Conflict of interest policy


This policy applies, except as otherwise stated, to every person associated with The Arab World Center for Democratic Development – UniHrD, its Secretariat or any of its National and Regional Branches as a board member, officer, resource person or staff member. The “interests of any person associated with UniHrD” include the interests of any person with whom they have a close personal relationship, including their spouse, life partner, children, parents, siblings or other close family members.

General Policy

a. Every person associated with UniHrD (according to paragraph 1) must avoid or manage any potential real or perceived conflict of interest (inter alia by refraining from any decision making or voting on matters subject to a potential conflict of interest), and openly acknowledge any potential or actual conflict of interest which arises through his/her association with UniHrD.

b. Conflicts of interest may arise from time to time in the course of such persons’ activities and decisions. They may arise in their work for the UniHrD with regard to pecuniary or financial interests, or interests that impede them in their duty to act in the best interests of the UniHrD.

c. Members of the Arab World Center Boards, and members or any similar governance body of any National or regional branch, shall declare their financial and non-financial interests which could potentially lead to or could conceivably be perceived as a conflict of interest. Such declaration shall be made by way of a register, which shall be open to the public. Where there is personal safety or similar serious concerns about full publicity, parts or even the whole of the declaration should be submitted to the Chairperson of the UniHrD Board Ethics Committee who shall hold it, and act upon it as appropriate, in confidence.

Remunerated Work Contracts and Consultancies

a. Staff members (including management) of UniHrd and its National and Regional Branches sometimes are employed by, or undertake paid work for, other organisations. Such work may be undertaken:
(i) where the work is related to corruption, only with the express permission of their superior;
(ii) in all other cases, only if the work is declared as early as practicable.

b. Much of UniHrD work is done by individuals who are not employees of UniHrD or any of its National or regional Branches but who act for or on behalf of UniHrD on a voluntary basis. This includes, among others, the members of the Board of Trustees of and scientific Board of UniHRD, most of the members of the boards of directors or other governance bodies of any of the National and regional Branches, and the resource persons active throughout the UniHrD. Many of such individuals will have business, professional and other affiliations.

B. Resource persons active anywhere in the UniHRD, or companies or other organizations with which such individuals are affiliated, may apply and compete for remunerated work contracts with UniHrD, or any of its

National Chapters, provided they are not offered any advantages over any competitors with respect to being awarded or carrying out such work. They must not utilize privileged information and do everything to contradict the perception of having utilized privileged information. In other words, they do not need to be disqualified because of their affiliation with UniHrD, but neither may they be given the “inside track”. When doing non-UniHrD related work, resource persons shall not utilize privileged UniHrD information, and shall also be sensitive to the perception that they might be utilizing such information.

f. UniHrD and the National and Regional Branches will be transparent in their decision-making processes when commissioning paid work, and will follow transparent tender procedures.

Gifts and Entertainment

No person associated with UniHrD or any of its National and Regional Branches shall accept any gift, entertainment, loan or anything else of value from any organisation or individual if it could be reasonably construed or perceived that the gift is motivated by a wish to influence UniHrD.

How to Deal with a Possible Conflict of Interest

a. Potential conflicts of interest should be identified and declared by the person in potential conflict, or reported by other members of the Center, as soon as they become aware of such potential conflict of interest. If problems are identified before commitments are made or questionable actions have occurred, embarrassment can be avoided and alternatives can be explored.

b. Such disclosure or report should be made to the Chairman of UniHrD or of the respective National and or regional Branch or to another suitable senior officer or director.

c. The evaluation of a potential conflict of interest must be made by the UniHrD Board of Directors, or by the UniHrD Board’s Ethics Committee or any ethics body of any of the Center. The evaluation may determine the absence of a conflict of interest, or it may lead to the conclusion that (i) the respective person should not go ahead with the evaluated activity or that (ii) he/she should recuse him/herself from participating in decision making by UniHrD or any of its National or Regional Branches with reference to the matter in conflict.

d. The chairpersons of UniHrD and its National and regional Branches respectively are responsible for ensuring that all persons associated with the activities of UniHrD or any of its National and Regional Branches are made aware of the policy and procedures regarding conflict of interest. In addition, these policy and procedures should be made available to the general membership through publication, for example, on the website or in a newsletter.

UniHrD Board’s Ethics Committee

UniHrD Board of Directors has established an Ethics Committee for the purpose of providing advice on ethical questions to anybody associated with the movement. The Terms of Reference and contact details of the Board Ethics Committee are attached.

Scope of this policy

This policy sets minimum standards. Individual Codes of Conduct and conflict of interest policies developed by National or Regional Branches should be in line with this policy.

Approved by the Board of Directors 28 October 2005, and updated by the Annual General assembly Meeting on 14 November 2006 in Amman- Jordan