United Nations recognise importance of independent Ombudsman Institutions

January 19, 2021

Werner Amon, Secretary General of the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) 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 law.

The resolution was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 16 December 2020.  The final document is accessible HERE.

Proposed by the Kingdom of Morocco, this resolution represents the culmination of the IOI’s work to develop a closer relationship with the UN. IOI President Peter Tyndall and IOI Secretary General Werner Amon both welcomed the adoption of this resolution, as it provides strong endorsement of the Principles on the Protection and Promotion of the Ombudsman Institution (the Venice Principles).  The Venice Principles are 25 principles that protect and promote the Ombudsman institution. “This is a very welcome development, because the UN Resolution establishes these principles as the new global standard for the Ombudsman for the first time,” said IOI President Peter Tyndall.

IOI Secretary General and Austrian Ombudsman Werner Amon underlined: “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.

The International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) is the only global organisation for the cooperation of independent Ombudsman institutions. It represents over 200 members from more than 100 different countries worldwide and its General Secretariat is provided by the Austrian Ombudsman Board in Vienna.