The Parliamentary Ombudsman elected to the International Ombudsman Institute’s European Region Board

For the first time in the history of the Office of the Ombudsman in Malta, the Parliamentary Ombudsman, Judge Emeritus Joseph Zammit McKeon, has been elected to the European Region Board of the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI). This significant achievement places Malta at the forefront of international efforts to promote good governance and uphold the principles of justice and fairness in public administration.

Established in 1978, the IOI is the primary global organisation fostering cooperation and knowledge exchange among more than 200 independent Ombudsman institutions from over 100 countries. The IOI is divided into six regional chapters, each playing a crucial role in supporting its members through training, research, and the provision of subsidies for projects aimed at enhancing good governance.

The recent European Region Board of Directors elections involved over 90 ombudsmen and European human rights institutions. The board consists of seven Directors, five of whom also serve on the IOI Board of Directors at the world level.

As one of the five members who received the most votes, Judge Zammit McKeon will also be part of the IOI Board of Directors at a world level.

The nomination of Judge Zammit McKeon revolved around the following four key issues:

  1. Research and training of Ombudsmen and their teams, especially on issues impacting individual rights in the digital age. This initiative is crucial in ensuring our institutions remain effective guardians of people’s rights against technological advancements.
  2. Actively advocating for concrete discussions on the evolving role of the Ombudsman, fostering meaningful dialogue on this critical subject.
  3. Supporting the development and execution of projects that enhance the accessibility and impact of Ombudsman institutions. Promoting initiatives that draw these institutions closer to the public can achieve greater transparency, accountability, and a more people-focused approach to public administration.
  4. Empowering Ombudsman institutions through a collaborative exchange of ideas, practices, and experiences, fostering an environment where we continuously learn from each other to enhance our effectiveness and better serve the people.

The election of Judge Zammit McKeon is an important moment for the Office of the Ombudsman in Malta. It highlights the institution’s dedication to upholding the rights of the person and our commitment to effective, transparent, and accountable governance. This achievement also enhances our office’s international profile and influence, allowing us to play an even more active role in contributing to good practices and policies at the European and global levels.

IOI Board of Directors who will take office at the first inaugural meeting in The Hague in May 2024.

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