The Parliamentary Ombudsman participates at the General Assembly of the 13th IOI World Conference

From left to right: The Ombudsman of Ukraine, Dmytro Lubinets, The Ombudsman of Mexico and Incoming President of the IOI, Nashieli Ramirez Hernandez, the Parliamentary Ombudsman of Malta, Judge Emeritus Joseph Zammit McKeon and the Ombudsman of Netherlands, Mr Reinier van Zupthen.

The 13th IOI World Conference progresses with the International Ombudsman Institute General Assembly, which convenes every four years and was attended this year by 237 delegates from 80 countries. These delegates represent ombudsmen, mediators, and human rights institutions worldwide.

This General Assembly, the first held in person in eight years due to previous gatherings being moved online because of the COVID pandemic, featured a full agenda. Parliamentary Ombudsman Judge Emeritus Joseph Zammit McKeon participated in these significant proceedings.

During the assembly, boards from various global regions presented their work reports. The assembly culminated with the approval of The Hague Declaration, which outlines the members’ collective commitment towards addressing pressing global issues.

The Hague Declaration outlines several critical recognition and commitments:

  1. The reality of climate change and its profound impact on global citizens, asserting the responsibility of ombuds institutions to mitigate the associated challenges.
  2. Recognising that ombuds institutions operate under national mandates and international guidelines may present dilemmas in serving citizens.
  3. Ombuds institutions have an obligation to identify and proactively reach out, to citizens who are less aware of these services.
  4. The advocacy role of ombuds institutions for future generations who cannot represent themselves.
  5. The imperative for ombuds institutions to consider the long-term impacts of their actions, ensuring a positive contribution to future challenges.
  6. The strategy to include Climate Change & Living Conditions, Value Dilemmas, Outreach, and Future Generations as recurring themes in future IOI activities.
  7. The encouragement for ombuds institutions to discuss how conference themes apply in their respective countries and to share these insights across the IOI network.
  8. Utilising all available resources to spread knowledge and expertise, including digital tools, teamwork, international cooperation, and training.
  9. Ombuds institutions need to engage with citizens, integrating their experiences into daily practice to better represent their perspectives.

This assembly addressed immediate institutional concerns and set a strategic agenda for addressing long-term global challenges, underlining the critical role of ombuds institutions in today’s interconnected world.

The Parliamentary Ombudsman is accompanied by Mr Paul Borg, Director General and Mr Jurgen Cassar, Head of Communications and Research.

The Parliamentary Ombudsman of Malta, Judge Emeritus Joseph Zammit McKeon together with the Ombudsman of Portugal, Maria Lucia Amaral.


The Parliamentary Ombudsman, Judge Emeritus Joseph Zammit McKeon together with the Public Protector of South Africa, Kholeka Gcaleka.


The Parliamentary Ombudsman with the Secretary General of the IOI and Austria Ombudsman, Gaby Schwarz.


The Ombudsman of Malta together with the Ombudsman of South Korea Yong-Hak Joo.


From left to right: The Parliamentary Ombudsman of Malta, Judge Emeritus Joseph Zammit McKeon, Former Ombudsman of England and UK Health Ombudsman, Mr Rob Behrens, Mr Paul Borg, Director General and Ombudsman of Basque Country, Mr Manuel Lezertua Rodriguez.


The Ombudsman together with the Ombudsman of Hong Kong, China, Mr Jack Chan.


The Ombudsman with the Ombudsman of the Wallonie, Brussels, Mr Marc Bertrand.


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