On 23 February the African Ombudsman Research Centre (AORC) hosted a Webinar, in collaboration with the IOI, to discuss the UN Resolution on Ombudsman and Mediators.
IOI President Peter Tyndall spoke at the webinar, along with IOI Secretary General Werner Amon, and the Médiateur of the Kingdom of Morocco, Judge Mohamed Benalilou. The discussion was facilitated by John Walters, Ombudsman of Namibia and former President of the IOI and the Webinar was attended by over 100 delegates.
Welcome and opening remarks were given by Prof. Brian McArthur, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head (acting) at the College of Law and Management Studies, University of Kwazulu – Natal and Adv. Kholeka Gcaleka, Deputy Public Protector of South Africa. The closing remarks were provided by Caroline Sokoni, Public Protector of Zambia and Regional President of IOI Africa.
Topics discussed included the significance of the UN Resolution and the Venice Principles to Ombudsman and mediator institutions in Africa and around the world, and their importance as the first global standard for the protection and promotion of Ombudsman institutions.
IOI President Peter Tyndall told the delegates at the Webinar: "I would urge all of you (Ombudsman offices) to review your own legislation in light of the Principles, and ask your Parliaments to make any necessary arrangements to bring it in line."
IOI Secretary General Werner Amon underlined the unique position Ombudsman hold by pointing out that: “Ombudsman are very close to the people and listen to citizens' problems and concerns. In doing so, Ombudsman offices act as seismographs and detect emerging trends and systemic issues.”