The Parliamentary Ombudsman, Judge Emeritus Joseph Zammit McKeon, held a significant meeting with the Ambassador of Ireland to Malta, H.E. Caroline Whelan, at the Office of the Ombudsman.
The meeting brought to light the mutual interests and common aspects between Malta and Ireland, each an island state within the European Union, upholding neutrality, and possessing strong bases in the Ombudsman Institution.
A principal topic of discussion was the ongoing international crises in Ukraine and the Middle East.
On the Middle East, the Ombudsman reaffirmed his hope, already publicly expressed, for an immediate cessation of hostilities and the tragic loss of innocent lives, emphasising the necessity for enduring solutions to the root causes of these crises. He conveyed his belief that without such solutions, the crises would continue to result in loss for all parties involved.
Ambassador Whelan referred to her activities commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Ireland’s entry into the European Union. She expressed interest in the topics explored at the Ombudsman’s recent International Conference on this subject. The conference focused on integrating Article 41 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights into local legislation, igniting conversations about the right to good administration. The Ombudsman mentioned his intention to hold talks with the public administration in Malta to follow up on the discussions initiated at the Malta Conference.
The Ombudsman reiterated his commitment to leveraging international relations to exchange practices and experiences. He highlighted the value of learning from other European and Mediterranean ombudsman institutions, promoting a cooperative approach to improving public service systems.
Moreover, the Ombudsman discussed his efforts to enhance the accessibility of the institution to all persons, physical or moral without any distinction of any sort, considering embassies as key stakeholders in this endeavour. He extended an invitation to the Embassy of Ireland to collaborate with the Office of the Ombudsman. Ensuring that all p have a means to address any challenges they encounter with public services or government-owned entities.
The meeting between the Ombudsman and the Irish Ambassador marks a significant step in bolstering diplomatic relations. It demonstrates the Ombudsman’s dedication to serving all residents in Malta, regardless of their nationality.