IOI President Chris Field and Vice President Europe Rob Behrens CBE attended the International Conference “Human Rights in Dark Hours” in Ukraine. As a reminder that Ukraine is under ongoing missile and drone attack from the Russian Federation, the conference was held in one of the deepest subway stations in the world. The Conference commenced with a poignant candlelight vigil for those Ukrainians who have made the ultimate sacrifice for democracy, freedom, the rule of law and the great sovereign nation of Ukraine.
Time Person of the Year, President Zelensky, provided a powerful opening speech. In his speech, President Zelensky specifically noted the visit to Ukraine by the International Ombudsman Institute: “I am glad that Chris Field is present among us today - it’s my pleasure, good afternoon - President of the International Ombudsman Institute, a representative of a system whose potential can provide much more for the protection of human rights for Ukraine.”
The IOI President followed President Zelensky in addressing the conference. An entire session of the conference was dedicated to the IOI Vice President Europe both addressing the conference and also hosting a Q & A session with our outstanding colleague and valued IOI Member, the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, Dmytro Lubinets. IOI President Field also undertook an international press conference.
Source: The Office of the Western Australian Ombudsman and IOI President