Natisni vsebino

Speech at the reception with Israeli president Mr. Ezer Weizman (September 1997)

15.09.1997 16:45
Category: work and news, speeches

 Your Excellency,

Permit me, on behalf of all my colleagues in attendance, national ombudsmen from 20 countries and from EU, to thank you for the special honour and the attentiveness with which you received us upon our arrival.

I would especially like to mention the courteous hospitality and excellent organisation of our meeting which was provided by State Comptroller and Public Complaint Commissioner Justice Mrs. Miriam Ben-Porat and her colleagues. This has afforded the successful continuation of the tradition of annual meetings of national ombudsmen, which enables the exchange of views and experiences. With this we hope to improve the method and content of our work to the benefit of the people who turn to us in the belief that they have been unfairly treated at the hands of the state. We hold in high esteem the willingness of our colleague to organise the meeting, and value especially the support of the State of Israel and yourself personally in its realisation.

We are meeting in a country whose rich history is matched by few others. We meet in a place which for many people is linked to their faith, albeit that these faiths are many. This fact can be of assistance to us in considering how to live together in peace and friendship in spite of our mutual differences. At the same time the sad historical spectacle, the tragic culmination of which was an attempt to exterminate entire nations, must serve as a reminder that nothing of the sort can be permitted to happen anywhere ever again. Unfortunately, atrocities have recently occurred in Central Europe which we had thought, precisely because of the tragic experiences of the past, that humanity would know how to avoid.

We ombudsmen do not have the power to effectively quench the flames of hatred. However, we do have the possibility, by calling attention to individual transgressions in our own countries, to achieve their resolution. The role of the ombudsman can be very important in the protection of democracy and human rights, about which we have spoken yesterday. If individual violations are permitted, there is a real danger that human rights will be trampled on a broader scale.

Your Excellency, permit me to express our best wishes for the future of your country. It is to hope, and I do hope, that the ongoing peace proces will soon bring lasting peace to your country which will made possible to all its inhabitants to live in security and freedom.May the people in your country and all the countries from which we come enjoy the rewards of democracy and the full respect of human rights.

Once more, I wish to thank you and your country for your hospitality.

      Ivan Bizjak, ombudsman

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