UN H.R. Alliance of Civilizations
Jorge Sampaio started his political career as a college student at the University of Lisbon’s Law School. Following his graduation in 1961, Sampaio began a notable career as a lawyer.
In 1978, he joined the Socialist Party. The following year he was elected deputy for Lisbon in the Portuguese National Parliament. From 1979 to 1984 he was a member of the European Commission for Human Rights. He later became the president of the parliamentary bench of the Socialist Party. From 1989 to 1991 he was president of this political group.
Sampaio won the presidential election in 1996 and was elected for a second term in 2001, thus serving until March 2006. As President, his actions were mainly focused on education, social issues, human rights for all, and European and international affairs.
In May 2006, the United Nations Secretary-General appointed Sampaio to become his Special Envoy to Stop Tuberculosis. His task is to work towards achieving the Millennium Development Goal of reversing the incidence of the disease by 2015. In April 2007 Sampaio was appointed as the High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, a UN initiative aimed at crossing cultural and religious divides between communities.