Ombudsman takes stock of the conference in Cape Verde on “The State’s commitment to good governance and the Ombudsman’s tasks”

On 21 July 2017, an international seminar was held in the city of Praia, in Cape Verde, under the theme The State’s Commitment to Good Governance and the Ombudsman’s Duties, developed under the scope of the MAC Demos Project. This is a cooperation project that aims to promote the Ombudsmen in their relationship with citizens and Public Administrations, in the region that integrates the MAC Territorial Cooperation Programme 2014-2020, including the Ombudsman, through the extensions of Madeira and the Azores, the Diputado del Común de Canárias and also integrating the Ombudsman of Cape Verde and the Médiateurs of Senegal and Mauritania.

In the opening session, the presence and participation of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Cape Verde was of particular note. In his speech, he revealed that he was particularly attentive to the reality of the Ombudsman of Cape Verde, in particular to its consolidation and development needs. Appealing to a profuse “collaboration between the Ombudsman Offices that make up this praiseworthy project”, he launched, in conclusion and as a challenge, the challenge, admittedly inspired “in the words of Professor José de Faria Costa, Portuguese Ombudsman: “the Ombudsman does not legislate, does not govern, does not judge, but does something different and it is his mission to go further and deeper””.

The initial panel served as a framework for those that followed, addressing the main topic – The State’s commitment to good governance and the Ombudsman’s tasks -, with the participation of representatives from the Institutions covered by the Demos Project.

Amongst the many aspects addressed, the fundamental line of the Project was clear from the interventions of the Diputado del Común (Canary Islands) – who underlined the importance, for the Institution, of recognition and support from the population – and from the Deputy Ombudsman of Portugal, who signalled the strong commitment to democracy and the defence of fundamental rights, highlighting the Ombudsman’s essential contribution to good governance.

The institution’s contribution to effective administration was also highlighted, which, in the view of the Médiateur de la République du Sénégal, will involve its role in creating a culture of transparency and ethics.

In his approach, the Ombudsman of Cape Verde alluded to the obvious pertinence of functional articulation between the powers and duties constitutionally entrusted to the Institution and those that, in its organic structure, are finally recognised, by law and by the reality of the means available to it.

The other panels dealt with the daily needs of citizens, forms of collaboration with the Ombudsman, the preventive impact of his activity and the forms and limits of his intervention in relation to the judicial power.

Participation in the event was characterised by great commitment and openness in the debates, in what was a platform for intense and fruitful dialogue, reflecting the value of the Demos Project in reinforcing and developing the Ombudsmen in their relationship with the Administration, especially that which is intended to be identified with good governance.

The record of the meeting may be consulted here.


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