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Meeting of the European members of the International Ombudsman Institute chaired by the Catalan Ombudsman

07/05/2021

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The assembly discussed future challenges and the work carried out during the last two years

Rafael Ribó, until now president of the European Chapter, will hand over to the Greek Ombudsman, Andreas Potakkis

The Catalan Ombudsman, Rafael Ribó, as European President, took part on Thursday morning in a meeting of the IOI Europe members and the European General Assembly of the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI), which, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, took place online.

During the meeting, the Catalan Ombudsman described the situation of its members, talked about future challenges and explained the work done during the last two years.

In the last three years of term, the Catalan Ombudsman emphasised the workshops held, including the one held in Tallinn in January 2018 on human rights in the digital era, which dealt with contemporary challenges in the digital society and the role of ombudsmen in the protection of human rights. The workshop on environmental rights, organised by the Ararteko, also in 2018, which allowed to discuss the role of ombudsmen in facing current challenges, such as pollution or climate change. Or the artificial intelligence workshop, organised by the Catalan Ombudsman in 2020, which provided a meeting point for operators and large companies, international institutions, administrations, ombudsmen and civil society, and which enabled discussion and the design of a strategy based on respect for human rights.

Finally, the last part of the meeting was devoted to the next world conference, which will take place in Dublin, although for health reasons it will also be held in virtual format.

Thursday’s meeting was the first chaired by the Catalan Ombudsman, who has been president of the European Board of Directors since 2009, a post he renewed on 11 November 2016, with the support of his European counterparts. The new elected president of the European Chapter will be the Greek Ombudsman, Andreas Potakkis, who will take office during the next world conference.

Currently, the European IOI is made up of some twenty members. The International Ombudsman Institute was created in 1978 and is an international organisation of ombudsman institutions that brings together ombudsmen from all over the world. It is organised into six main regions, which are: Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Pacific, South America and the Caribbean, and North America. Its main objectives are to promote the concept and institution of the Ombudsman around the world and to foster the exchange of information and experience between the different institutions.

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