From 9 – 12 October 2023, IOI Secretary General Gaby Schwarz met high-ranking UN representatives in New York to raise awareness about the important work Ombudsman institutions provide every day to ensure good governance and the rule of law. The Secretary General took the opportunity of her meetings to explore new options for the IOI to closer engage and cooperate with the United Nations.
Secretary General Schwarz held meetings with his Excellency Dennis Francis, 78th President of the UN General Assembly, her Excellency Paula Narváez, President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), his Excellency Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and her Excellency Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, Assistant Secretary-General at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA).
During these very productive talks, Ms. Schwarz was able to demonstrate how Ombudsman contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, for instance in matters relating to health, gender equality, education, or environmental protection. This is specifically true for SDG 16 on ‘Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions’, to which Ombudsman contribute by providing free and accessible complaints handling services, identifying systemic issues and recommending change to enhance the effectiveness and performance of public services.
A meeting with Ambassador Marco Suazo, Head of the New York office of UNITAR, the UN Institute for Training and Research, provided an excellent opportunity to discuss a first joint project in more details. Based on the Memorandum of Understanding signed between UNITAR and the IOI last year, this first project will tailor training on the Sustainable Development Goals to the work and needs of Ombudsman institutions.
This informal consultation with high-ranking UN representatives provided an opportunity to identify a new range of opportunities for the IOI to cooperate and engage in the UN’s sustainable development process.
Source: IOI General Secretariat