Ombudsman of Belize, Lionel Arzu, visited the Control Yuan (CY) on 30 October 2018. During his visit, he delivered a speech in which he introduced the Belizean Office of the Ombudsman’s promotion of good governance and protection of human rights. He also engaged in open and friendly discussions with CY members and staff.
Ombudsman Arzu pointed out in his speech that an independent judiciary and a system of checks and balances among the various branches of government are essential to ensuring good governance and the protection of fundamental human rights. The Office of the Ombudsman of Belize serves as an independent oversight agency that is beyond the control of the judicial and legislative branches, safeguarding good governance by investigating complaints filed by any person or group of persons claiming that an authority has engaged in corruption or claiming to have been subjected to injustice, injury or abuse by the government, he said.
Belize’s Office of the Ombudsman was founded in 1999 and has received and investigated approximately 1,700 complaints, many of which were made against the government alleging human rights violations, such as against the rights to life, personal liberty, social security, and asylum.
During his visit, Ombudsman Arzu said that he was impressed by the comprehensiveness of the Control Yuan’s powers and functions. He also expressed interest in Taiwan’s Sunshine Acts and their implementation, including with respect to property declaration by public servants as well as political donations. He further praised the CY’s important role in ensuring government administrative efficiency and its valuable contribution to upholding democracy.
In 2015, a Control Yuan delegation visited Belize and signed a cooperative agreement with the Office of the Ombudsman for the purpose of enhancing bilateral cooperation and engaging in experience-sharing on human rights related work. In the spirit of the agreement, the CY arranged visits for Ombudsman Arzu to several government and government-funded agencies, such as the National Audit Office, International Cooperation and Development Fund, and Agricultural Research and Extension Station, during his stay in Taiwan.
Source: Control Yuan (CY), Taiwan