The 12th Meeting and General Assembly of the Association of Mediterranean Ombudsmen (AOM) took place for two days in Pristina in which the integrity and independence of the Ombudsmen Institutions was discussed.
The conference was co-organized between the Ombudsperson’s Institution of Kosovo and the AOM, which welcomed the Ombudsmen and other representatives from Albania, Greece, Palestine, Cyprus, Malta, Slovenia, Turkey, Israel, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and other participants of the Mediterranean region through the online platform.
The participants discussed the new challenges faced by the institutions of Ombudsmen regarding independence as one of the essential elements for better functioning and for a more successful protection of human rights.
After two days of discussions, the members of the Association issued the ‘Pristina Declaration’, coming up with some common positions that aim to strengthen cooperation and activities in the future.
The declaration reaffirms that human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and that Ombudsman Institutions, mediators and other human rights institutions have a central role in the human rights system.
Another point emphasizes the commitment to promote cross-border, regional and international cooperation in order to effectively protect human rights and fundamental freedoms and determined to redefine the Mediterranean from a sea that divides us to a sea that unites us, as highlighted in Statement of AOM Nafplion of October 5, 2021.
Noting that the Ombudsmen Institutions constitute an integral part of democratic governance and have a decisive role for the rule of law, the protection and promotion of human rights, but also in the supervision and effective implementation of international human rights obligations and standards.
Recognizing that integrity and independence are key principles that should guide the work of ombudsmen institutions, mediators and national human rights institutions (IKDNJ) and are also the foundations on which they should be built.
Under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Kosovo, Mrs. Vjosa Osmani, a reception was also organized for the Mediterranean Ombudsmen, which was held at the National Museum of Kosovo.
The assembly elected the new vice-president, the membership in AOM of the Ombudsman of the region of Lazio, Italy, has been approved, and Malta will be the host of the next General Assembly which will be held in 2025. The governing board of the AOM also suspended from the Association, the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the Russian Federation.