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Korea to host global ombudsman conference

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Published : 2014-07-01 21:09
Updated : 2014-07-01 21:09

Korea’s anticorruption body said Tuesday it will hold an international conference in Seoul of ombudsman institutions from 12 countries.

The 2014 Ombudsman Global Conference, to be held at the Korea Press Center on Wednesday and Thursday, will bring together civil rights commission chiefs from Korea, the U.S., Austria, Canada, Japan, China (including Macau and Hong Kong), Malaysia, Ireland, Iran, Indonesia, Thailand and Pakistan.

The two-day meeting falls on the 20th anniversary of ombudsman system in Korea, as Ombudsman of Korea 4 ― the forerunner of the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission ― was established in 1994.
Lee Sung-bo, chairman of the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission, speaks during the the International Ombudsman Institute Asian Region General Meeting held at the Korea Press Center in Seoul on Tuesday. (Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission)

At the conference, 25 speakers will discuss their activities as the watchdogs of their respective countries. Along with heads of the institutes, an expert from the World Bank will also take the podium.

Lee Sung-bo, the chairman of the ACRC, will give a presentation on measures to enhance ombudsmen’s capacity to respond to social disputes. He will kick off the ceremony on Wednesday with an opening speech and emphasize the role of ombudsman institutions to actively attend to people’s needs.

His speech will touch on the ACRC’s responses to collective complaints and ways to preemptively resolve them.

Former ACRC chief Kim Young-ran, who has made headlines as author of an act against corruption among civil servants, will speak on the role of Korean ombudsmen. She will discuss the gradual transition in the public’s attitude toward advocacy of people’s rights and interests in relation with the cultural changes in our society.

The conference follows the Asian Ombudsman Association Board Meeting and the International Ombudsman Institute Asian Region General, which were hosted by the ACRC on Tuesday at the Korea Press Center. It was decided at the AOA meeting to approve the Gangwon Province Ombudsman’s membership application.

The AOA board meeting was attended by 60 participants from 12 countries in Asia, Europe and North America, including Lee Sung-bo, ACRC chairman, AOA treasurer and IOI board member.

By Yoon Min-sik (minsikyoon@heraldcorp.com)

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