Supporting Strategies - Ethics



Advisory services


The Ethics Office provided confidential advice and guidance on various issues, through several in-person and virtual meetings. The Ethics Office received 260 requests for advice and guidance, including 150 categorized as “Individual” (queries more personal in nature), 103 as “Management” (queries by members of ICAO personnel in their official capacity) and seven as “External” (queries from outside of ICAO).


Policy guidance


To integrate ethical considerations institutionally, the Ethics Office provided guidance on 89 policy issues to reflect ethical considerations in policies, practices and processes, including through advice to the Secretary General and organs of the Council. Among others, the Office provided guidance and substantive support to update the ICAO regulatory framework to better align it with the revised Ethics Framework and United Nations best practices. In this context, the Office also provided substantive input to the revision of the Vendor Sanction policy and relevant Personnel Instructions, including Personnel Instruction PI/1.3 providing a policy statement on the prevention of sexual harassment, Personnel Instruction PI/1.3.1 on the prevention of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, and Personnel Instruction PI/1.6 on procedures in relation to the ICAO Framework on Ethics and the Draft flimsy accountability framework. The Ethics Office was also involved in the discussions on the draft Appendices G, H and I of the Rules of Procedure for the Council (Doc 7559), the revision of the ICAO Procurement Code (Doc 9761) and several Administrative Instructions on information security, and the issuance of the Guidance on the return to the workplace for ICAO premises in Montréal. The Ethics Office also submitted 13 proactive ex officio recommendations on different subjects, such as the revision of the Anti-Fraud and Anti-Corruption (AFAC) Policy, and the review of the Appendix to Staff Rule 101.1 to incorporate into the ICAO regulatory framework the latest version of the Standards of Conduct of the International Civil Service Commission. The Office also submitted a proposal to reinforce the existing informal dispute resolution system in ICAO to prevent or reduce workplace conflicts by addressing them promptly and at their source to avoid, to the extent possible, recourse to ICAO’s formal machinery for settlements of disputes.


Protection against retaliation


While no reports of retaliation were received in 2021, the Ethics Office provided preliminary confidential advice on five occasions on potential or perceived retaliation cases during the year. Furthermore, the Ethics Office assisted the Secretariat in the ongoing negotiations for an ad hoc agreement between the Ethics Offices of ICAO and the United Nations, and developed a non-mandatory Protection against Retaliation form to facilitate the submission of requests for protection against retaliation by staff.


Training and outreach


In October 2021, the Ethics Office, in coordination with the Bureau of Administration and Services (ADB), launched a series of training sessions on the prevention of sexual harassment. The training module was developed in conjunction with a specialized external provider and was successfully delivered in a 90-minute virtual session. A total of 17 sessions were conducted and were attended by more than 670 ICAO personnel. Based on a suggestion of the Ethics Office, members of senior management were requested by the Secretary General to take an Introduction to Ethical Leadership training course, and managers and supervisors were also encouraged to participate. Following discussions with specialized external providers such as the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC), the Ethics Office made a proposal for the development and implementation of ethics training programmes over a three-year period. In terms of outreach initiatives, the Ethics Officer visited the European and North Atlantic (EUR/NAT) Regional Office and North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACC) Regional Office, and maintained and updated a dedicated intranet site for the benefit of all ICAO personnel. The Ethics Office also issued guidance to all staff to raise awareness on specific topics and the work of the Office in general. Such efforts included the dissemination of a series of ethical awareness messages on the standards of conduct applicable to all ICAO personnel and the issuance of an advisory message on holiday gifts, reminding staff of ICAO’s regulatory framework on the acceptance of gifts. With regard to UN coherence, the Ethics Officer enhanced bilateral relations with numerous Ethics Offices of other International Organizations, actively engaged in the work of the Ethics Network of Multilateral Organizations, and represented ICAO on the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) task force on sexual harassment.


Financial disclosure programme


Unlike most United Nations entities, ICAO’s financial disclosure programme (FDP) is paper-based. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the launch of the 2020 programme was delayed until December 2020. However, during the reporting period, the Ethics Office finalized the 2020 exercise with 100 per cent compliance by eligible staff. The Office also reviewed and updated the existing questionnaire, and launched and finalized the 2021 programme, also with 100 per cent compliance among eligible staff. It is worth noting that, following the approval by the Council of Appendix I of the Rules of Procedure for the Council, for the first time a President of the Council participated in the FDP. Also the former and current Secretary General and newly appointed members of the senior management were requested to participate in the FDP and submitted the necessary documentation.

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