The code of conduct applies to all International Monetary Fund staff. The code outlines in
one document the guidelines for staff conduct, which are prescribed in various Fund rules and
regulations. It also provides guidance on how to exercise good judgment in ethical matters, and it
includes practical examples to illustrate how the rules can be applied.
The code clarifies and expands upon a number of rules. For example, it defines more clearly
the obligations of staff as international civil servants with regard to conduct both at work and
elsewhere. The section on use and disclosure of information provides clear and practical
guidance to staff. The section on financial disclosure strengthens the safeguards needed to ensure
that both the International Monetary Fund and its staff are seen as free of any conflict of interest
and beyond reproach.
1. The goals of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) require that all who
work for the institution observe the highest standards of professional ethics. We all have a
responsibility to contribute to the good governance of the IMF and to help maintain its reputation
for probity, integrity, and impartiality.
2. This code presents guidelines for staff conduct, which are intended to be
consistent with the specific standards of conduct applicable to IMF staff members pursuant to the
IMF's N-Rules and Regulations.
3. The code outlines obligations of IMF staff. However, the IMF as employer
also has the obligation to assist staff in these matters by providing information and advice and by
being responsive to staff concerns about ethical issues. Ethical conduct is not a passive process,
but requires you to make conscious choices and decisions, and to exercise good judgment,
consistent with the ethical values of the organization embodied in this code. A few basic
guidelines to keep in mind:
- always act honestly and impartially when carrying out your duties;
- never make private use of, nor disclose without authorization, any confidential
information you obtain through your work for the IMF;
- avoid outside activity that could reasonably be perceived as a conflict of interest; and
- always treat others in a courteous and professional manner.
4. You may sometimes find that the proper conduct in a given situation is not
self-evident. This code can help you decide what to do in many, but not all, situations. When you
are in doubt about the ethical implications of an action, seek advice before you act. Consult the
documents posted on the IMF Web Service under the heading "Ethics and Staff
Conduct." Address any questions to your supervisor or to the Staff Development Division
of the Human Resources Department (HRD). And ask yourself these questions:
Is it legal?
Does it feel right?
Will it reflect negatively or positively on me or the IMF?
What would a reasonable person think about my action?
Would I be embarrassed if others knew I took this action?
Is there an alternative action that does not pose an ethical conflict?
5. Failure to observe the IMF's Rules and Regulations may be grounds for
disciplinary action by the IMF, which may include termination of employment in the case of
serious violations. Disciplinary action may be imposed for such misconduct depending on factors
such as the nature and seriousness of the violation and the staff member's prior record of conduct.
Before disciplinary action is imposed, staff will be given the opportunity to present his/her views
on the alleged misconduct, and, in case of disagreement with the action, may appeal it.
II. Basic Standard of Conduct
6. As a staff member, you are expected to observe the highest standards of
ethical conduct, consistent with the values of integrity, impartiality and discretion. You should
strive to avoid even the appearance of impropriety in your conduct. In the performance of your
duties, you have a duty of exclusive loyalty to the IMF, and to its objectives, purposes, and
7. You are expected to act with integrity in all your official activities, avoiding
any behavior that would reflect adversely on you or on the IMF. Integrity encompasses honesty,
probity, and loyalty. You are expected to provide accurate and complete information needed by
the IMF for the administration of personnel matters, and you must promptly report changes in
your personal circumstances that affect your eligibility for benefits and allowances.
8. The IMF respects the privacy of staff members and does not wish to
interfere with their personal lives and behavior outside the workplace. However, the status of an
international civil servant carries certain obligations as regards conduct, both at work and
elsewhere. The IMF attaches great importance to the observance of local laws by staff members,
as well as the avoidance of actions that could be perceived as an abuse of the privileges and
immunities conferred on the IMF and its staff, as the failure to do so would reflect adversely on
the IMF. For example, staff members are expected to meet their private legal obligations to pay
child support and alimony, and to comply with applicable laws concerning the treatment of G-5
domestic employees, as this program is available as a special privilege for international
organization personnel. The IMF would also be seriously concerned about notoriously
disgraceful conduct by a staff member involving domestic violence or abuse of family
9. The IMF is not in a position to investigate allegations that a staff member
has violated local law. However, if concerns about a staff member's behavior outside the
workplace are brought to its attention by third parties, it is both appropriate and prudent that the
staff member be informed about the matter. It is not the IMF's role to determine whether local
laws have been violated by a staff member, as that is for the domestic courts to decide. However,
if the IMF receives a lawful order from a court or other governmental authority instructing it to
withhold an amount of salary to be paid to a staff member to satisfy an outstanding legal
obligation, the IMF will not allow the staff member to take undue advantage of the fact that it is
immune from such orders.
