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ISLAMABAD: The 10th Board of Directors Meeting of the OIC Ombudsman Association (OICOA) meeting will kick start today (Tuesday) with a focus on the importance of OICOA’s representation in international forums including the United Nations (UN). The international meeting will focus on exchange of information among the OICOA members. The 10th Board of Directors Meeting will commence with the welcome address by Dr Asif Mahmood Jah, in his capacity as Secretary General of OICOA, and President of Forum of Pakistan Ombudsman. The delegations from Turkiye, Morocco, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Indonesia, along with other Ombudsmen/ ornbudspersons have reached Pakistan. The importance of OICOA’s representation in international forums, such as the United Nations, would be underscored. This participation was deemed vital for OICOA to extend its influence and engage with global issues relevant to its mission and objectives. Highlighting recent sessions on topics like Alternative Dispute Resolution and Conducting Effective Research in an Ombudsman Office, the briefing will include details on the international participation from OICOA Members, including those from Indonesia, Turkiye, and Cyprus. The Board of Directors would also be briefed about the initiatives and strategic trajectory he has envisioned for OICOA in the year 2024. An overview will be given of the pivotal discussions and decisions taken in the 9th OICOA Board of Directors Meeting held on the 5th of October 2023 in Istanbul, Turkiye, hosted by the President of OICOA. These discussions were pivotal in ensuring the financial sustainability and operational efficiency of the organization. An OICOA Internship Program was unveiled for its potential to offer international exchange opportunities while seeking to foster cross-cultural understanding and professional development among young professionals and students from member countries. The proposal to establish a Research and Resource Centre was another significant topic. This centre is envisioned to be a hub for knowledge, research, and resources, contributing to the intellectual and practical support of OICOA’s activities and initiatives. The enhancement of OICOA’s digital presence, through its website, newsletter, and social media platforms, was recognized as crucial for wider outreach and engagement. These platforms are seen as key tools in promoting OICOA’s activities, achievements, and member contributions on a global scale. The Board Members will receive a comprehensive briefing on the online training sessions organized by the OICOA Secretariat in Islamabad, Pakistan. They will be given an overview of the nature of these trainings, emphasizing their relevance for capacity building and knowledge enhancement among the officers and staff of OICOA Member Institutions. Additionally, the Board Members will learn about the training sessions conducted by the “Forum of Pakistan Ombudsman Secretariat, Islamabad, Pakistan”, and how these are made accessible to OICOA Member Institutions. The members will be urged to motivate their staff to participate in training sessions offered by both OICOA and the Forum of Pakistan Ombudsman, aiming to increase attendee numbers and encourage collaborative efforts in hosting these training sessions for other member institutions.

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