Ethical Culture

UNRWA’s capacity to support Palestine refugees in achieving their full potential in human development depends, amongst other things, on the ability of its staff and personnel to uphold and promote the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct. This helps to create the trust that allows us to effectively support beneficiaries, contributes towards building a harmonious workplace, and is critical for preserving and enhancing public confidence in the Agency.

The standards of conduct applicable to UNRWA staff and personnel are rooted in the universal values of humanity, as reflected in the United Nations Charter, international human rights instruments, Agency staff rules and regulations, as well as other standards common to the international civil service.

Our Code of Ethics reflects humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and operational independence. Neutrality particularly essential for the Agency to access its beneficiaries and provide them with crucial aid and to communicate with all parties to ensure that its programmes and buildings are not affected during times of hostilities or armed violence. Read more about UNRWA fundamental core values and principles (link to document from intranet library)​​​.

​​​​An ethical working environment and culture is visible in how we recruit, train and retain staff, in how we engage with each other and beneficiaries, and in how we make decisions. Maintaining an ethical culture has a direct impact on our ability to effectively protect and assist Palestine refugees and other beneficiaries, as well as on our own wellbeing.

In an effort to improve UNRWA organisational culture, the Ethics Office, together with the Agency’s senior management, is committed to transforming the Agency, by creating a working environment that promotes ethical virtues, embraces equality, eradicates bias and is inclusive of all staff and personnel. (read more about the modernization of UNRWA).

An organisation-wide network of Ethics Focal Points supports and encourages an ethical and harmonious workplace culture, by providing staff and personnel with ethics advice and awareness sessions, referring formal complaints and assisting in policy development.


Linked documents:

  • “What is Ethics”Poster
  • “Ethical Framework”poster
  • Core Values and Principles