10. You are expected to act with impartiality. You should take care that your
expression of personal views and convictions does not compromise or appear to compromise the
performance of your official duties or the interests of the IMF. Your official conduct must at all
times be characterized by objectivity and professionalism. You should not allow personal
relationships or considerations, including bias or favoritism, to influence the performance of your
official duties and you should avoid situations that create a conflict of interest.
11. You should exercise the utmost discretion in your actions and show tact
and reserve in your pronouncements in a manner that is consistent with your status as an
international civil servant. You should refrain from participating in any activity that is in conflict
with the interests of the IMF or would damage the IMF's reputation. You must respect and
safeguard the confidentiality of information which is available or known to you by reason of your
III. Conduct Within the IMF
12. The basic values of impartiality, integrity, and discretion should govern all
aspects of your conduct in your work.
Duty of loyalty
13. By accepting appointment at the IMF, you have promised to discharge your
functions under the sole authority of the Managing Director. You must respect the international
character of your position and maintain your independence by not accepting any instructions
relating to the performance of your official duties from any national government or from any
other sources external to the IMF.
Courtesy and respect
14. You should treat your colleagues, whether supervisors, peers, or
subordinates, with courtesy and respect, without harassment, or physical or verbal abuse. You
should at all times avoid behavior at the workplace that, although not rising to the level of
harassment or abuse, may nonetheless create an atmosphere of hostility or intimidation.
15. In view of the international character of the IMF and the value that the IMF
attaches to diversity, you are expected to act with tolerance, sensitivity, respect, and impartiality
toward other persons' cultures and backgrounds.
16. You must act within the scope of your authority at all times. You remain
accountable for tasks you delegate to others and you are expected to exercise adequate control
and supervision over matters for which you are responsible.
Use of IMF property, facilities, and supplies
17. You have a responsibility to ensure that IMF resources are used for the
official business of the IMF and you are expected to devote your time during working hours to
the official activities of the IMF.
18. A rule of reason applies to the personal use of IMF premises or
19. Managers have a responsibility to make themselves available to staff
members who may wish to raise concerns in confidence and to deal with such situations in an
impartial and sensitive manner. Managers should endeavor to create an atmosphere in which staff
feel free to use, without fear of reprisal, the existing institutional channels for conflict resolution,
and to express concerns about situations which are, or have the potential to be, conflictive.
IV. Use and Disclosure of Information
Use and disclosure of confidential information
20. You have a responsibility to protect the security of any confidential
information provided to, or generated by, the IMF. Accordingly, to avoid any unauthorized
disclosure, you should be careful how you handle confidential information. The basic principle of
the rules and guidelines on information security is that confidential information may be
communicated among staff only in accordance with the rules/guidelines of document
classification and must not be communicated to outsiders without authorization. Such
authorization may take the form of either direct instructions from management to individuals or
departments, or general policies established by management and the Executive Board. In
addition, you must not use any such confidential information for your own advantage, for
example, in your private business dealings (see Section V).
Press relations, public statements and publications
21. You should not, without authorization, provide to the news media, publish,
or make public statements relating to the policies or activities of the IMF or to any national
political question. You are free to publish and speak about other subjects, but you should avoid
any public communication not in keeping with your position as an international civil servant,
which calls for reserve and tact.
22. Special procedures have been established for handling news media contacts
in the IMF. Normally, before responding to or initiating a press contact related to the policies or
activities of the IMF or a national political question, you should consult your supervisor, who in
turn may need to consult the head of your department and the External Relations Department
before you proceed with the contact.
23. The IMF owns the copyright for all written material you produce as part of
your official duties, and has the right to publish such work in a manner it deems appropriate. If
the IMF does not choose to publish your work, you may, with the approval of your department
and the External Relations Department (EXR), publish your work elsewhere. The same joint
approval is required for works (including public statements) prepared on your own time, or prior
to joining the IMF staff, if the subject of the work relates to the IMF or its activities, or to any
national political question. In contrast, no approval is required if the subject is unrelated to the
IMF, its activities, or national political questions.
