Risks of conflicts of interest can generally be found at two, non-mutually exclusive, levels: organizational and personal.
Perception is key – it is imperative to understand that different people look at things in different ways. Thus, it is not enough for staff to feel they act well: staff must also be seen as acting well, as displaying good judgement and upholding
the ethical principles of WHO.
Generally speaking, a conflict of interest arises when a secondary interest interferes with the primary interest of
WHO and its staff. The scope of conflict of interest goes beyond financial interest.
Declarations of Interest for staff
WHO has strict ethical principles of integrity, independence and impartiality. Identified WHO staff members are required to disclose on an annual basis the interests that may conflict with their functions as
international civil servant.
Declarations of Interest for experts
Each year, scientists and other technical experts contribute to the solution of global health problems by participating in expert committees, advisory groups, conferences, study and scientific groups, and other activities of WHO. To be effective, the
work of WHO and the contributions of its experts must be, actually and ostensibly, objective and independent.
WHO has a robust process to protect the integrity of WHO in its normative work as well as to protect the integrity of individual experts the Organization collaborates with. WHO requires that experts serving in an advisory role disclose any circumstances
that could give rise to
actual or ostensible conflict of interest.