On the proposal of the Human Rights Ombudsman Peter Svetina, which was approved on 19 January 2023 by the Commission for Public Office and Elections, the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia appointed as Deputy Human Rights Ombudsman Dijana Možina Zupanc, PhD, on 24 January 2023.
“Dr Možina Zupanc possesses a wide knowledge of legal areas and rich experience, including in the areas of sustainable development, international diplomatic collaboration, project management, and many more. She worked for the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – which included a spell at the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Slovenia at the United Nations in New York. She also worked in the former Government Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Climate Change where she was also a negotiator of the Republic of Slovenia within the United Nations Convention. Her career has strongly focused on global and developmental challenges, all with the goal of ensuring a safe, healthy, and dignified environment for citizens, especially vulnerable groups. She is acutely aware of the unimaginable consequences of the climate crisis on humanity, which also influences ensuring human rights. Namely, to live in a clean, organised, and healthy environment is a basic human right; therefore, I often say that if we really want changes for the better in this field, we need inclusive cooperation of all,” said Ombudsman Peter Svetina in the explanation of his proposal.
As he said, Dr Možina Zupanc has a deep insight into the work of independent institutions. As a representative of the Court of Audits of the Republic of Slovenia she participated in the group of independent states in the fields of the rule of law and annual assessment of the state of the country by the European Commission. She also acquired the title of state auditor, in which field she, as a qualified reader, dealt primarily with audit expediency reports which deal with the discussion of wider social environmental issues. She was also part of audits of managing poverty, ensuring the needs of social welfare services, and numerous audits from the field of the environment, which address current environmental questions, such as access to drinking water, reduction of greenhouse gases, management of Natura 2000 protected areas, and light pollution. All these audits open important social and environmental questions influencing the warranty of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
“With her work, expertise, and professional engagement Dr Možina Zupanc has proven that she can do an excellent job as a Deputy Human Rights Ombudsman,” added Ombudsman Peter Svetina in his presentation to the Members of Parliament.