V. Conflicts of Interest, including Personal Financial
Conflicts of interest
24. You should avoid any situation involving a conflict, or the appearance of a
conflict, between your personal interests and performance of your official duties. In dealings with
member country authorities, suppliers, and other parties, you should act in the best interest of the
IMF to the exclusion of any personal advantage. To avoid potential conflicts of interest, the IMF
will seek to avoid assigning nationals to work on policy issues relating specifically to IMF
relations with their home country, unless needed for linguistic or other reasons. This would also
apply to non-nationals who, given their individual circumstances, may have a particular conflict
of interest vis-à-vis the country or its authorities. If a potential conflict exists, you should
make prompt and full disclosure to your supervisor and seek his or her views as to whether you
should recuse yourself from the situation that is creating the conflict or the appearance of
- If you are engaged in IMF procurement activities and if you have, or are considering
having, any direct or indirect outside interests, financial or otherwise, which might conflict or
appear to conflict with the interests of the IMF, you should make this situation known to your
supervisor and seek his/her view on whether you should withdraw from participating in the
- If you are negotiating for, or have an arrangement concerning, prospective employment
outside the IMF, you should maintain an arms-length relationship with the prospective employer
in all matters relating to the work of the IMF. For example, you should recuse yourself from
involvement in sensitive member country matters that could benefit, or could be perceived to
benefit, the prospective employer. Similar conduct is expected of staff who are on temporary
secondments to the IMF from their parent institution.
Personal financial affairs
25. You are generally free to conduct your personal financial affairs as you see
fit with two exceptions:
- because of the IMF's role in exchange rate surveillance, all staff
members are prohibited from engaging in short-term trading (i.e., a combination of buying and
selling within six months) in gold, foreign currencies and closely related financial instruments,
for speculative purposes. The term "combination" does not include one way
transactions, such as the selling or buying of foreign exchange for household expenses, education
or travel expenses;
- staff members are prohibited from using, or providing to others, confidential
information to which they have access for purposes of carrying out private financial
26. As many diverse situations may arise where the general principle
mentioned in paragraph 25(b) above could be subject to various interpretations, further guidance
is provided below. If you remain unsure on how to proceed in a given situation, you should seek
the assistance of the officer designated to this effect by management.
- Confidential information includes market-sensitive information relating to pending
IMF or government actions that, when disclosed, are likely to have a material impact on the
market value of currency or other investment vehicles. Examples of such market-sensitive
information may include information about pending exchange rate or interest rate changes, major
fiscal or economic policy changes or initiatives, and, in some cases, pending changes in top
government officials or developments in relations with the IMF (e.g., calendar of missions or
- The prohibitions above apply to financial transactions effected by yourselves and by your
immediate family members, i.e., spouse and dependents.
- The prohibitions above do not apply to pre-existing financial holdings. However, if you
hold prior investments in financial assets of a country or group of countries to which you have
been newly assigned and with respect to which you are likely to have access to confidential
information, you should seek the views of the officer designated to this effect by management
who would advise you whether you should divest these assets or refrain from effecting changes
in asset positions during your assignment.
27. You should disclose any financial or business interests that you or your
immediate family members have that might be in actual or apparent conflict with your IMF
duties. You should make this disclosure to your supervisor or to the officer designated by
management for such matters. Supervisors and the officers designated by management should
make a written record of the disclosure for the protection of the staff member.
28. All staff members shall certify, according to a periodicity and in a form to
be prescribed by the Managing Director, that they have read the policy on conflicts of interest and
that they are in compliance. If a staff member is unsure about the extent of his/her compliance,
he/she should provide further explanations as provided for in the certification form. In addition,
the Managing Director may require certain categories of staff members to file a confidential
statement of financial interests and activities, according to a periodicity and in a form prescribed
by the Managing Director. These statements shall be filed with and examined by an officer
designated by the Managing Director.
VI. External Activities
29. You need permission from the IMF to engage in any outside employment,
occupation, business activity, or profession. The IMF would not object to your engaging in such
an activity, provided that (i) it does not interfere with your ability to perform your regular work
for the IMF; (ii) it is compatible with the IMF's rules on staff conduct; (iii) it does not create a
conflict of interest; and (iv) it does not violate applicable immigration rules. Your request should
be cleared with your department and forwarded to HRD, with the endorsement of your
department. In some cases, especially activities related to outside publications and speeches, your
request will need to be cleared by EXR also.
