Lisbon Forum 2022
On 13 December 2022, experts, activists and decision-makers met for the 28th edition of the Lisbon Forum to discuss the state of play of international co-operation. It has been an opportunity to assess the impact of the different crises such as the war in Ukraine, and the new geopolitical set-up on the North-South dialogue and the protection of human rights, democracy and the rule of law in fragile contexts. A particular focus was provided to the role of young people in addressing global issues and how to give them space in decision-making processes.
The event aimed at raising awareness in northern and southern societies on how to preserve international co-operation and dialogue on issues of interdependence in the context of war.
The event took place in English and French with simultaneous interpretation
The agression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine is a violation of the UN Charter and has major global implications and represents a turning point in international relations. Not only has it led to a dramatic humanitarian crisis and major population movements across Europe, it also marks the end of the post-cold war era and of a world order based on the principles of peace, international co-operation and consensual rules.
Multilateralism is giving way to a more polarised world. National interests are increasingly defined in terms of security and power, rather than in terms of co-operation and growth, while geo-economics is being subdued by geo-politics. Will there be a shift from an international rule-based system to a power system? From open and interdependent societies to inward-looking nationalistic views?
Do repeated crises have a weary effect on international mobilisation for peace? How can organisations and actors that continue to raise their voice for peace, co-operation, and solidarity be more impactful in such fragile contexts?
These questions represent an overview of the many topics discussed during this 28th edition of the Lisbon Forum.
Adélaïde Hirwe is a Pan-African experienced programme manager and expert in youth and diaspora engagement.
She is Secretary General of the African Union Diaspora Youth Initiative to raise awareness among development stakeholders on the role of Diaspora Youth in development and is committed to empowering Youth through concrete actions and with AU and OACP-EU. Her expertise is in youth and diaspora engagement, intersectional justice, digitalisation, entrepreneurship and innovation, and sustainable human-centered solutions. She was awarded for her engagement and her work by the African Union, ACP YPN, Santander Bank UK, amongst others.
Adelino Vieira da Cunha da Silva
Mr Adelino Vieira da Cunha da Silva is the Executive Director of the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe since November 2022. Prior to his current position, Mr. Adelino Silva held various diplomatic posts, including as Chargé d’Affaires e.p. at the Embassy of Portugal in Astana (2015 – 2022); Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassies in Luxembourg (1998-2002), Addis-Ababa (2002-2004) and Tunis (2012-2015), and Counsellor at the Portuguese Mission to the OSCE in Vienna (2008-2012). His postings to Lisbon included two stints as Head of Unit at the Departments of Defence and Security (2005-2008), and European Political Affairs (2022).
Ahmed Driss has been a professor of Law at the Faculties of Law and Economic Sciences and Management at Tunis University since 1998. As of 2000, he has been a member of the Governing Council of the Académie Internationale de Droit Constitutionnel of Tunisia and, since 2005, President-Director of the Centre for Mediterranean and International Studies (CEMI) in Tunis. Since 2012, he is the Director of the Tunisian School of Politics which forms part of the network of 21 Schools of Political Studies under the auspices of the Council of Europe.
Armine Movsesyan is a youth worker with more than ten years if experience in the field. She is member of the Advisory Council on Youth (CCJ), Lead of Youth, Peace and Security portfolio at CCJ. She is as well a member of the Programming Committee on Youth and external representative (former President) of MIJARC Europe international youth network.
Finally, she if Founder and President of the Youth Development Center of Armenia.
Christoph B. Spreng
Christoph B. Spreng currently serves as the Vice-president of the Conference of International Non-Governmental Organizations (CINGO) at the Council of Europe (CoE). Additionally, he holds different positions, such as Coordinator of INGO Dialogue methodology: “From Polarization to Participation”, CINGO Special Advisor for Human Rights and Business, and Specialist at the International Institute for Human Security.
With a background in engineering, Christoph B. Spreng evolved professionally in the telecom industry as a documentary film producer before turning towards a career in International Affairs. He worked as a correspondent for Swiss newspapers on International Affairs in Geneva and coordinated international conferences of Caux-IofC and NGO coaching from 1998 to 2008. Within that period, he became a CINGO project manager for the Elaboration of the CoE White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue. Then, he was appointed CINGO Expert for the European Union/CoE Joint Programme “Minorities in Russia: developing languages, culture, media, and civil society”. Finally, Christoph B. Spreng is a renowned guest speaker who participated in various academic and professional meetings in Barcelona, Tunis, Moscow, Lahore, The Hague, Paris, Bucharest, Stockholm, Cairo, and Pune. His expertise lies in International Human Rights, Security, and Business.
