Lawmakers from Lusophone countries to be represented at CPLP

10 July 2006

Lisbon, Portugal, 10 July – Members of parliaments from the Lusophone world are to have a representative body at the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP) from the next summit of the bloc, which begins 17 July, an official has said.

CPLP Executive-Secretary Luis Fonseca told the daily “O Publico” Sunday that the aim of the move was to “involve MPs more in the management of the life” of the eight-nation Lusophone organization, and in a wider sense “make the (member) states pay more attention to the CPLP.”

The “parliamentary body, lacking until now in the CPLP’s structure” will function to “observe assist and advise”, added Fonseca.

The initiative to create the parliamentary assembly will be formally proposed Monday in Lisbon by representatives of legislatures of the CPLP who are meeting in the Lisbon National Assembly. The new body will be approved by heads of state and government from the Lusophone bloc at their summit next week in Guinea-Bissau.

Fonseca also told O Publico that the summit would allow for the “adoption of some measures aimed to restructure the secretariat and make some alterations to the constitution of the actual CPLP.”

According to a recent article in the Africa Monitor newsletter, the CPLP’s statutes will be reviewed during the summit, particularly the model of financing of the bloc, and the current secretary-general will be reappointed for a second two-year term.

Apart from a new funding system, the leadership of the Lusophone club also wants to boost the CPLP’s budget from its present euros 1.5 million per year, considered to be too small by the organization’s secretariat.

The CPLP leaders’ summit is being held in Bissau on July 17 on the theme “Millennium Development Goals – Contributions of the CPLP” and will be preceded a day earlier by a ministerial meeting of its members: Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and Timor-Leste.

The Bissau meeting marks the 10th anniversary of the CPLP and will be attended by Teodoro Obiang, president of Equatorial Guinea, whose Spanish-speaking West African state is seeking observed status at the Lusophone organization.

The holding of the CPLP’s Bissau summit had been threatened due to lack of funds in Guinea-Bissau, but last-minute financial assistance from Libya and mainly China, which provided US$ 800,000, meant the Lusophone leadership gathering would go ahead as scheduled. (macauhub)