November 27, 2020

UN Resolution Endorsing International Ombuds Organizations Notably Excludes IOA

Last week the United Nations adopted a resolution on, "The role of Ombudsman and mediator institutions in the promotion and protection of human rights, good governance and the rule of law." The resolution solidifies the relationship between the UN and the International Ombudsman Institute, and explicitly supports Classical Ombuds schemes in member states. Although the UN's own internal Ombuds and Mediation Service and most UN-affiliated entities with Ombuds programs practice to International Ombudsman Association standards, the IOA is not mentioned in the resolution.

In addition to the IOA, the resolution commends the work of several international Ombuds organizations by name: the Association of Mediterranean Ombudsmen, the Ibero-American Federation of Ombudsmen, the Association of Ombudsmen and Mediators of la Francophonie, the Asian Ombudsman Association, the African Ombudsman and Mediators Association, the Arab Ombudsman Network, the European Mediation Network Initiative, the Pacific Ombudsman Alliance, and the Eurasian Ombudsman Alliance. The UN General Assembly is expected to ratify the resolution by the end of the year. (UN Resolution.)


  1. I found this post confusing. The Resolution solidifies the relationship but doesn't mention IOA? I don't understand. Please clarify??

    1. There are two large international professional groups for Ombuds: The International Ombudsman *Association* is for Organizational Ombuds and its members are primarily based in North America and UN-affiliated non-governmental agencies; The International Ombudsman *Institute* is for Classical Ombuds and its membership is more international and almost exclusively within or with a legislative mandate.