Driss El Kaissy
Born on 13 December 1966, Mr El Kaisse has a bachelor’s degree in Economics in Rabat in 1987 and a DESS in Business Administration in France in 1999, Mr El Kaissi obtained a master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy at Al Akhawayn University in 2004. While his academic research initially focused on the Kingdom of Thailand, where he worked at the Moroccan Embassy from 1995 to 2001, he gradually specialised in European relations. Economic Counsellor at the Moroccan Embassy in Moscow in 2004, and in Budapest in 2007 where he was promoted to Head of Department in 2011, he became Minister Plenipotentiary at the Moroccan EU Mission in Brussels in 2014. He was then appointed Second to the Ambassador, then Chargé d'affaires ad interim at the EU Mission of Morocco in 2018, and finally Consul General of Morocco in Strasbourg on 14 September 2020. Mr El Kaissi is currently the Consul General of Morocco in Strasbourg and, in parallel, he is in charge of relations with the Council of Europe and the European Parliament.
Haizam Amirah-Fernández is Senior Analyst for the Mediterranean and the Arab World at Elcano Royal Institute in Madrid and Professor of International Relations at IE University’s School of Global and Public Affairs.
He specializes in international relations and political economy of the Middle East and North Africa, political Islam and transitions to democracy in the Arab world, where he has lived for over sixteen years.
Professor Amirah-Fernández has published extensively on Middle Eastern and North African affairs, and he is co-editor of books on North Africa and Euro-Mediterranean relations. He has lectured in universities in Europe, MENA countries and the U.S.
He holds an MA in Arab Studies on a Fulbright scholarship from Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies in Washington DC. He completed his studies at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Université Libre de Bruxelles, and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
He has worked for the United Nations in New York and for Human Rights Watch in Washington DC. Professor Amirah-Fernández is a frequent commentator in the Spanish and international media. He speaks Spanish, Arabic, English, and French.
Kateryna Shalayeva - Dr
Kateryna Shalayeva (Ukraine/France) acts as a strategic gender adviser, feminist change manager, development scholar, and human rights advocate. Having worked for over 20 years across Europe, Asia, and Africa, she settled in Sub-Sahara Africa for the past 4 years. Through her work, she guided national governments, international and regional organizations, civil society global and grassroots movements in formulation, implementation, and learning from equity-driven policies and programmes, conducted studies, and strengthened national capacities, including humanitarian action, resilience, DRR, protection to affected population and survivors of violence, peace-building, and social cohesion, facilitated empowerment and participation of women and girls, men and boys. The Council of Europe, European Union, Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, United Nations, World Bank, Islamic Development Bank, and International Organization of the Francophonie (to name a few) have benefited from her advice and expertise.
Leïla Benabdallah grew up in the South of France with a strong attachment to the Euro-Mediterranean identity and a passion to discover new cultures and to meet people around the world. French and Moroccan, currently living in Belgium, she studied International management of SMEs, marketing, and social development.
Following studies and professional experiences in France, Türkiye, UAE, and UK, she started to work in Brussels where she is parallel volunteering with different organisations. From 2017 to 2020, she was a Young Ambassador for the tri-national programs of the French-German Youth Office and she joined EU Neighbours East as a Young European Ambassador in 2018. The desire to develop higher education, mobility and employability of students and alumni also encouraged her to join the OCEANS Student & Alumni network of international exchange programmes. Together with 50 young people from 47 countries, she has been named a Youth Peace Ambassador of the ICESCO, specializing in the fields of education, science and culture.With the aim to co-create the Mediterranean region we want, she is involved in the Mediterranean Youth Council, within the group working on Economy, Education and Entrepreneurship.
Particularly concerned by quality education for all, she believes that investing in education is investing in the future.
Liliane Maury Pasquier
Liliane Maury Pasquier (born 16 December 1956) is a Swiss politician, a member of the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland, elected to the Swiss Council of States for the canton of Geneva in 2007, and is currently a member of a delegation that cooperates with the French parliament to foster cooperation between the countries. From 2018 until 2020, she served as the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Manuel Montobbio - Ambassador
Ambassador Manuel Montobbio has been a Spanish diplomat since 1987. With an extensive academic background, after studying Law and Economics at the University of Barcelona, he post graduated 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, where he is also currently Chair of the Rapporteur Group on External Relations of its Committee of Ministers, 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 at Large, responsible for the Action Plan for the promotion of Spanish presence in International Organization, Ambassador at 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.
