The year which we are leaving behind, marked the 15 anniversary of establishment of the Ombudsperson Institution (OI), when for the first time the institution opened its doors, to receive citizens’ claims whenever they consider that their rights have been violated by public authorities. I was fortunate to be one of three local legal advisors who commenced the work on that day, to further continue as investigation director and deputy as well as acting Ombudsperson at that time, but on July of this year to return as Ombudsperson, elected by the Assembly of Republic of Kosovo as head of this Institution.
Closing of calendar year 2015 at the same time marks closing of year’s work on handling of cases which are investigated by the Ombudsperson. During this period of time I and my associates were committed on rising citizens’ trust on Ombudsperson, increasing of implementation level of recommendations as well as OI strengthening, broadening cooperation with media, civil society and public institutions on the function of promoting human rights and freedoms, implementation of lawfulness, transparency and accountability.
The overview of the preliminary statistical data of the Ombudsperson Institution for 2015 once more draws attention that respect of human rights and freedoms remain to be a challenging issue for the public authorities in the country. Functioning of legal system as well as provision of effective administrative services, remain areas where special attention is required.
On the other hand, the progress in implementation of recommendations by authorities for 50% in the second half of the year is a positive signal, compared with 11% of implementation of recommendations within first six month period. This indicates that the communication and mutual respect of institutional role and mandate, provide results for the good of citizens, which is our common goal.
With the hope that 2016 will be wealthy and prosperous year for all the citizens of the country, the Ombudsperson Institution will remain to be the institution to which its citizens can address and seek solutions for their concerns and complains towards actions or inactions of public authorities. Nevertheless, the Ombudsperson will remain to be assessor and promotor of positive and good practices, with the aim to enhance democratic values, which in core has human rights and freedoms, guaranteed with the Constitution of Republic of Kosovo as well as International Agreements and Instruments directly applicable in the Republic of Kosovo.
Human rights were guiding principles and core issue of the change in this country and such principles should continue to lead on strengthening of democracy and state as well as empowerment of rule of law.
Happy New Year 2016!
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