Code of conduct for UNFCCC conferences, meetings and events


The organizations of the United Nations are committed to enabling events at which everyone can participate in an inclusive, respectful and safe environment.

UNFCCC events are guided by the highest ethical and professional standards, and all participants are expected to behave with integrity and respect towards all participants attending or involved with any UNFCCC event.

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The Code of Conduct applies to any UNFCCC event, which shall include meetings, conferences and symposia, assemblies, receptions, scientific and technical events, expert meetings, workshops, exhibits, side events and any other forum organized, hosted or sponsored in whole or part by the UNFCCC wherever it takes place, and any event or gathering that takes place on UNFCCC premises whether or not the UNFCCC is organizing, hosting or sponsoring.

The Code of Conduct applies to all participants at a UNFCCC event, including all persons attending or involved in any capacity in a UNFCCC event.

The UNFCCC commits to implementing the Code of Conduct.

The Code of Conduct is not legal or prescriptive in nature. It supplements, and does not affect, the application of other relevant policies, regulations, rules and laws, including laws regulating the premises in which the UNFCCC event takes place and any applicable host country agreements

Prohibited conduct

Harassment is any improper or unwelcome conduct that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation to another person. Harassment in any form because of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, physical ability, physical appearance, ethnicity, race, national origin, political affiliation, age, religion or any other reason is prohibited at UNFCCC events.

Sexual harassment is a specific type of prohibited conduct. Sexual harassment is any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offense or humiliation. Sexual harassment may involve any conduct of a verbal, nonverbal or physical nature, including written and electronic communications, and may occur between persons of the same or different genders.

Examples of harassment include, but are not limited to:

• Making derogatory or demeaning comments about someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity;

• Name-calling or using slurs with a gender/sexual connotation;

• Making sexual comments about appearance, clothing or body parts;

• Rating a person’s sexuality;

• Repeatedly asking a person for dates or asking for sex;

• Staring in a sexually suggestive manner;

• Unwelcome touching, including pinching, patting, rubbing or purposefully brushing up against a person;

• Making inappropriate sexual gestures, such as pelvic thrusts;

• Sharing sexual or lewd anecdotes or jokes;

• Sending sexually suggestive communications in any format;

• Sharing or displaying sexually inappropriate images or videos in any format;

• Attempted or actual sexual assault, including rape. 

Complaint process

A participant who feels that they have been harassed at a UNFCCC event may report the matter to the organizer of the UNFCCC event or relevant security authority, and a participant who witnesses such harassment should make such a report. Such reporting shall have no effect on any applicable rules and procedures that may apply in the UNFCCC or to other personnel. The organizer of the UNFCCC event will be expected to take appropriate action in accordance with its applicable policies, regulations and rules.

Examples of appropriate action may include, but are not limited to:

• Undertaking a fact-finding exercise;

• Requesting the perpetrator to immediately stop the offending behavior;

• Suspending or terminating the perpetrator’s access to the UNFCCC event or refusing registration at future UNFCCC or other UN system events, or both;

• Conveying the complaint to any investigative or disciplinary authority with jurisdiction over the person accused of harassment;

• Conveying a report to the employer or entity with jurisdiction over the person accused of harassment for appropriate follow-up action.

The victim of alleged harassment may also seek help from other relevant authorities, such as the police, bearing in mind the applicable legal framework.

A participant should never knowingly make a false or misleading claim about prohibited conduct.

Prohibition of retaliation

Threats, intimidation or any other form of retaliation against a participant who has made a complaint or provided information in support of a complaint are prohibited.

The UNFCCC will take any reasonable appropriate action needed to prevent and respond to retaliation, in accordance with its applicable policy, regulations and rules.