individual members of personnel on situations raising ethical issues and dilemmas, and conflicts of interest matters related to gifts, outside activities, family relationship, political activities etc.
Annual financial disclosure program
The Ethics Office is responsible for managing and implementing the organization’s Financial Disclosure and Declaration of Interests Policy (FDDI), which requires all WIPO senior staff to report annually on their financial and other interests. The purpose of the FDDI policy is to assist personnel in complying with their obligation to avoid personal interests that may actually, potentially or may appear to conflict with their official duties and status as United Nations employees.
Standard setting and policy advocacy
The work of the Ethics Office is based on and driven by WIPO and United Nations values, principles and standards of ethics, transparency and accountability. To ensure that all personnel are informed and empowered to act with integrity and conduct business in an ethical manner, the Ethics Office continuously refines ethics policies and issues interpretative guidance to ensure proper understanding and compliance with ethical standards at WIPO.
Ethics awareness and education
To support employees in complying with WIPO's high ethical standards, the Ethics Office develops and manages a comprehensive training program on issues related to ethical conduct. The Ethics and Integrity training is mandatory for all staff and management, including senior management.
Protection against retaliation
The Ethics Office is responsible for shielding WIPO employees from any negative consequences for engaging in a protected activity. Its policy to protect against retaliation applies to all WIPO personnel who cooperate in an oversight activity, or make a report, in good faith, of misconduct that, if established, would be manifestly harmful to the interests, operations or governance of the organization.
Coordination with United Nations and other organizations
WIPO actively participates in exchanges with other United Nations ethics offices and is a member of the Ethics Network of Multilateral Organization (ENMO) which serves as a broad forum for ethics functions of United Nations system entities, affiliated international organizations and international financial institutions, enabling the exchange of information on ethics policies and practices. Through these fora, the Ethics Office contributes to the furtherance of best practices in the industry.
Resources and publications
WIPO Ethics Office Annual Report 2021 | WIPO Ethics Office Annual Report 2020 | 2019 | 2018
Ethics and Innovation - 10 Years WIPO Ethics Office