Ombudsman attends the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law

The Parliamentary Ombudsman Judge Emeritus Joseph Zammit McKeon attended the 10th Anniversary celebration of the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ). The event, which was held under the auspices of the President of Malta, H.E. George Vella, marked ten years since the founding of the IIJ, emphasising its role in tackling terrorism and transnational crime globally.

The IIJ has been pivotal in developing capacity-building programmes that aid governments and practitioners in addressing contemporary security challenges. The Institute’s dedicated efforts facilitate effective and collaborative approaches to tackle these issues, emphasising the importance of international cooperation.

President Vella, in his address, lauded the synergistic achievements of the IIJ over the past ten years. He emphasised the Institute’s importance as a beacon of knowledge and innovation, crucial for fostering global security. The President underscored the IIJ’s role in enhancing the capabilities of criminal justice practitioners and creating platforms for the exchange of best practices within a framework that respects the rule of law and human rights standards.

Steven Hill, Executive Secretary of the IIJ, acknowledged the unwavering support of the Maltese Government and President Vella. He highlighted the Institute’s impressive reach, with over 9,000 alumni from 130 countries, a testament to its significant impact on the global stage.

The event was structured into three sessions:

First Session: Milestones, Challenges & Impact of the IIJ

This session was chaired by H.E. Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, President of the Middle East Peace Forum and former Ambassador of the United States to Malta.

The panel included H.E. Olivier Caron, Ambassador and Special Envoy for Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime at the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, France; Ms. Gabriele Scheel, Head of Division for International Cooperation against Terrorism, Drug Trafficking, Organised Crime, and Corruption at the Federal Foreign Office, Germany; Mr. Robert Strang, Executive Director of the CEELI Institute, Czech Republic, and former Executive Secretary of the IIJ; and Mr. Thomas Wuchte, Founder of the Center for Multilateral Collaboration & Cooperation Leadership and former Executive Secretary of the IIJ.

Second Session: IIJ in Action

Chaired by Mr. Joe O’Connell and Mr. Suleyman Ozar, former Senior Advisors at the IIJ, this panel featured IIJ alumni including Ms. Carla Kabel from the Philippines, Ms. Clairette Sylvie Mankentsop Wamba from Cameroon, and Mr. Islam El-Ghazouly from Iraq.

Third Session: Adapting to the Changing Landscape of Counterterrorism

H.E. Natalia Gherman, Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate at the United Nations, chaired the session.

Panelists were Mr. Alessandro Azzoni, Minister Plenipotentiary and Deputy Director General/Principal Director for Security at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy; Dr. Şeyda Emek from the Office of the European Union Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, Council of the European Union; Ms. Faye S. Ehrenstamm, Director of the Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training at the Department of Justice, United States; and Commander Dominic Murphy QPM, SO15 Counterterrorism Command, Metropolitan Police, United Kingdom.

Additionally, the event featured addresses by Mr. Christopher Cutajar, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and Trade, Malta, and member of the IIJ Governing Board of Administrators; Mr. Gregory LoGerfo, Principal Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the Department of State, United States; and Ms. Nkiruka Jones-Nebo, Director of the Department of International Justice Cooperation at the Federal Ministry of Justice, Nigeria.

The celebration of the IIJ’s 10th Anniversary marks a milestone in its journey and reinforces the collective commitment to justice and the rule of law, which is essential for combating terrorism and transnational crime in today’s interconnected world.

Media Releases