Jorge Sampaio passed away in Lisbon at the age of 81 years.

JORGE SAMPAIO (1939-2021)
Jorge Sampaio (1939-2021)
The office of former Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio announced his passing on Friday, September 10, 2021, in Lisbon at the age of 81. Prior to his death, Sampaio was admitted to the hospital for respiratory issues on August 27, 2021.اضافة اعلان

Sampaio was considered a strong personality and a leader who devoted his life to public service by many. His office extends its deepest condolences to his family and his innumerous friends in Portugal and worldwide.

Jorge Sampaio graduated with a degree in Law at Lisbon University in 1961. He was the elected head of the Students’ Union of the Lisbon Law Faculty, and he became a leader in the struggle to restore democracy in Portugal.

Influenced by the importance of democracy, Sampaio, in the 1960s and early 1970s, took numerous cases to the political courts under the dictatorship of Antonio Salazar, defending political prisoners and exposing the abuses of the regime’s political police. He defended on a pro bono basis. He was also a human rights defendant at the European Human Rights Commission of the Council of Europe from 1979 to 1984.

From 1976 onwards, Jorge Sampaio became a consistent supporter of the consolidation of Portuguese democracy through numerous positions. He was a Member of Parliament, a Speaker of the Labour Party (Partido Socialista), a Deputy Minister for External cooperation, the Mayor of Lisbon from 1989 to 1995, and, from 1996 to 2006, he was the President of the Republic.

Sampaio was appointed by the UN Secretary-General for the first Special Envoy to Stop Tuberculosis from 2006 till 2012 by both Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-moon. He raised the international visibility of the disease and called for better implementation of global health care strategy to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

He was also the UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, appointed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, from 2007 to 2013. In addition, Sampaio set up a critical UN Forum to encourage dialogue and cooperation against hatred and violence and promoted action at a local, national and regional level to address the challenges of cultural diversity across the globe as the main component for peace.

Most recently, he was involved in two main global fields of action. First, as a member of the Global Commission on Drugs Policy, he advocated for significant drug policy reform. The second was his launch of the Global Platform for Syrian Students, a multi-stakeholder initiative to provide emergency scholarships to Syrian students that allow them to resume their university studies.

In 2020 the Global Platform reframed its mission statement and enlarged its scope of action to become the Global Platform for Higher Education in Emergencies. As Chairman of the Global Platform, he advocated for the international community to increase higher education opportunities in emergencies and crises and set up a rapid response mechanism to provide higher education opportunities for refugees and students at risk or in forced displacement sustainably and systemically.

Jorge Sampaio was also a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, the Club of Madrid, and the Global Commission on Drugs Policy. He was also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and he chaired the jury for the Calouste Gulbenkian International Prize.

Jorge Sampaio holds several Portuguese and international awards. Most notable, he, alongside Dr. . H. Ndume of Namibia, was awarded the United Nations Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize for dedicating their lives to the service of humanity by promoting the purposes and principles of the United Nations in 2015.

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