Human rights are the foundation of the development and progress

November 3, 2023


The Institution of Ombudsman and human rights are always a crucial foundation for the development and progress of countries based on democratic principles and the rule of law. This was assessed during a meeting between the UNDP Resident Representative in Montenegro, Ekaterina Paniklova, and the Ombudsman, Siniša Bjeković.

The Ombudsman presented his mandate and the organization of his work, highlighting the increasing trend in the number of complaints over the past 7-8 years. According to him, besides efficiency in handling cases, the focus is also on the application of international standards and practices, as well as bringing services closer to citizens through field visits and various promotional activities.

Paniklova congratulated the institution of the Ombudsman on its 20 years of work, stating that it serves as one of the best practices  of functionality and the scope of authority.

“Activities of the Ombudsman and UNDP in Montenegro are focused on key areas that affect individuals’ lives. UNDP will continue to contribute to constructive dialogue in Montenegro through its initiatives, leading to concrete solutions for the sustainable development of society”, she said.

Both parties concurred that prioritizing human rights is not only a moral imperative but also a catalyst for human development. In the face of contemporary global challenges, it is clear that ensuring these rights is integral to fostering resilient societies and maintaining global stability, which is foundational for progress and prosperity worldwide

“More attention should be paid to the youth, and we should work with them to change their mindset and discriminatory behavior patterns. Moreover, given the significant influence of politics in our society, we also expect politicians to demonstrate more sensitivity and a human rights-based approach”, Bjeković stated.

The UNDP Resident Representative and the Ombudsman agreed to continue and expand future cooperation, especially in the fight against hate speech, misogyny, sexism, and gender-based violence, as these issues are still worryingly prevalent in our society. Paniklova announced that the fight against all forms of violence against women will be a focus of UNDP’s upcoming activities.

They emphasized that human rights are at the core of other critical areas, such as achieving sustainable development goals, strategic innovations, digitalization, business, the environment, social inclusion, and democratic governance in Montenegro.