Lisbon Forum 2019
Youth Political Participation Coordinator United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Mr ALJABER is the Youth Political Participation Coordinator at UNDP in Jordan. He has more than five years experience in human rights, governance, civic and political participation, and democracy. He established and led many youth regional and international networks. Osama specialized also in technology for development, he uses the technology as a bridge for dialogue and to improve advance in the development projects. Osama worked in many different governmental and international organizations before joining the United Nations (UN). Participated in several researches and reports on promoting democracy and political participation of youth and women in the Arab region. He spoke in many regional and international conferences on the same themes at the UN HQ in New York as well as in Mexico, Spain and other countries.
Commander Diplomatic Representation of the Ismaili Imamat to the Portuguese Republic
Along his career as a businessman, he held various positions at the Ismaili National Council for Portugal since 1979, including President from 1990 to 1997. He has been developing his activity within the diplomatic arena in Portugal and Mozambique, collaborating closely with the governments, diplomatic corps and civil society organizations. He was involved in the establishment of several high level agreements with both countries, including the 1998 Co-operation Agreement between AKDN and the Government of the Republic of Mozambique, the 2005 Protocol of Cooperation with the Portuguese Government, the 2009 Agreement on Faith Matters with the Portuguese Republic and the 2015 Seat Agreement with the Portuguese Republic. He was a member of the Commission for Religious Freedom (2004 to 2016), Board member of the Observatory of the Portuguese Language (2010 to 2013), member of the General Council of the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences of the NOVA University (2013 to 2017). On 10 June 2004, he was awarded the title of Comendador da Ordem do Mérito (Commander of the Order of Merit).
Moroccan Partner for Democracy Delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Muhamad Hisbullah Amrie
General Coordinator Perkumpulan Pamflet Generasi (Pamflet)
Trainer on Intercultural Communication and Youth Participation
Ms Atwan is an Egyptian freelance intercultural learning trainer/ facilitator, with experience in delivering content around the world. Atwan is certified/ qualified as a trainer by AFS Intercultural Programs. She applies novel experiential learning techniques in her workshops and educational experiences. Since her return from a study abroad and immersive experience in Italy 2007 with AFS, she’s been heavily engaged in the field, creating learning spaces and facilitating workshops and trainings with different organizations including the North-South Centre of the CoE.
Atwan holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology from the American University in Cairo. She has been working as a technical advisor in the development sector in projects with the GIZ, and currently an EU and Gov. of Egypt project: “Enhancing the Relevance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Egypt”.
Director of the Office of the Secretary General Secretary General of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe
Since January 2016, Ambassador Paul Bekkers holds the position of Director of the Office of the Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
From 2013 to 2016, he was Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Republic of Poland, also accredited to Belarus. He served as Ambassador of the Netherlands to the Federation of Malaysia from 2009-2013.
Previously, Paul worked in various roles for the Foreign Ministry in the areas of political affairs, development co-operation, environmental affairs, gender, trade and culture. Besides Malaysia and Poland, he served in Turkey, South Africa, Ghana and Zaïre.
Expert Consultant Euro-Mediterranean Relations, Women Rights
Ms Fifi Benaboud is a defender of women rights in MENA region, and has been working in the field of international cooperation since over thirty years. She holds a PhD in Political science. Prior to her present position, Ms Benaboud worked at the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe as the founder and the Coordinator of the Transmediterranean Program ( Transmed). Moreover, Fifi Benaboud was member of the International Committee of the Word Social Forum as well as the Euro Mediterranean Commission for Cooperation and security (EuroMeSCo). She founded and chaired several active networks involved in cooperation around the Euro-Mediterranean basin focusing mainly on human rights, democratic processes, women rights and women as actors of change, Intercultural Dialogue and the cooperation between Europe and the Arab world. She wrote various articles on the euro Mediterranean relations and on international relations. She is allo the Secretary Géneral of the Comité France-Turquie.
General Rapporteur of the Lisbon Forum
Ulrich Bunjes is a sociologist from Hamburg/Germany. He has worked many years and in several different functions for the Council of Europe, including as Head of the Youth Department, Special Coordinator for the Director General of Democracy, and Special Representative of the Secretary General for Roma Issues. In 1994-1996 he had managed the "All different - all equal" youth campaign of the Council of Europe against racism and intolerance, and in 2005-2008 worked on the editorial team preparing the "White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue". Ulrich has also served for many years in executive positions in national and international NGOs, mainly in the field of youth and youth services. He lives in Strasbourg/France.
