As a Community of countries and people sharing the Portuguese language, CPLP was launched in 1983, when the Portuguese Minister for Foreign Affairs Jaime Gama suggested holding Summits and High Level meetings gathering the Portuguese-speaking Countries. In 1989, Brazil, on the initiative of its Ambassador in Lisbon, José Aparecido de Oliveira, summoned the Portuguese-speaking Countries to a meeting in São Luís do Maranhão. In this first meeting, the Heads of State and Government of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, and Sao Tome and Principe, decided to create the International Portuguese Language Institute (IILP), dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of our language.
In the following years, the project for a Community matured, and in 1995 the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the seven countries met in Brasilia and recommended holding a Summit of Heads of State and Government to agree on the constitution of the community. That summit took place the following year, in Lisbon, resulting in the approval of the Founding Declaration and the Bylaws of the Community.
Subsequently, CPLP had two enlargements. The first one was due to the accession of East Timor, on 20 May 2002, at the 4th Conference of Heads of State and Government, held in Brasília. The second enlargement resulted from the accession of Equatorial Guinea, which became the ninth Member State, formalized in 2016, at the 10th Summit, also held in Brasilia, but following a resolution taken in 2014, in Dili.
Key areas of action
CPLP stands as a political project founded on the Portuguese Language, as a historical link and common heritage of the Member States, which make a geographically discontinuous space, but identified by the same language.
CPLP has three key areas of action: Political and Diplomatic Coordination, Cooperation in a number of areas, and promotion and dissemination of the Portuguese Language.
Political and Diplomatic Coordination has reinforced the potential of negotiation of each Member State in searching solutions and conciliations in the international forums and has enabled to go deeper in the institutional dialogue with the States, International Organizations, and other various partners. In addition, it takes on other relevant fields, such as the execution of Election Observation Missions and follow-up of crisis situations in Member States, thus strengthening the visibility of the Community.
Cooperation is fostered by institutions and organizations, both public and private, and covers a wide range of subjects: Education, Economy, Justice, Environment, Culture, Social Affairs, Health, Energy, Sports and Youth, and many others. There is also regular cooperation, for example, among Constitutional Courts, Ombudsmen, Attorney-Generals, Central Bank Governors, Military Authorities, Police Directors, Trade Union Organizations and Universities. Cooperation is an area of great vitality, which involves the participation of the Public Administrations of the Member States, and also the involvement of Civil Society.
The central entity of the third area of action, the one of the Portuguese Language, is IILP, responsible for planning and executing specific programs. The adoption of the Brasilia and Lisbon Action Plans, in 2010 and 2013 respectively, have made it possible to define global strategies for the promotion and dissemination of the Portuguese Language.
Throughout its 21 years of existence, CPLP has increased its credibility and visibility. The proof lies in the number of countries that have increasingly intensified their institutional relations with the Organization, through the status of Associate Observer. As of today, this status has been granted to ten countries (Senegal, Mauritius, Japan, Namibia, Türkiye, Georgia, Uruguay, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic and Hungary), already exceeding the number of Member States of the Community.
Likewise, Civil Society has intensified its institutional dialogue with CPLP, and approximately 70 entities have already been granted the status of Consultative Observer to the Organization.
The 11th Conference of Heads of State and Government, held in Brasilia, in 2016, approved the CPLP's New Strategic Vision, which aims at establishing a set of guidelines to intensify and modernize the Community in order to face the new challenges of a globalized world. In July 2017, the Council of Ministers of Brasilia approved the roadmap to operationalize the New Strategic Vision, which will enable the rollout of a set of really important decisions for the success of CPLP. In this respect, Mobility and Circulation within the CPLP area is a key tool for the expansion of the Community and the progressive creation of a CPLP Citizenship.