GREAT BAY, The Ombudsman of Sint Maarten, Gwendolien Mossel, recently attended the International Ombudsman Institute’s (IOI) Board of Directors meeting, which was held from 7-11 May, 2023 in Vienna, Austria. Ms. Mossel was elected to the IOI Board in February of 2022, as Director for the Caribbean and Latin American Region.
The IOI, established in 1978, is the global organization for the cooperation of 205 independent Ombudsman institutions from more than 100 countries worldwide. The IOI is organized in six regional chapters – Africa, Asia, Australasian and Pacific, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America and North America. The IOI’s General Secretariat is located in Vienna.
One of the issues that was discussed and approved during the Board meeting was a statement of support for the Ombudsman (Office for the Protection of the Citizen) of Haiti. In the letter the IOI expressed its concern about the acts of violence that have been taking place, particularly the acts of looting, vandalism, arson and murders recorded both in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince and in other regions of the country during the last months. Ms. Mossel, as President of the Caribbean Ombudsman Association (CAROA), had previously also sent a letter of support to the Ombudsman of Haiti, Dr. Renan Hédouville. Another important agenda point that was discussed is the subsequent IOI World Conference and General Assembly that will be hosted by the National Ombudsman of the Netherlands, Reinier van Zutphen, in The Hague from 13-17 May 2024. The World Conference will cover four (4) themes: inclusiveness, value dilemma’s, climate change & living conditions and future generations.
In photo, L-R: Randolf Duggins (Secretary General Ombudsman Sint Maarten), Gwendolien Mossel (Ombudsman Sint Maarten, IOI Director), Chris Field (IOI President), Nashieli Ramirez Hernandez (Human Rights Commission Mexico City, IOI Regional President), Gabriel Savino (Ombudsman of the province of Santa Fe, Argentina, IOI Director), Nancy Perez (Executive Secretary Human Rights Commission of Mexico City), Mariano Yakimavicius (General Director of Strategy and Management office of the Ombudsman of the province of Santa Fe, Argentina).