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.


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