APOR conference 2018: Opening address
Office of the Ombudsman | December 12, 2018
President of the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) and Ombudsman for the Republic of Ireland, Peter Tyndall, opened the 30th Australasian and Pacific Ombudsman Region (APOR) conference on 28 November 2018 by calling on integrity institutions to work together, now more than ever, to help curb the current erosion of human rights.
Regional ombudsmen challenged to curb current erosion of human rights
“In many parts of the world we have witnessed the rise of populism, a legitimisation of xenophobia, a reduction in respect for the rule of law, endemic corruption and an erosion of human rights.”
With these words, the President of the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) and Ombudsman for the Republic of Ireland, Peter Tyndall, opened the 30th Australasian and Pacific Ombudsman Region (APOR) conference. He called on integrity institutions to work together, now more than ever, to help curb the current erosion of human rights.
He said that having the Ombudsman recognised as a fundamental component of democratic accountability, something every state should have, is an important aspiration of the IOI. “While many Ombudsman offices have an explicit human rights jurisdiction, those of us with a more traditional mandate still have a key role to play in vindicating people’s rights and need to take a human rights based approach to our work. We need to work even more closely together to ensure people can access the services they need and are treated fairly by their Government.”
APOR is the regional arm of the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI), the global organisation for the cooperation of more than 180 independent integrity institutions worldwide.
Over 70 delegates and support staff attended the conference in Auckland on 28-29 November 2018, focusing on ‘Holding governments to account in a changing climate’. Day two of the conference was dedicated to training regarding the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) and the setting up of National Preventive Mechanisms (NPM) to monitor places of detention and deprivation of liberty.
During the conference, Chief Ombudsman New Zealand, Peter Boshier, was elected as APOR’s regional president, effective from 1 April 2019. Mr Boshier praised the outgoing president and Hong Kong Ombudsman, Connie Lau, for the significant contribution she made during her two years in the role. He said he would endeavour to continue her active role in developing links with regional and international bodies to ensure that the work of Ombudsman Offices is understood, valued and protected.
- Read Mr Tyndall’s full opening address here.
- View some photographs of the conference on our Facebook page here.
- Find out more about the APOR 2018 conference here
- Find out more about the Chief Ombudsman’s international work here
- Find out more about OPCAT and the Chief Ombudsman’s NPM function here.