President Chamber of Local Authorities of the Congress
Xavier Cadoret is the mayor of Saint-Gérand-le-Puy, town of 1000 inhabitants located in the department of Allier, since 1991, and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Mayor of France (AMF). He also is an associate professor of economics and management for higher studies. Since 2010, he has been a member of the French delegation to the Congress of the Council of Europe, where he is President of the Chamber of Local Authorities since 2018 and Vice-President of the Congress since 2016. In this context, he has participated actively in missions of election observation, monitoring of good governance and the South Mediterranean partnership with Morocco and Tunisia. He also participated in missions of monitoring of the implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in Lithuania, Norway and Portugal. He is a Congress representative in the North-South Centre and was Deputy Spokesperson on the South-Med Partnership of the Congress in 2017-2019.
Executive Director North-South Centre of the Council of Europe
José Velez Caroço is the Executive Director of North-South Centre since 2018. He was born in 1968 in Lisbon and joined the Portuguese diplomatic service in 1991. As a Portuguese diplomat for over twenty eight years he worked in the Portuguese Embassy in South Africa in the nineties and at the Portuguese Permanent Representation in the European Union (Brussels) in the early two thousands, being Deputy Head of Mission of the Portuguese Embassy in Brazil ten years ago and, more recently, Consul General of Portugal in Boston (USA) for five years, before assuming his current position within the Council of Europe Secretariat. He have also served many years in Lisbon at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs so acquiring a large experience both in bilateral and multilateral international affairs. His academic formation is Law (Catholic University in Lisbon) with post-graduations specializations in European and diplomatic affairs
Niels De Fraguier
"Youth Delegate Délégué Jeune " "Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe
Graduate of a Master in Sustainable Development and Leadership, Niels de Fraguier has two years of experience as a project manager at the European and international level. His areas of expertise are youth, migration, humanitarian affairs, sport and sustainable development. In parallel with his studies, he is involved in various organizations: at the Council of Europe, at the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (UNMGCY), at the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (FNOSC).
Member Sub-Committee on Gender Equality Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Ms Estrela Is a member of the Sub-Committee on Gender Equality, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe; Rapporteur on Advancing gender equality and empowering women and girls: the role of parliaments and parliamentarians, is a Portuguese teacher, journalist and politician. She has been recently elected First Vice President of the Portuguese Parliament for the Socialist Party and she was between 2010 and 2014 a member of the European Parliament.
Policy and Advocacy Officer Caritas Europa
Ms FONDELLO works as Policy and Advocacy Officer for International Cooperation and Development at Caritas Europa, the network of European Caritas organisations. She joined Caritas Europa in Brussels in April 2019 and has since then focused on advocating for EU international cooperation and development frameworks to be aligned with the Agenda 2030 and for EU policies that maximise the positive synergies between migration and development. Before that, she worked for five years in the humanitarian field on refugee protection and humanitarian response coordination in countries in North Africa and in the Middle East.
Vice-President Inter-Parliamentary Union Standing Committee on Democracy and Human Rights and of the Dutch Senate
Ms GERKENS is Vice-President and member of the Senate in the Netherlands and member of the Inter Parliamentarian Union (IPU). In the IPU she is Vice-President and active member of the Committee on Democracy and Human Rights. She will be the rapporteur on the next resolution of the Committee which is on subject of Online Sexual Child abuse. Arda Gerkens is next to her political activities the CEO of a Dutch NGO combatting Online Sexual Child abuse.
Diplomatic Advisor Union for the Mediterranean
Mário Gomes is a Portuguese career Diplomat, having joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal in 1997. He has had a very diversified carrier, both in Portugal as in his postings abroad.
While in Lisbon, and in different periods, he has been Advisor to the President of the Institute for Development Cooperation of Portugal (Instituto da Cooperaçäo Portuguesa); worked at the Sub-Saharan Africa Department; was the Coordinator for European Markets at the Portuguese Trade and Investment Agency (AICEP); and Diplomatic Advisor to the Minister of State and of Foreign Affairs.
