Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Portuguese Community Admits New Member & Observer Countries (Map)

Map of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), including both member states and associated observers. Updated for the July 2014 summit, which admitted new member Equatorial Guinea and new associate observers Georgia, Japan, Namibia, and Turkey (colorblind accessible).
Map by Evan Centanni, starting from public domain blank map (license: CC BY-NC-SA).
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Article by Karina Barquet

Flag of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (aka Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries, CPLP)Organization Name:  
• Community of Portuguese Language Countries (English)
• Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (English - alternative name)
• Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa (Portuguese)
Founded: 1996 in Lisbon, Portugal
Headquarters: Lisbon, Portugal
New Member Country for CPLP
The Community of Portuguese Language Countries (known by the Portuguese acronym CPLP) welcomed a new member this year. Equatorial Guinea joined the organization following its approval at the 10th CPLP Heads of State Summit in Dili, East Timor on July 23, 2014.

The CPLP is an intergovernmental organization for cooperation amongst countries where Portuguese is an official language. It was  founded in 1996 with seven member countries: Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and São Tomé and Príncipe. East Timor joined the community in 2002 after gaining independence.

New Observer Countries
In addition to new member Equatorial Guinea, the CPLP's July 2014 summit also admitted four new Associate Observer countries: Georgia, Japan, Namibia, and Turkey. These joined the two previously-admitted Associate Observers, Mauritius and Senegal.
Equatorial Guinea is a small country located in Central Africa. Its name reflects the country’s location near both the equator and the Gulf of Guinea. Equatorial Guinea is a former Spanish colony, and Spanish is the first official language, followed by French. A new law drafted in 2011 declared Portuguese the third official language in the country, though it is unclear whether that law ever went into effect.

The push to adopt Portuguese as an official language was a result of President Obiang’s efforts in 2007 to improve communications, trade, and bilateral relations with Portuguese-speaking countries, and to meet an important requirement to become a full member of the CPLP. Other requirements for joining CPLP included political reforms to give room for effective democracy and respect for human rights.

The 10th Summit also saw the reincorporation of Guinea-Bissau as a full member of the CPLP, after its suspension following a coup d’etat in April 2012. Guinea-Bissau was readmitted in the wake of the country’s recent presidential and legislative elections, and the transition of the CPLP’s presidency from President of Mozambique, Armando Guebuza, to the President of East Timor, Matan Ruak, who will be in office for the next two years.

Low-resolution graphic of the CPLP flag is displayed under fair use principles (source).