Central to the terms of reference of the INRAE-Cirad-Ifremer-IRD Ethics in Common Committee is  the concept of” fairness and equity” and the discussion of  the ways in which research organisations and their teams can work towards this goal. The Committee aims to be a voice for the ethical dilemmas faced by  researchers working in institutes. By rephrasing these dilemmas and putting them into perspective, it proposes recommendations on complex questions that generally do not have immediate answers.

The Committee's role is to reflect, advise, raise awareness and, if necessary, warn. Unlike an operational committee, it does not involve itself directly in research projects and is not concerned with the field of individual or collective deontology, which is the task of other entities within the institutions concerned.