THE NETHERLANDS | 13th IOI World Conference inaugurated in The Hague

The 13th IOI world conference started on Wednesday, 15 May 2024 in The Hague. After giving his opening speech, His Majesty the King of the Netherlands revealed together with the future generation three paintings on the theme of the conference: working together for our tomorrow. This was followed by the speech of the keynote speaker, Ian Buruma, with the title: We Are the People: Citizenship, Identity and the Nation-State. He described, how, in the past decades, citizenship developed, in a western context, but also in an Asian context and what can happen to people that do not have a passport. As many people have experienced when they reside in refugee centres.

The programme for the other three days is available on the website of the conference and here you can also find the names of the speakers. The breakout sessions provided a rich outcome of experiences from all over the world. We were especially happy to have all the regions well represented as speakers and participants in the breakout sessions.

One of the insights that came up several times is that climate change of course does not stop at the borders and that we, as ombuds institutions, need to work together on this topic. We also heard several times that the right to a clean and healthy environment is part of the human rights agenda.

The conference was also the moment for presenting the first findings in the best practice paper development. The office of the National Ombudsman is working on a best practice paper on outreach and has conducted several extensive interviews with other ombuds institutions. These were discussed and made clear the term outreach in itself is a topic for discussion. Because sometimes you do not need to reach out, but to proactively, engage people.

Having a global meeting where ombuds institutions could meet each other in person, after such a long time, proved that this possibility of sharing what comes across in your work and hearing what other institutions are coping with, is very inspiring. We hope to meet again with all of you in 2028.


Source: The Office of the Conference Host and National Ombudsman of the Netherlands


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