Pascal Odul is the Head of Sector Good Governance and Security in the MENA region, DG NEAR, European Commission : Regional Cooperation Neighbourhood South, Economic Investment Plan.
The regional cooperation includes the coordination of regional or thematic actions in human rights and democracy, social and human development, security, civil protection. It also covers support to regional organisations such as the Union for the Mediterranean, Anna Lindh Foundation, Council of Europe, League of Arab States, European Endowment for Democracy. The sector has two ongoing programmes with Council of Europe: CybercrimeSouth and South Programme V. It has also a large Civil Society Facility and will soon launch the phase II of Young Mediterranean Voices.
Pilar Morales is Co-ordinator of the Neighbourhood Policy with the Southern Mediterranean, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Tunis, and Senior Coordinator of the activities of the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe.
Pilar Morales holds a master’s degree in Political Science and Sociology (Universidad Complutense, Madrid), a Master's degree in Advanced European Studies (College of Europe, Bruges), a Master's degree in International Relations (CSIC, Madrid) and an MBA (IADE, Madrid). She has held several positions within the Council of Europe since 1993, and since 2011 is in charge of programming with the Council of Europe's neighbourhood countries. Since July 2021 she is based in Tunis as the Coordinator of the Neighbourhood Policy with the Southern Mediterranean and Head of the Council of Europe Office.
Rareș Voicu is studying Global Law at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. For the past five years, he has been an active advocate for school student’s and children’s rights, fighting for their access to quality education for all and for the right to make their voices heard in all matters that affect them directly.
Mr. Voicu has been a Vice President and President of the Romanian National School Student’s Council, a position through which he has had, along with his teammates, numerous victories for Romanian school students. Rareș believes that good communication between students and teachers lies at the base of quality education. Currently, he is a Board member of OBESSU (Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions) and an elected Board Member of the European Youth Forum.
Rasmus Alenius Boserup
Rasmus Alenius Boserup is EuroMed Rights' Executive Director.
Rasmus joined EuroMed Rights as its Executive Director in June 2019. He previously worked seven years as Senior Researcher in contemporary Arab politics at the Danish Institute for International Studies and three years as Executive Director of the Danish-Egyptian Dialogue Institute in Cairo. He holds a PhD degree in Arabic studies from the University of Copenhagen and a doctoral degree in history and civilization from EHESS, Paris.
Saadia Wadah is representative of Karama. She has been a lawyer at the Casablanca Bar in Morocco since 1985 and is a human rights activist. She was one of the founders of the first listening centre in Morocco to support women victims of violence. She has also chaired the Moroccan Association for the Fight against Violence against Women.
She is actively involved in Morocco and at regional level for women's rights. She is currently a member of the KARAMA network and president of the Casablanca Settat regional human rights commission in Morocco.
The war in Ukraine is adding pressure to multilateralism and challenging international co-operation in a wide range of areas such as migration, refugee flows, health, hunger, the fight against climate change or the digital transition. Its economic impact is also contributing to the deepening of inequalities worldwide.
The keynote speech explored mechanisms to overcome political antagonisms and ways in which organisations can empower those raising their voices for peace, co-operation and solidarity in such fragile contexts.
Over the last decades there was a common will to develop North-South relations in the Mediterranean basin with the aim to turn it into an area of dialogue and exchange, guaranteeing peace, stability and prosperity. European and Mediterranean partners designed strategies to act together in partnership, recognising their growing interdependence.
This regional integration agenda suffered many setbacks along the years and despite many positive developments, the region is still in turmoil.
This session highlighted the lessons learned from new partnerships and looked at the cornerstones that need protection to mitigate the impact of the current crisis on North-South relations.
The disruptions and repercussions of the recent global crisis and other ongoing conflicts should not derail efforts towards upholding international commitments and protecting human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
Conflict, post-conflict and, generally speaking, fragile contexts tend to undermine and threaten the upholding and protection of those values.
This session examined how to pave the way to build and/or restore peaceful and inclusive societies and to protect human rights and democracy in fragile contexts.
Young people not only need to be equipped to thrive in a complex world, but they also need to be involved in the mechanisms and channels that converge and cooperate globally for a better future for all.
This session discussed the relevance of education systems for learners to engage with the world as empowered global citizens, but also the role of youth as peacebuilding agents.