"Have a complaint against a government department, organisation or public body?"
Ombudsman Dr. Nilda Arduin reports on productive meeting at the Headquarters of the United Nations in New York and Board meetings of the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) in Toronto
Published: May 16, 2018, 10:59 AM

Philipsburg; Upon invitation of the IOI to witness the launch of its recent publication on thehistory of the IOI at the Headquarters of the United Nations in celebration of the 40thanniversary of the institute, Dr. Arduin represented the Caribbean and Latin American region at the event as the Regional President on the IOI Board. The event aimed to provide a platform for exchange between the IOI, the UN and other relevant stakeholders, as well as discuss the role of Ombudsman institutions in implementing the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), identifying the challenges, opportunities and bestpractices in this context.

Since the inception of her election to the IOI Board in 2012 on behalf of the Caribbean and Latin American region, Dr. Arduin has consistently argued that the needs and vulnerability of the region should not be overlooked by the stronger nations, due to its size and or economical position. The region requires due attention to meet the goals targeted to transform our world. A statement made during the remarks offered by the Permanent Representative of Ireland to the UN in New York, that sometimes discussions on high levels take place in the abstract, justified the presence of the representatives of all IOI regions to the event. Active participation of Ombudsmen of all regions in global discussions and sharing best practices, contributes to greater understanding of everyday life experienced by people globally.

Subsequently, the Ombudsman attended the meeting of the IOI Executive Board in Toronto, followed by a Regional Board Meeting, chaired by Dr. Arduin as Regional President, and a General Board Meeting. The Regional Board Meeting was particularly important with regard to exchange of thoughts and best practices applied in Latin America with regard to monitoring of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals. The plan of action for people, planet and prosperity to structurally deal with the 2030 Agenda is hardly being discussed, or visible on Sint Maarten. 

Special attention was requested for (possible) threats faced by Ombudsman institutes as a result of natural disasters as experienced in the Caribbean last year. The threat of losing relevance instead of support nationally or locally to execute its mandate to protect the rights of the people in the wake of devastation has been acknowledged, and possible actions available through the IOI discussed.

The Ombudsman showed appreciation and thanked the IOI Board for assisting the region in the aftermath of the hurricanes with a grant to remain visible through an infomercial, a financial contribution to the Office of the Complaint Commissioner in the BVI to help restore its infrastructure, and assistance to the Caribbean Ombudsman Association (CAROA) to improve web communication among Ombudsman institutions in the region.


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