The principle of universality of human rights and its implementation at international and regional level 

The Lisbon Forum is a platform for dialogue and for sharing experiences, expertise and good practices between Europe and the other continents – namely in the Middle East, Africa and the countries on the south side of the Mediterranean – in the field of human rights, democratic governance and the rule of law, issues at the heart of the mandate and actions of the Council of Europe.

The Forum has been held by the North-South Centre since 1994.
It has been enriched since 2006 by partnerships with the Commission for Democracy through Law (the Venice Commission) and the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Lisbon Forum 2008 edition, in partnership with the Alliance of Civilizations, launched a new process devoted to a particularly topical issue, the principle of universality of human rights and its implementation at international and regional level. The 2008 Lisbon Forum focused on an analysis of the situation 60 years after the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948. A work programme will be adopted for upcoming years on the basis of this analysis. It will focus on rights that are discussed most or raise particularly important difficulties, differences or conflicts.

Lisbon Forum concept paper

Lisbon Forum 2008 programme

Lisbon Forum 2008 list of participants

Lisbon Forum 2008 speakers


. Conclusions of the Presidents
. Video message by Josť Manuel Barroso
. Video message by Maud de Boer-Buquicchio




The North-South Centre of the Council of Europe
The Venice Commission
The Alliance of Civilizations
The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Place and date

Lisbon, 10-11 November 2008

Link to Art for the World Stories on Human Rights! which will be shown during the Lisbon Forum

Link to previous Lisbon Forum Publications