STATUS As international civil servants, UN staff members must strive to meet the highest aspirations of the peoples of the world. This means that your responsibilities as a staff member are not national but exclusively international. This is the promise made in the Oath of Office, the declaration that is signed at the time of your appointment.


The Oath of Office is a promise that you will perform your functions and regulate your conduct in accordance with the Staff Regulations and Rules and with the interests of the United Nations only in view.

Read the full Oath of Office.

PRIVILEGES To enable you to carry out this promise of independence, some special conditions apply to your service—not for your personal benefit, but for the exercise of your official functions. When you are acting in your official capacity, you are immune from legal process; your salary is exempt from taxation; any national service obligations are suspended; and it is possible for you to enter, live, and work in host countries. Staff members must comply with local laws and honour their private legal obligations, including the obligation to honour orders of competent courts such as orders to make payments for the support of a spouse or former spouse and/or dependent children (“family support court orders”).


We must take special care to prevent a conflict between our private interests and our professional obligations to the United Nations. Accepting an honour, decoration, favour, gift or remuneration in connection with official duties may give rise to a real or potential conflict of interest, and as a rule, we cannot accept such benefits.

Engagement in employment and activities outside the Organization, paid or unpaid, may be incompatible with our status as United Nations staff members, or in conflict with the interests or objectives of the Organization. For these reasons, outside activities are not permitted unless prior approval has been given by the Secretary-General.

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