On December 3rd and 4th, the Lisbon Forum 2012 under the topic “The Arab Season : from change to challenges” brought together more than 200 participants, representing a unique opportunity to gather together the representatives of the civil society, local and regional authorities, elected assemblies, and governments from both the North and the South of the Mediterranean. This was a rare and useful opportunity of interaction and networking not only between the personalities from the South and the North of the Mediterranean, but also between the South Mediterranean actors themselves.
The Lisbon Forum 2012 was a direct follow-up of the 2011 Forum which was held on the topic “The Arab Spring: a major step towards making universal human rights real”. The Forum was organized by the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe in partnership and with the support of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, the host institution – Aga Khan Network, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal. Relevant international actors actively contributed to the event, in particular the League of Arab States, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean, and the International Federation for Human Rights – FIDH. The work of the Alliance of Civilizations and the personal contribution of the President Sampaio, Chair of the Lisbon Forum were underlined with particular appreciation.