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IAEA core ethical values

The IAEA is committed to applying the highest ethical standards in carrying out its mandate. As part of the United Nations common system, the IAEA subscribes to the following core ethical standards or values: integrity, professionalism and respect for diversity.


Integrity is a core ethical standard in all aspects of professional and personal life at the IAEA. Integrity includes, but is not limited to, probity, impartiality, fairness, honesty and truthfulness in all matters affecting work. These qualities provide a basis for ethical decision making when staff members face situations where applying rules may be difficult or unpopular, where a conflict between professional and private interests arises, or where special concessions are requested. As the integrity of the Agency depends on the integrity of its staff members, staff are expected to:

  • Demonstrate in practice the values of the Agency in activities and behaviour;
  • Make decisions without consideration for personal gain;
  • Resist political pressure in decision making;
  • Ensure that official power or authority is not abused;
  • Seek to promote the Agency's interests;
  • Take prompt and effective action to deal with unprofessional or unethical behaviour.


As international civil servants, staff need to be mindful of their duties to serve the international community. In order to achieve high standards of professionalism, members of staff should be motivated by professional objectives rather than personal concerns.

Respect for diversity

The IAEA takes pride in the diversity of its workplace, which brings together staff from varied backgrounds, cultures and experiences. The IAEA encourages its staff members to embrace this diversity and view it as an advantage. Any form of discrimination and harassment is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. The Agency is committed to creating a harmonious environment where all staff can work together and are treated with respect and tolerance. At times, a multicultural workplace can pose a special challenge, as norms and customs acceptable in one culture may seem offensive in another. In order to maintain an environment in which all individuals can work with openness and trust, staff should:

  • Work constructively with people from all backgrounds;
  • Treat colleagues, clients and others fairly and equally, with dignity and respect;
  • Show respect for and understanding of diverse points of view;
  • Examine assumptions and avoid stereotypes;
  • Show no discrimination against any individual or group.

Ethics function

The role of the IAEA Ethics function is to foster a culture of ethics, transparency and accountability and assist the head of the Agency (the IAEA’s Director General) in ensuring that all personnel observe and perform their functions consistent with the highest standards of integrity. 

The Ethics function promotes an ethical organizational culture based on the IAEA's core values of integrity, professionalism and respect for diversity, and the principles outlined in the Standards of Conduct for the International Civil Service, which include, among others, independence, loyalty and impartiality. The Function is operationally independent and reports directly to the Director General.​

The activities of the IAEA Ethics Function are reflected in an annual report submitted to the Board of Governors.

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