UN and Partners Hold Roundtable on Implementation of the Law on Ombudsman
Ashgabat, 11 May 2017: The Mejlis (Parliament) of Turkmenistan, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) held a roundtable discussion on implementing the ‘Law on the Ombudsman’.
Following the election of Ms Yazdursun Gurbannazarova as the first Ombudsperson of Turkmenistan in March 2017, the roundtable provided for a venue to discuss international best practices and guiding principles for establishing Turkmenistan’s Office of the Ombudsperson. The Office represents the country’s first National Human Rights Institution and is mandated with the protection and promotion of human rights in Turkmenistan.
“Turkmenistan subscribes to a policy of democratization of the country and protection of human rights of its citizens. The new Constitution of Turkmenistan includes an article on establishing of the Office of Ombudsperson to promote wellbeing of the citizens of Turkmenistan. The Mejlis of Turkmenistan has studied international experience, and worked with international organizations such as UNDP, OSCE, UNHCR, OHCHR and others,” said the Chairperson of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, Ms. Akja Nurberdiyeva.
Dedicated experts from Estonia and Finland shared their hands-on experience and best practices on the workings of National Human Rights Institutions and provided practical guidance for facilitating the creation of an effective and legitimate institution. Participants of the roundtable were also able to discuss opportunities of NHRIs to interact with UN Human Rights mechanisms as well as the role of the newly established Office of the Ombudsperson to ensure the rights of marginalized groups.
“Adoption of the ‘Law on Ombudsman’ and the subsequent election of the first Ombudsperson of Turkmenistan in the end of March 2017 is a landmark event for the promotion of human rights in Turkmenistan. It became an important step for the country in implementation of recommendation of the UN treaty bodies on human rights and confirmation of the commitment of the Government and the Mejlis of Turkmenistan to ensure the rule of law and promote rights and freedoms of citizens in accordance with the country's legislation and universally recognized international norms,” stated UN Resident Coordinator, Elena Panova.
The Ombudsperson of Turkmenistan is expected to address human rights violation complaints of the citizens of Turkmenistan and inform on regular basis the Mejilis on the main findings and results of its work. Ms. Gurbannazarova already took part in the recently held workshop on newly-established national human rights institutions in Central Asia held in Astana, Kazakhstan.
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