The following statement by Secretary-General António Guterres was issued today:
I am profoundly saddened by the passing of Jorge Sampaio, former President of Portugal and former High Representative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.
Mr. Sampaio led a life dedicated to public service. He was an extraordinary statesman, a fighter and defender of democracy and social justice. I was personally inspired by his passion and commitment to bring stability and prosperity to Portugal.
He was also a dedicated global citizen, serving as United Nations Special Envoy to Stop Tuberculosis, as well as the first High Representative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. He laid the groundwork for this initiative’s essential mission to build bridges of dialogue and understanding between cultures and religions. His legacy of service to humanity was recognized in many ways, including as a recipient of the first-ever United Nations Nelson Mandela Prize.
Portugal lost a statesman and I have lost a dear friend. I extend my deepest condolences to his family, the people of Portugal and all those at the United Nations and beyond who had the privilege to know and work with such a remarkable leader and compassionate human being.