Office of the Veterans Ombudsman

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman

October 18, 2013 13:42 ET

Veterans Ombudsman Presenting at 5th International Conference of Ombuds Institutions for Armed Forces in Oslo, Norway

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 18, 2013) - Guy Parent, Canada's Veterans Ombudsman, will be presenting at the 5th International Conference of Ombuds Institutions for Armed Forces (ICOAF) in Oslo, Norway from October 20-22. The conference is organized by the Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces and the Norwegian Parliamentary Ombudsman for the Armed Forces.

Mr. Parent was invited by Mr. Kjell Bratli, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces of Norway, and Ambassador Theodor Winkler, Director of the Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), to give a presentation at the conference on "The way ahead for improving the role of ombuds-institutions in the area of veterans."

"It is an honour for me to accept this invitation," said Mr. Parent. "I look forward to sharing 'the Canadian experience' with delegates from around the world. This is one area in which Canada has shown true leadership by being the first - and to date the only country - worldwide to have recognized early on the need for a national Veterans Ombudsman. The Government of Canada took the initiative in 2006 and established the first Office of the Veterans Ombudsman. I am very pleased that Canada's unique approach to Veterans' issues is attracting interest beyond our borders and I hope to see it take root in other countries."

Mr. Parent will join Lieutenant-General A. van Ede, Inspector General of the Armed Forces, Netherlands and Mr. Hans Born, Deputy Head of the Research Division and Senior Fellow, Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) in leading a discussion aimed at defining best global practices for ombuds-institutions to follow.

The aim of the ICOAF is to establish best practices and lessons learned related to the mandate, powers and functioning of ombuds-institutions for the military. The international initiative also reaches out to states that do not have an ombuds-institution for the military, but have expressed an interest to learn from experiences from other states.

To date, representatives of ombuds- institutions from the following 37 states have participated in the ICOAF initiative: Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Canada, Cote d'Ivoire, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Honduras, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Tajikistan, Tunisia, United Kingdom and the United States. The European Union (EU), the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the United Nations and EUROMIL have sent observers to previous ICOAF conferences. In the near future, the aim is to reach out to other states, in particular post-conflict and transition states.

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