He was posted in the Portuguese Embassies of Bissau, Tehran and Havana, having also served as Consul in Nogent-sur-Marne and Deputy Consul-General in Paris (both in France).
He is seconded by the Portuguese government as Diplomatic Advisor to the Secretary-General of the Union for the Mediterranean since September 2015.
Maria Victoria González-Román
Spanish Ambassador at large for the 2030 Agenda Government of Spain
Ambassador for the 2030 Agenda, Previously Ambassador Permanent Representative of Spain to the OSCE 2015-2019, Chair of the OSCE Security Committee in 2018-19. Minister-Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Spain to the United Nations from 2011-2015, Vice-President of the UN First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) in 2014. From 2008-2011 she served as Ambassador at large for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, an initiative cosponsored by Spain and Turkey. She also served in the Embassies of Spain in Prague (2004-2008), Brussels (1999-2004), Bolivia (1994-1996) and Gabon (1993) and in different positions at the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Jean Pierre Grin
"Member of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Mr Grin is a member of the Social, Health and Sustainable Development Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. He is a Swiss political figure and a member of the SVP. He has been elected to the National Council since 2007. He is a farmer by profession.
Board Member European Youth Forum
Benjamin Günther is a board member of the European Youth Forum. He first got involved with youth organisations in 2010 by joining the young socialists. Starting at the local level, he quickly focused on European politics and thereby got involved with international youth work while also doing some local work for JEF.
He works part-time for the educational department of the Lower Saxony Memorials Foundation in the field of international Holocaust education.
He is a Master’s Student of History and English Linguistics and Literature and has studied his BA at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and the University of Sheffield and did his traineeship at the Goethe institute in Amman, Jordan
President Chamber of Regional Authorities of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe
Trained as a chemical engineer, Gunn-Marit Helgesen is currently a member of the Committee of Telemark County and a substitute for the Porsgrunn City Council. Previously, she was Chair of the Telemark County Council and substituteMember of the Norwegian Parliament of Telemark. Ms Helgesen is also President of the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS) and has held various positions within the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR), the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) and the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG). Since 2012, she has been the Head of the Norwegian delegation to the Congress and was elected in 2016 President of the Chamber of Regions. She is a Congress representative in the North-South Centre.
Goodwill Ambassador President Ambassadeur itinérant Consultative Council of Human Rights (CCDH) of the Kingdom of Morocco
Ambassador Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe Government of Azerbaijan
Fakhraddin Ismayilov was appointed as Azerbaijan’s Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe in October 2018. Prior to that, Mr. Ismayilov had been Director for Human Rights and Democracy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Having joined the diplomatic service of his country in 2000, he also served as Counselor at the Embassy of Azerbaijan to the United States and held different posts at the Mission to the European Union and the Permanent Representation to the Council of Europe. Mr. Ismayilov holds bachelor degrees from the Baku State University and the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis. Later, he completed master’s degrees at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Harvard Kennedy School, respectively in the European integration and the public administration.
Secretary General Secrétaire Général
A career diplomat for the Egyptian government, Nasser Kamel held the position of Ambassador of Egypt to the United Kingdom from 2014 to 2018. He was also Ambassador to France in the period 2006-2012, during which he took part in the drafting of the Joint Declaration of the 2008 Paris Summit that marked the launch of the Union for the Mediterranean. Furthermore, between 2012 and 2014, he was Assistant Minister for Arab and Middle Eastern Affairs. From 2004 to 2006, he was the Director of Egypt’s Public Information Service. Prior to this position he served in various embassies, including Washington (1984-1988), Lisbon (1990-1994), Tunis (1994-1998), Brussels (1999-2001) and Paris (2001-2004).
Secretary General Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe
Andreas Kiefer is the Secretary General of the Congress since March 2010. After Austria’s accession to the European Union in 1995, he became Director of the European Affairs Service of Land Salzburg regional government. Throughout his career, he represented the Austrian Länder in the EU's Intergovernmental Conferences (IGC) negotiating the Lisbon Treaty at working level. Andreas Kiefer served as chairman and member of local electoral committees for municipal, regional, federal and European elections and initiated a citizens' participation project to integrate new residents and to create a municipal mission statement in his home municipality of Kuchl (Dorferneuerung).