30. You may participate in volunteer activities of a community or charitable
nature without advance clearance. However, if you are in doubt as to whether an activity you are
contemplating would run counter to the criteria in (i)-(iv) above, you should seek advice from the
Staff Development Division, HRD.
31. Staff members need permission to engage in political activities, except for
activities such as voting, making legal political contributions, and participating at the local, grass
roots, or community level. Staff members may not run for elected public office without obtaining
permission. A staff member who accepts a political appointment must offer to resign from the
IMF staff. The rules for public statements apply if, for example, you wish to make a public
statement endorsing a national political candidate.
Acceptance of gifts, decorations and honors
32. You should never solicit gifts or favors in connection with your IMF
duties. Gifts that are offered should normally be declined. However, you may accept a small gift
when it would create an embarrassment to refuse it. Under current rules, if its value is clearly less
than $100, you may keep it and need not report it. If the value of the gift could exceed $100, you
should report it, along with your estimate of its value. The gift may have to be turned in for an
appraisal if there is a question about its value.
33. You are not allowed to accept any honors or decorations given to you in
connection with your official duties with the IMF. If there is no advance notice of the honor or
decoration, and it is impossible to refuse it, then you may accept it on behalf of the IMF and then
report it to the IMF. However, in cases where the honor or decoration is in recognition of
services unrelated to the IMF, the IMF will permit acceptance of such recognition.
34. Staff members who separate from the IMF, or are on leave status, including
leave without pay, are expected to observe the respective IMF rules on use or disclosure of
confidential information. In particular, staff members who separate from the IMF should not use
or disclose confidential information known to them by reason of their service with the IMF and
should not contact former colleagues to obtain confidential information. IMF employees are
prohibited from providing confidential information to former colleagues, who should be treated
like any other outside party.
Basic standard of conduct
1. A staff member fails to pay his or her spousal or child support
obligations, notwithstanding a court order to do so. Does this violate the IMF's standards of
Yes. Staff members may not take improper advantage of the fact that the IMF is not subject
to mandatory wage garnishments in order to avoid such obligations.
2. A staff member fails to comply with domestic violence laws or a court
order regarding visitation rights. Does this violate the IMF's standards of conduct?
Yes. Staff members are required to comply with laws against domestic violence. This
includes not only physical assault, but also violent acts and the threat of violent acts to those in
the staff member's household. While the IMF will not become involved in purely domestic
disputes, as an international organization, the IMF has an interest in ensuring that its staff
members do not abuse any immunities, engage in acts of cruelty against household members, or
violate court orders.
3. A staff member receives a traffic ticket in the operation of a motor
vehicle. Does this violate the IMF's standards of conduct?
No. The type of unlawful conduct that would violate the IMF's standards on private conduct
is conduct that is so serious, under the circumstances, that it would embarrass the IMF or call
into question a staff member's ability to perform official duties. By contrast, fraud and theft
would be serious unlawful acts in violation of the IMF's standards of conduct.
Conduct within the IMF
4. I am taking orders for Girl Scout cookies on behalf of my daughter. May
I ask colleagues whether they wish to place an order?
Yes, so long as there is no coercion or pressure placed on colleagues to make a
5. I am aware that my colleagues have made false claims on their travel
claims following a mission. Should I report this?
You are not under any formal obligation to report unethical behavior by colleagues.
However, should you decide to report an ethical breach by another staff member, you should do
so without fear of reprisal. You may also consider raising privately with the colleague your
concern about the unethical behavior. Under no circumstances should you actively participate in,
or facilitate the commitment of, an ethical violation by another staff member. Staff should also be
aware that malicious and unfounded whistle blowing is not acceptable behavior.
6. A staff member hangs a reproduction in his/her office of a famous
painting of a nude. Another employee in an adjacent office reports that this picture makes
him/her uncomfortable. Should the staff member be required to remove the painting?
Although not all norms of behavior constitute mandatory rules of conduct, it is nevertheless
expected that staff members will avoid actions that could reasonably be deemed to create a
hostile work environment or make others uncomfortable in the office. Assuming that this
situation meets these criteria, the staff member should be respectful of his/her colleague's
feelings and remove the painting.
