IOI | IOI Board and General Assembly meet in The Hague

The 13th World Conference and General Assembly of the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) was successfully hosted by the National Ombudsman of the Netherlands in The Hague from 12 – 17 May 2024. After the years of the pandemic, the conference provided an opportunity for the entire membership of the IOI to meet again in person after eight long years and 200 delegates from 60 different countries and all six IOI regions participated in this important quadrennial event.

The conference was preceded by meetings of the IOI Board of Directors, in which the Board admitted new members from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin and North America. The Board further endorsed the publication of the next Best Practice Paper on “Whistleblower Protection”, which will be made available on the website soon, as well as the continuation of the IOI’s regional subsidies program in the membership year 2024/2025.

At The Hague, the IOI renewed its close cooperation with the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT), when IOI President Diane Welborn and APT Secretary General Barbara Bernath signed a Memorandum of Understanding, by which both organizations agree to continue their strong and cooperative relationship, with a view to sharing information, knowledge and best practices in the area of ombudsman institutions and torture prevention.

On 14 May, the IOI General Assembly was held and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Volker Türk, contributed an opening address in which he underlined the significant contribution Ombudsman institutions make to protect the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms. He further acknowledged Ombudsman as mechanisms to address and correct injustices caused by maladministration, as well as their ability to identify systemic failings and ensure that governments become more transparent and accountable. "You are an important link between the institutions of the State and the population, thus for a renewed, refreshed social contract," High Commissioner Türk said in his opening remarks.

The General Assembly adopted the The Hague Declaration and acknowledged the duty and obligation that Ombuds institutions around the world have to improve the relation between the citizens and governments, especially for those, who cannot speak out for themselves. The members further took note that Ombuds institutions need to be accessible and reach out proactively to everyone.

At the end of the General Assembly, the incoming IOI Officers and regional Directors took office. Over the next four years, the Officers of the IOI are IOI President Nashieli Ramírez Hernández (President of the Human Rights Commission of Mexico City), IOI First Vice-President Mohamed Benalilou (Médiateur du Royaume du Maroc), IOI Second Vice-President Peter Boshier (Chief Ombudsman of New Zealand), and IOI Treasurer Caroline Sokoni (Public Protector of Zambia).


Source: IOI General Secretariat

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