Permanent Representative European Union Delegation to the Council of Europe
Bulgarian national, Ambassador Kuneva has an extensive experience and knowledge on the EU that is reflected by her impressive professional path. Minister of European Affairs and Chief Negotiator with the EU for the accession of Bulgaria to the EU from 2001 to 2007, she was also a member of the Convention on the Future of Europe. After her country's accession to the EU in 2007, Ms Kuneva was appointed first ever Bulgarian EU Commissioner in the Barroso Commission, responsible for the portfolio on consumer protection.
Ms Kuneva's engagement in the advancement of the EU legislation and her popularity were respectively recognised by the 2008 award as "European Commissioner of the Year" by the European Agenda and by the 2008 Award "European of the Year" by the European Voice.
After the experience as EU Commissioner, she was re-elected member of the Bulgarian Parliament and served as Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria for European Policies Coordination and Institutional Affairs (2014-2017), assuming as well the responsibility of the Ministry for Education and Science (2016-2017).
After this engagement at the national level, she was nominated by the EU Commission member of the Committee of Independent Eminent Persons in July 2017 to advise on whether European political parties or foundations observe the basic European values of Article 2 TEU.
Since September 2018 she is Head of the EU Delegation to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg
Luis Leite Ramos
Member Portuguese Parliament Executive Committee of the North-South Centre
Deputy Head of the Project Support Division " Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Political scientist, Deputy Head of the Parliamentary Project support Division since 2012.
Chair of the Committee on Communication and Evaluation Representative Municipality of Marsa (Tunisia) National Federation of Tunisian Towns (FNVT)
Mouna Mathari is a city councillor and Chair of the Committee on Communication-Media and Evaluation of the municipality of Marsa, a Tunisian town of 90,000 inhabitants from the Tunis governorate. Her commitment as an elected representative is also reflected in her role as a representative of the National Federation of Tunisian Towns (FNVT), Mouna Mathari is an expert on institutional communication and editorial management of content for public authorities. A graduate from the IPS (institute for political sciences) of Grenoble, she was a collaborator and coordinator of elected representatives’ groups from Essonne in France and the Assembly of People's Representatives (Tunisian Parliament). Committed to local and civic life, she is now the project director of the association "Citizens and Solidarity", which aims to promote the emergence of an inclusive democracy through citizens’ awareness about their rights and duties.
Liliane Maury Pasquier
President Parliamentary Assembly of the CoE
Liliane Maury Pasquier, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe since June 2018, is a Swiss parliamentarian from the city of Geneva.
From 1983-1991 she was a municipal councillor in Veyrier (Switzerland) and from 1993-1996 a member of the Grand Council in Geneva. A national parliamentarian since 1995, she has exercised several important functions in the National Council and the Council of States, including Chair of the National Council and of the Federal Assembly in 2002, Chair of the Delegation for the Relations with the French Parliament (2009-2011 and since 2018), Chair of the Committee for Social Security and Public Health (2013-2015).
After joining the Parliamentary Assembly in 2007, she chaired the Assembly’s Swiss delegation from 2011-2013 and presided over the Group of Socialists, Democrats and Greens (January to June 2018). She was a member of several committees: Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs (chairing from 2016-2018); Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development; Political Affairs and Democracy; as well as Monitoring.
She is a qualified independent midwife and from 2009-2013 was Chair of the Swiss Federation of Midwives.
Mayor of the City of Lisbon Municipality of Lisbon
Fernando Medina has a Degree in Economics by the Faculty of Economics of the University of Porto and a Master’s Degree in Economic Sociology by the School of Economics and Management from the University of Lisbon.
He was Secretary of State for Industry and Development from 2009 to 2011, and Secretary of State for Employment and Vocational Training from 2005 to 2009.
From 2011 to 2013 he was a member of the Portuguese Parliament, elected by the circle of Viana do Castelo, serving namely in the Budget and Finance Commission, until he was elected in the 2013 Municipal Elections, Vice-President of the Municipality of Lisboa in-charge of Finance, Human Resources and Tourism.
From 2015 he became Mayor of Lisbon, winning after the 2017 Municipal Elections (in Lisbon).
He was also Adviser to the Chairman of the Portuguese Investment Agency, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Education, Science and Technology, Member of the Ministry of Education Working Group of the Portuguese Presidency of the European Union.