7. My daughter is away at a university abroad. In order to cut down on the
cost of telephone calls, I occasionally send her e-mails from the IMF. Is this a violation of the
IMF's rules on conduct?
The primary purpose of the E-mail facilities is for official communications. The use of
E-mail at headquarters for personal purposes is permitted as long as this does not encroach on
work time, overburden the electronic network, or involve a significant extra expense for the
8. I am organizing a series of sermons to be delivered in my church by
outside speakers. In this connection, I need to make and receive some phone calls. Can I do this
from my office?
Yes, as long as the number and duration of such calls are limited and do not interfere with
the performance of your duties. Generally, spending a small amount of time on personal calls is
permitted within the constraints established by the supervisor. If significant time has to be spent
on personal matters, you should make up the time by staying later in the office or you should
make the calls during the lunch break. You are required to pay for any long distance calls.
Use and disclosure of information
9. You receive a call from outside the IMF, requesting data on the balance
of payments of Country X, as reported in the Recent Economic Developments (RED) for the last
Article IV consultation. How do you respond?
You could refer the caller to EXR's public information number (623-7300) or you may
provide the data if you know it is in the public domain.
10. You are the desk economist for Country Y, and receive a request from
an international bank for information on the status of negotiations on a new IMF arrangement
with Country Y. How do you answer?
You may disclose information about the negotiations only to the extent you have been
authorized to do so. If you are uncertain as to how far such authorization extends or what is
appropriate in the circumstances, you could pass the inquiry to either EXR or to the mission chief
(or other senior officer in your area department), who can determine how much information
should be disclosed.
11. You are working on Country Z, which has both an arrangement with
the IMF and a Structural Adjustment Loan with the World Bank. Your Bank counterpart, seeking
clarification of the monetary targets, specifically asks for a copy of the Board paper that
incorporates the monetary projections, which he says have been published in a national
newspaper in Country Z. How do you respond?
You may not give confidential IMF documents to outsiders, including the World Bank,
without prior authorization. The fact that the paper has reportedly been leaked is irrelevant-it is a
IMF document, and only the Executive Board can authorize its publication. Your best course of
action is to seek guidance from the mission chief, or another senior officer of your
12. You are an expert on tax policy and would like to write a letter to the
editor of a newspaper regarding a national sales tax. Does your letter need IMF
Whether your letter to the editor requires IMF clearance depends upon the issues covered and
the context in which the letter is being written. This includes whether the author is identified as a
IMF staff member, whether the letter could reasonably be expected to have an adverse effect on
the policies or activities of the IMF, and whether a national sales tax is a significant issue in the
IMF's relations with the country in question (the presumption is that it could be a significant
13. You have expertise (acquired outside the IMF) on the problem of
inadequate child care in your city and a local journalist would like to interview you. Do you need
to clear this press contact in the IMF?
No, so long as you avoid commenting directly upon national policy issues such as
controversies over national budget outlays for child care. If you do intend to touch on such
controversies, you may need to seek IMF clearance for your comments in advance depending
upon the issue.
14. I am invited to give a talk on the international agreement to ban land
mines. Do I need to clear my outline within the IMF?
If this is currently a matter of national political controversy considering the context of the
talk, and the content is such that it may reasonably be expected to embarrass the IMF or have an
adverse effect on IMF policies and activities, you would need clearance from the IMF before
accepting the invitation.
Conflicts of interest, including personal financial affairs
15.I work on emerging Country X, may I acquire mutual funds specialized
- this country?
- this region?
You may not if you make this acquisition on the basis of confidential information that you
have obtained in the course of your work. For instance, you are prohibited from buying mutual
funds if this decision is based on the information of a pending change in interest rates that you
have learned about during confidential discussions with the authorities of the country to which
you are assigned. In addition to this prohibition, you should not be perceived by a reasonable
outsider to have acted on the basis of your access to confidential information in making an
acquisition. This is why such acquisitions are generally discouraged. If in doubt, consult the
officer designated to that effect by management before undertaking such investment.
16. I work on Country X desk. Do the rules above mean that I may not hold
Country X mutual funds, equities, or Treasury bills?
