Code of Conduct


IGF Events

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is an ecosystem of multistakeholder interaction and discussion. Participants are drawn from a diverse, global population, and it is essential that everyone who takes part can do so safely and with the respect of other participants. Harassment of IGF participants, in any form, will not be tolerated.

Those who take part in any IGF activities (including in-person meetings, virtual meetings, mailing list discussions, etc.) agree to:

  • Treat all members of the IGF community with respect, irrespective of nationality, gender, racial or ethnic origin, religion or beliefs, disability, age, or sexual orientation; all stakeholders of the IGF community should treat each other with civility, both face to face and online.
  • Focus discussion or remarks on issues rather than on particular actors, whether they be individuals, groups, organizations or governments, and refrain from personal or ad hominem attacks.
  • Act in a reasonable, objective and informed manner when participating in and/or using any IGF discussion platform.
  • Listen to and respect the views of all stakeholders when considering IGF policy issues. The IGF is a multistakeholder environment and those who take part in IGF meetings and inter-sessional activities should acknowledge the importance of all stakeholders and seek to understand their points of view.
  • Prioritise transparency and openness when participating in IGF discussions and processes.
  • Act fairly and in good faith with other participants in IGF processes.
  • Promote ethical and responsible behavior. Ethics and integrity are essential, and the IGF expects all stakeholders to behave in a responsible and principled way.

Failure by any IGF participant to adhere to the above guidelines and principles may be reported. Such a report will be investigated, and may result in removal of the offending participant(s) from activities hosted by the IGF Secretariat.

Reporting a Complaint

Anyone who has been subject or witness to any kind of harassment is encouraged to report the incident. Reports can be sent via email to [email protected] or made directly to any badged UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) officer. All complaints will be handled with a priority on sensitivity, confidentiality, and the safety and well-being of all participants.

UN System Events

To Prevent
Including Sexual



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

UN system 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 UN system event.


The Code of Conduct applies to any UN system 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 a UN system entity wherever it takes place, and any event or gathering that takes place on UN system premises whether or not a UN system entity is organizing, hosting or sponsoring.

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

The UN system or other entity responsible for a UN system event commits to implementing the Code of Conduct.

The Code of Conduct is not legal or prescriptive in nature. It supplements, and does not attect, the application of other relevant policies, regulations, rules and laws, including laws regulating the premises in which the UN system 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 ottence 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 UN system 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 ottense 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 ditterent genders.

Examples of sexual 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 UN system event may report the matter to the organizer of the UN system event or relevant security authority, and a participant who witnesses such harassment should make such a report. Such reporting shall have no ettect on any applicable rules and procedures that may apply in the UN system or to other personnel. The organizer of the UN system 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 ottending behavior

  • suspending or terminating the perpetrator’s access to the UN system event or refusing registration at future 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 UN system or other entity responsible for a UN system event will take any reasonable appropriate action needed to prevent and respond to retaliation, in accordance with its applicable policy, regulations and rules.