Ambassador Permanent Representation of Spain to the CoE Chair of the ExCom of the North-South Centre
Chair of the North-South Centre’s Executive Committee, Ambassador Manuel Montobbio is a Spanish diplomat since 1987. With an extensive academic background, after studying Law and Economics at the University of Barcelona, he postgraduate in Advanced European Studies at the College of Europe (Bruges, Belgium) and got a PhD in Political Science at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Appointed in July 2018 Ambassador Permanent Representative of Spain to the Council of Europe, he has been Ambassador of Spain in Andorra and the first resident Ambassador of Spain in Albania; and has been posted at the Embassies of Spain in San Salvador, Jakarta, Mexico and Guatemala. He has held, among other positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of Spain, those of Ambassador ad Large, responsible of the Action Plan for the promotion of Spanish presence in International Organization, Ambassador ad Large for the Universal Forum of Cultures Barcelona 2004, Director of the Cabinet of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Director of the Planning and Evaluation Office of the Secretary of State for Cooperation and Executive Adviser at the Policy Planning Office. His career has been specially related to the construction of peace and peace processes, development cooperation, political affairs and international relations, and European construction and international organizations. He has also carried out an academic, research and literary career. Author of different books and several publications on peace processes, international and intercultural relations, political transitions and compared politics, he has been Professor and lectured postgraduate courses at different universities, as well as a member of the academic and advisory councils of different institutions.
Miguel Ángel Moratinos
Under-Secretary General Secrétaire général adjoint High Representative Haut Représentant United Nations Nations Unies United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC) Alliance des Civilisations des Nations Unies (UNAOC)
Mr Miguel Ángel Moratinos is the United Nations Under-Secretary-General holding the post of High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) since January 2019.
Mr Moratinos has committed his professional and political career to international relations and development cooperation, notably as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain (2004-2010). During his tenure as Foreign Minister, Spain presided over the UN Security Council (2004), held the chairmanships-in-office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe and the Council of the European Union. Mr. Moratinos succeeded in fostering the implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
Previously, Mr. Moratinos served as Deputy Director General for Northern Africa (1987-1991), Director of the Institute of Cooperation with the Arab World (1991-1993), Director General of Foreign Policy for Africa and the Middle East (1993-1996), Ambassador of Spain to Israel (1996), and European Union Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process (1996-2003).
As a true believer in the value of multilateralism, Mr. Moratinos helped in the creation and launch of UNAOC in 2005. He also contributed to the creation of innovative programmes for development, healthcare, and women empowerment within the UN, promoted new projects and funds for water and sanitation in Latin American and, during his tenure as Spain’s top diplomat, doubled the Official Development Assistance funds and helped position Spain as the sixth top donor to the UN.
From 2012 to 2013, he was a member of the High-Level Advisory Panel of the President of the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly, the Honorary Chairman of the Board of Advisors of the Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development (CIRSD), and Senior Advisor of Sustainable Development Solutions Network of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
Mr. Moratinos has received numerous recognitions, including the League of Arab States Award in March 2019 from the Secretary-General of the organization, Mr. Ahmed Abulgheit, in recognition for his role in strengthening Arab-Spanish relations.
Director Union for Women’s Action
Fatima Outaleb has over 27 years of experience in national and regional women’s issues with a special focus on gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Union de l Action Feminist. Ms Outlaleb is also a MENA representative in the Global network of women shelters and gender technical advisor and member of women peace and security regional and international networks.
She has publications on GBV, policy briefs on women’s rights in MENA and policy brief on Feminism and Islam.
Since 2018 she is a member of the North South Centre's pool of experts from the Southern Mediterranean on gender equality and women rights
Marija Pejčinović burić
Secretary General Council of Europe
Marija Pejčinović Burić is the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the
pre-eminent Pan-European international organisation in the field of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
Prior to being elected to her current position, Ms Pejčinović Burić was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia, having served previously, on two occasions, as State Secretary for EU Affairs.
During her time as a Deputy in the Croatian Parliament, she chaired the delegation of the Croatia-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee, headed the delegation of the Croatian Parliament to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and served on a range of foreign and European-themed committees, including in the position of Substitute Member of the Croatian Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Earlier in her career, Ms Pejčinović Burić held a number of senior positions relating to the Croatia’s EU accession process. She went on to be a Negotiator on several chapters in the context of Croatia’s EU accession negotiations.
