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New Policies, New Commitments: Reinforcing the GCF Integrity Framework

Songdo,
Convening in Songdo for its twenty-second meeting, the Board of the Green Climate Fund has championed an important step towards reaffirming the Fund's staunch commitment to upholding the highest integrity standards with the approval of two landmark policies: the Policy on Prohibited Practices and the Interim Policy on the Protection from Sexual Exploitation, Sexual Abuse, and Sexual Harassment. These Policies are instrumental in driving the momentum for climate action at a pace that is both accountable and transparent. This marks a strategic victory for the Fund and its partners - and more so for vulnerable communities across the globe who stand to reap the benefits of an ever-expanding GCF project portfolio.

The world is always watching. As the Fund widens its reach and gains a brighter spotlight on the international climate finance stage, a greater responsibility is placed on our shoulders to ensure that the Fund has sufficient capacity and operational frameworks in place to safeguard and disburse a portfolio worth 17.6 billion USD to date. These integrity Policies serve as additional operational guidance and safeguards that would enable the GCF to effectively oversee entrusted funds, while keeping our collective efforts on track to realise the mission of the Fund.

Fostering a culture of integrity. The Board adopted a Policy on Prohibited Practices that expresses the Fund’s commitment to zero-tolerance for Prohibited Practices and establishes the specific conduct and activities that are prohibited by the Fund, including the obligations of Covered Individuals and Counterparties to refrain from engaging in Prohibited Practices and to report suspected wrongdoing in relation to any Fund-related Activities, and the actions that the GCF may take when the Policy is violated. Prohibited Practices covered under the Policy include corruption, fraud, coercion, collusion, obstruction, abuse, money laundering, retaliation against whistle blowers, and financing of terrorism, each of which is defined in the text.

Affording proper protections towards a safe and respectful workplace. The Board approved an Interim Policy on the Protection from Sexual Exploitation, Sexual Abuse, and Sexual Harassment (SEAH) that establishes the Fund’s zero tolerance for SEAH. The interim Policy sets out the following:

• Obligations for the GCF and its Covered Individuals to prevent and respond to SEAH and to refrain from condoning, encouraging, and participating in SEAH;
• Detailed reporting and investigation procedures; and
• Protections and remedies available for any victim and whistleblower.

The Independent Integrity Unit, in consultation with the Secretariat, is also mandated to present to the Board at B.23 an updated policy on the protection from SEAH that concerns Counterparties in Fund-related Activities.

Piecing the puzzle together, our way forward. Completing the GCF integrity framework is an important task. With these Policies now in full effect, we should work together as one organisation to ensure that related obligations and protections are effectively understood and implemented. As GCF Staff, we all share the duty to safeguard climate finance by keeping a watchful eye on any wrongdoing or prohibited activity that undermines the mission of the Fund. GCF Staff and other associated persons have an obligation to report integrity violations to the Independent Integrity Unit through any of the following channels:

By e-mail
[email protected]

By phone
+82 32 458 6155

By post
17/F G-Tower | Songdo International Business District
175 Art Centre-daero, Yeonsu gu
Incheon 22004 Republic of Korea

*Reports are confidential and may be anonymous.

Should you need additional guidance or information about GCF integrity policies, please visit the IIU website or feel free to drop by our office at the 17/F. We would be glad to discuss further or address your concerns.