Conference in Dili prepares CPLP Summit

Mon. 07 of April of 2014, 11:29h

A little less than three months of the completion of the Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), the Preparatory Committee of the event organized a Conference that brought to the capital of Timor-Leste, the highest officials of the nation, as well as representatives from almost all countries of the Community.

"The CPLP in the International Context: Challenges and Opportunities" was the theme of this conference presented by the Vice-President of the Preparatory Committee of the Summit, Luís Amado, on 5 April in Dili. The aim was to contextualize the importance of Timor-Leste taking over the rotating presidency of the CPLP in a time of great change in the world.

"Not everyone is aware of the importance, of the relevance, of Timor-Leste having the Presidency of the CPLP," said the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal, stressing that this is important for both sides: CPLP and Timor-Leste. Luís Amado noted that Timor-Leste has the privilege of its geostrategic location giving the Community a broadening of horizons, "an expansion to Asia and the Pacific".

The connection to the CPLP is historical and cultural, due to the language - Portuguese is, along with Tetum, the official language of Timor-Leste - and due to the influence of Portugal, but especially due to the support provided by Member States during the struggle for independence.

The biennial Presidency of CPLP happens at a time when Timor-Leste has been imposing itself internationally (at the regional level with the application for ASEAN and at a world level with its active role in the g7 +) and brings new possibilities for positioning, not only in its region but also in the world since the CPLP is represented, through its members, in the main regional organizations.

The candidacy of Timor-Leste to join ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), stressed Luís Amado, will complement and strengthen the position of Timor-Leste at the regional level, at a time when the world economy is moving, with some Asian countries gaining more and more weight. According to Amado, this regional positioning by Timor-Leste can be strengthened politically by the CPLP, and at the same time give a new dimension, a new impetus to the CPLP.

The conference was organized by the Preparatory Committee for the summit following the work initiated in February, which included several workshops and visits to the CPLP countries, and aims to prepare Timor-Leste for the Summit, which will take place in July, marking the top of the biennial Presidency of Timor-Leste in the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries.

This is the first time that Timor-Leste will run the organization since becoming a Member State, in 2002 - the year of the restoration of independence.

The CPLP is composed of eight Member States: Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe and Timor-Leste, being currently under consideration the application of Equatorial Guinea.