She has written, lectured and consulted widely on European affairs, has served as a president and board member for a number of organisations and is a former Secretary General of the Europe House, Zagreb.
Ms Pejčinović Burić holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Zagreb, and a Master in European Studies from the College of Europe.
Pedro Roque Oliveira
Member President Emeritus, Chairman of the 1stStanding Committee (Political and Security Related Cooperation) and Executive Bureau Member" "Portuguese Parliament Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM)
Mr A. Pedro Roque Oliveira began his career as politician in 2002, when he was elected Member of the Portuguese Parliament. In 2011, he was re-elected Member of Parliament and he is currently in office. In 2015, he was elected President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM). Today he is President Emeritus Chairman of the 1st. Standing Committee (Political and Security Related Cooperation) and Executive Bureau Member. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History from the Universidade Lusíada of Lisbon and two Post-graduate Diplomas in History Teaching (Universidade Lusíada, Lisbon) and Educational Multimedia Communication (Universidade Aberta, Lisbon).
Founder Peace Mentors
Shadi Rouhshahbaz is an Iranian facilitator, peacebuilder, researcher and UNAOC Fellow (Young Peacebuilders MENA Programme). She is the founder of PeaceMentors, an initiative that focuses on building safe spaces to learn, share and train youth facilitators on peacebuilding, conflict resolution, inclusive societies and intercultural dialogue. Starting small, she eventually managed to expand the initiative in collaboration with the UNIC Tehran and a number of other local partners in order to hold both regular workshops and events on various occasions especially for Nelson Mandela International Day 2018 and 2019. She presented her research paper "Youth Peacebuilding in Post-Jasmine Revolution Tunisia" during the Quadrilogue on Broadening the Space for Youth, Peace and Security at 7th Med-Uni event in Hammamet, Tunisia. With her background and experiences, she is well-immersed in bridging the gaps between different cultures and breaking stereotypes through intercultural dialog and learning.
Mayor of Coulaines Member of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR)
Christophe Rouillon is the mayor of Coulaines, city of 7500 inhabitants in the department of Sarthe, since 2001, county councilor of the canton Le Mans Nord Campaign since 1998, and 2nd vice-president of Le Mans Métropole where he is in charge of higher education, research and mobilization of European aids. He also serves as vice-president of the Association of Mayors of France, in charge of Europe. Since 2005, Mr Rouillon has been a member of the Committee of the Regions. He is also President of the Union of Socialist Local and Regional Representatives in Europe (PES Local) and since 2019, President of the Group of the Party of European Socialists of the European Committee of the Regions. Since 2009, he is also a member of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM). He is a representative of the European Committee of the Regions in the North-South Centre.
President ATD Quart Monde
Ms. ROZET worked for 9 years as an automotive engineer in France, while engaging with ATD Fourth World and very poor people. Since 1994 she is permanent of this association. She joined for eight years the team of Haiti, and one of the poorest neighbourhoods of Port au Prince, on projects childhood, infancy and health. In 2007 she began a presence of ATD Fourth World in the Middle East, regularly conducts for five years activities for the expression of children in two local associations in Cairo. Young Egyptians joined her; she will also join groups in Lebanon and Palestine. Currently she represents ATD Fourth World at the Council of Europe, and starts a mission with migrants north of Paris.
President of the Conference of INGOs of the CoE
In 2008, Ms RURKA was appointed at the University Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense as Senior Lecturer in Education Science, in the Family Education and Family Social Work Research Team. She still holds that post, and her research focus and publications involve participation in assessing measures for people receiving social work support, access to rights by vulnerable groups and systemic and institutional analysis of the power dynamics in public policies. In 2003, she joined EUROCEF (European Committee for Home-based Priority Action for the Child and the Family) an INGO set up in 1998 and granted participatory status with the Council of Europe in 2003. She very quickly became its Chair, and has been involved in the Conference of INGOs’ activities concerning children’s rights since 2005. In January 2015, she was elected President of the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe. She combines her commitments at the Conference of INGOs with her academic work in France, Poland and other European countries.
