PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — During the 11th Biennial Caribbean Ombudsman Association (CAROA) Conference the Ombudsman of Sint Maarten, Gwendolien Mossel, was elected as the new President of the Caribbean association for the period November 2022 – October 2024. As President of CAROA, Ms. Mossel will endeavor to strengthen the association and its influence within the region.
The theme of this year’s conference, which was held virtually, was ‘The importance of the Ombudsman in building resilience in Governance’. The conference included a successful meeting with the CAROA membership and the National Human Rights Institutes (NHRI) in the Caribbean with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). The IACHR expressed interest in collaborating with CAROA on a bilateral and/or regional level to strengthen their work in the Caribbean.
It is anticipated that by working together a clearer understanding can be achieved of the challenges the Ombuds institutions face. In addition, it is expected that the IACHRs assistance, through technical cooperation and capacity building, will result in a more effective use of the Inter-American Human Rights System, and increased use of the IACHR’s mechanisms in the region.
CAROA presently consists of seventeen (17) countries: Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands (BVI), Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, Saint Martin, Saint Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos, and the Netherlands (BES).