WORLD | United Nations recognises importance of independent Ombudsman

Ombudsman, and President of the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI), Peter Tyndall has warmly welcomed the United Nations resolution on the Ombudsman institution, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 16 December 2020.

The UN resolution represents a strong endorsement of the key principles of ombudsman institutions, including independence, objectivity, transparency, fairness and impartiality.  It is an important further step in securing worldwide recognition for the work of Ombudsman institutions in promoting good administration, human rights, good governance and the rule of 

The resolution was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 16 December 2020. The final document is available in English, French and Spanish HERE.

The resolution was proposed by the Kingdom of Morocco and was co-sponsored by Ireland through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It represents the culmination of the International Ombudsman Institute’s work to develop a closer relationship with the UN. Irish Ombudsman Peter Tyndall is President of the IOI - the only global organisation for the cooperation of independent Ombudsman institutions. The IOI represents over 200 members from more than 100 different countries all over the world and its General Secretariat is provided by the Austrian Ombudsman Board and is based in Vienna. 

Peter Tyndall said: “The resolution provides strong endorsement of the Principles on the Protection and Promotion of the Ombudsman Institution - the Venice Principles. It establishes these principles as the new global standard for the Ombudsman.”

The Venice Principles are 25 principles that protect and promote the Ombudsman institution.

IOI Secretary General and Austrian Ombudsman Werner Amon said: “This is an important step to strengthen independent and autonomous Ombudsman institutions worldwide and to raise awareness at international level for the essential role they play in the protection and promotion of human rights. It confirms and reinforces the importance of a close cooperation of our organization with the UN. ”

Information gathered by IOI members on emerging trends and best practices may be of considerable value to the UN as it monitors issues, develops policy, or plans its initiatives. In exchange, the UN can assist the IOI and governments around the world by contributing its considerable influence to the promotion of recognised standards and the protection of Ombudsman under threat.  The resolution will help to shape the relationship between the IOI and the UN for the future as important allies to push forward the UN human rights agenda.

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