Chief of Cabinet and Spokesperson for the Under-Secretary General, High Representative United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)
Nihal Saad is Chief of Cabinet and Spokesperson for the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC). Ms. Saad is the Head of the Organizing Committee of UNAOC Forums. Previously, she was the Spokesperson for the 66th President of the UN General Assembly. With more than 22 years of experience in journalism, Ms. Saad was the Head of the Press & Information Bureau at the Permanent Mission of Egypt to the UN. Before moving to New York, she was Senior Political Correspondent and TV host for Egypt’s TV. She holds a Master degree in TV Journalism from the American University (Cairo) and a Diploma in Linguistics from Ain Shams University (Cairo). She has moderated several panel discussions in international and regional meetings. Ms. Saad has appeared on several TV shows as a commentator on foreign affairs, incl. Larry King (CNN), Al Arabyia TV, France 24 and Egypt’s TV.
Former President of the Portuguese Republic Presidency of the Portuguese Republic
Jorge Sampaio, former President of the Portuguese Republic and current Chairman of the Global Platform for Syrian Students.
He held several political positions from 1974 onwards. Member of the Socialist Party (Labour), in 1989, he was elected Mayor of Lisbon and re-elected in 1993. He was elected twice as President of Portugal (1996-2006). During the last decade, President Sampaio gave his contribution to several global issues. He was the first UN Special Envoy to Stop Tuberculosis (2006-2012) and the first UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations (2007-2013). He is now leading the Global Platform for Syrian Students aimed at providing scholarships
Director Directorate General for Programmes of the Council of Europe
Verena holds a PhD in political science and, after working with civil society/NGOs in Vienna and London, joined the Council of Europe in 1989 when the Organisation expanded rapidly, both with regard to member States and to new standards. She is responsible for the programming, resource mobilisation and decentralised implementation of/for Council of Europe cooperation and technical assistance. She strongly believes that the Organisation’s standards and policies on human rights, the rule of law and participation are as relevant today as they were when the Council of Europe was founded in 1949.
Vice – President of the Conference of INGOs of the CoE
Mr SPRENG is Vice-President of the INGO Conference of the Council of Europe; Special Advisor for Human Rights and Business; Coordinator of the Dialogues from Polarization to Participation and Specialist for the International Institute for Human Security.
Trained in Mechanical engineering and electronics, he worked in the telecom industry; in technical aspects of theatre tours; in electro-acoustic and in producing documentary films. In addition, Mr Spreng is part time correspondent for Swiss newspapers on international affairs in Geneva.
For ten years (1998-2008) he has been coordinator of the international conferences of Caux-IofC and NGO coaching. From 2006 to 2008 he worked as INGO Project Manager in the elaboration of the CoE White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue. From 2009 to 2011 he was appointed as INGO Expert for the European Union/CoE Joint Programme “Minorities in Russia: developing languages, culture, media and civil society”
Governor Council of Europe’s Development Bank
Mr Wenzel is Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), elected by the Bank’s member states for a five-year mandate in 2011 and re-elected in 2016. Before joining the CEB, Mr Wenzel was Director General of the Financial Policy Department of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Finance and also served as Germany’s Alternate Governor in the regional multilateral development banks. He represented Germany in international fora such as G7/G8, G20 and the OECD. Mr Wenzel holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Ruhr University Bochum and a Master’s in Economics and Econometrics from Hamburg University.
Ana Paula Zacarias
Secretary of State for European Affairs Government of Portugal
Ana Paula Baptista Grade Zacarias was born in Lisbon in 1959. She has a degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Lisbon (1983).
She was an assistant at the Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas - Universidade Nova de Lisboa until 1985.
She entered the Portuguese Diplomatic Service in 1983 and held several assignments: to the Protocol Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1984-1985); as Junior Counsellor for International Relations at the Office of the President of the Republic (1986-1988); as Director of Press and Information Department (1996-1998) and as Vice President of the Instituto Camões (1998-2000).
As a career diplomat she also served at different Diplomatic Missions such as the Embassy of Portugal in the USA (1988-1993); as Consul in Curitiba (1993-1996); as Deputy Permanent Representative in the delegation of Portugal to the UNESCO in Paris (2000-2005); as the first resident Ambassador of Portugal to Estonia (2005-2008) and as Deputy Permanent Representative of Portugal to the European Union (2009-2011).
From 2011 to 2015 she was Head of Delegation of the EU Delegation in Brazil and from 2015 until August 2017 Head of Delegation of the EU Delegation to Colombia and Ecuador.