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Brief history of the office


2012 The Office marks its tenth year of providing informal conflict resolution services to staff of the Secretariat through a series of awareness-raising initiatives that culminates in an expert panel held on 11 December at Headquarters and the publication of a commemorative booklet.
January 2012 The Regional Branch in Khartoum relocates to Entebbe, Uganda. The branches in Entebbe and Kinshasa continue to support the informal conflict resolution needs of staff in peacekeeping missions, which in 2012 account for over 50 per cent of all cases brought forward by staff of the Secretariat.
December 2011 The Office starts providing services to UN Women, which was created in July 2010.
2009/2010 Seven regional branches are established. They are located in Bangkok, Geneva, Khartoum, Kinshasa, Nairobi, Santiago and Vienna. Each branch is headed by a regional ombudsman. Thanks to the diverse backgrounds of its staff, the Office is now able to provide assistance in the six languages of the Organization.
1 January 2009 The UNHCR Mediator is re-titled UNHCR Ombudsman.
21 April 2008 John Barkat is appointed United Nations Ombudsman, at the level of Assistant Secretary-General, to head the newly integrated Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services.
22 December 2007 The General Assembly, by its resolution 62/228, establishes the new system of administration of justice at the United Nations, thereby strengthening the Office by creating a single integrated and geographically decentralized structure for the Secretariat, the funds and programmes (UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and UNOPS) and UNHCR; a Mediation Service to provide mediation services; and regional branches to serve staff away from Headquarters and in the field.
28 July 2006 The Redesign Panel on the United Nations system of administration of justice issues a report (A/61/205) containing far-reaching recommendations on key processes and structures within the formal and informal justice systems.
2006 Veronica Luard is appointed to head the Office of the Joint Ombudsperson for UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS. The Office also starts to serve UNICEF.
13 April 2005 By its resolution 59/283, the General Assembly decides that the Secretary-General shall form a panel of external and independent experts, to be known subsequently as the Redesign Panel, to review and reshape the United Nations informal justice system.
2002 - 2007 Patricia Durrant is appointed first United Nations Ombudsman, at the level of Assistant Secretary-General.
2002 - 2006 James Lee serves as the first Joint Ombudsperson of UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS.
15 October 2002 The Office of the Ombudsman is established (Secretary-General’s bulletin ST/SGB/2002/12).
June 2002 The Office of the Joint Ombudsperson for UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS is established by the Executive Heads.
1993 Ms. Anne Marie Demmer is appointed the first UNHCR Mediator.