No, they do not prohibit such holdings. They require that you refrain from conducting
financial transactions which an outsider could reasonably consider to be influenced by your
access to confidential information. As an example, selling Country X Treasury bills shortly after
you have been discussing interest rate prospects with the authorities of Country X for your
Article IV surveillance work could reasonably be perceived by an outsider to be influenced by
confidential information obtained in the course of your work.
17. May I sell gold?
In general, you may, as long as you do not trade in gold. You may not, of course, make use of
confidential information obtained in the course of your duties in the IMF as the basis for
initiating a sale. Therefore, if you learned, for example, that the IMF was planning to sell gold,
you would be prohibited from selling gold prior to the public announcement of a sale of gold by
18. May I sell French Francs forward to protect the U.S. dollar value of the
proceeds that I am expecting to repatriate to Washington following the sale of my house in
Yes, you may. The prohibition stated in paragraph 25(a) (combination of buying and selling
within six months) does not apply in this case.
19. I have recently been involved in the assessment of the financial sector
of Country X where I came to learn about the financial situation of some commercial banks. Is it
all right for me to take either a short or long position in their traded bonds or stocks?
No, it is not. You would be taking advantage of confidential information that you might have
obtained in the course of your duties. Even if you had not been entrusted with any such
information, others could reasonably perceive you as having been and, for that reason, you
should abstain from such trading.
20. A staff member has been recruited by an investment bank. Before his
departure, he is asked to participate in a IMF mission to a country that is undergoing a financial
crisis. In the course of this mission, he will no doubt come across confidential information that
will be useful to his next employer. Should he go or should he recuse himself?
No, he should not go. This situation creates the appearance of impropriety in light of his
imminent plans and it would be difficult or impossible for him to refrain from using information
learned during the mission in his next job. He should bring this conflict of interest to the
attention of his supervisor, who would be expected not to send him on the mission.
21. I learned through my brother-in-law, who works for a software firm, of
a new product of that firm that may be useful for the IMF. May I arrange a meeting between the
software firm and representatives of the IMF?
Yes, so long as you do nothing to influence the IMF's decision whether to acquire the
software or otherwise use the products of this firm, as you would have a conflict of interest in
dealing with such matters.
22. I have been invited by a university located in the U.S. to teach a course
on macroeconomics, for which I will be paid $5,000. Can I accept the invitation?
You can accept this invitation, provided that it is approved by your department, EXR, and
HRD and that the work, including preparation, is not done on office time. If prohibited by U.S.
law, you may not accept remuneration for the work if you are not a U.S. national or Permanent
Resident. (Currently, under U.S. law G-4, staff can accept "honoraria" of not more
than $500 per occasion (no more than two occasions per year)).
23. I am a Resident Representative in Country X and I have been asked by
a private investment fund to provide advice on a strategic plan for investment and to receive
remuneration for this service. Can I accept this offer?
No. This would create at least the perception of a conflict of interest and perhaps also an
actual conflict of interest because you have access to confidential information.
24. I own an apartment that is currently rented to generate some income.
Must I report it to the IMF to avoid violating the rules on outside activities?
No. You may rent your properties without advance clearance, as long as the rental has not
become an organized business.
25. May I participate in a lawful public demonstration on an issue not
closely related to the work of the IMF, for example, abortion policy or nuclear disarmament,
without obtaining advance clearance?
Yes, provided that you participate in a manner that does not publicly identify your
connection to the IMF. If, however, you intend to make a public statement on a "national
political question," advance clearance is required (see paragraphs 21 through 23
26. May I join and participate in the activities of a non-governmental
environmental, animal rights, religious, or civic organization?
You may join both formal and informal clubs and non-governmental organizations, if you
can join and participate without identifying yourself in connection with the IMF, and without
bringing embarrassment to the IMF or adversely affecting its interests.
27. May I sign a petition supporting a particular political candidate or
endorse a candidate for elected office in my country?
You may sign a petition supporting a political candidate or endorse a candidate for elected
office in the country in which you are qualified to vote, or join a political party, if you can do so
without publicly identifying yourself in connection with the IMF and without bringing
embarrassment to the IMF or adversely affecting its interests.
28. I am invited to accept an honorary degree in connection with my alumni
activities and other services unrelated to the IMF. May I accept?
You should seek clearance from the IMF, which will grant permission to staff members to
accept honorary degrees awarded in recognition of achievements and services unrelated to the