|Date||26 October 1999|
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Agenda item 171
Observer status for the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries in the General Assembly
Draft resolution (A/54/L.15)
I call on the representative of Angola to introduce draft resolution A/54/L.15.
On 7 October the General Committee acceded to the request made by the Portuguese-speaking countries that are United Nations Members to include a new item on the General Assembly's agenda at this session on the granting of observer status to the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP).
Today I take the floor on behalf of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and Sao Tome and Principe, in my capacity as Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the CPLP, to propose to this body the adoption of draft resolution A/54/L.15, which invites the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries to participate in the sessions and the work of the General Assembly in the capacity of observer and requests the Secretary-General to take the necessary steps to implement that decision.
In document A/54/232, of 14 September 1999, an explanatory memorandum was circulated that describes the history of the CPLP since its establishment on 17 July 1996 as an intergovernmental body of Portuguese-speaking countries to provide a response to the aspirations and appeals of 200 million people who consider the Portuguese language not only a means of communication, but also a historical and a common heritage nurtured by their friendly relation throughout the centuries.
The Community, created by the heads of State and Government of the seven Portuguese-speaking countries, is determined to achieve the following goals: to contribute to the reinforcement of human ties, solidarity and brotherhood among all people for whom the Portuguese language is one of the pillars of their identity; to encourage the dissemination and the enrichment of the Portuguese language; to enhance the cultural exchange and dissemination of intellectual and artistic creation within the framework of the Portuguese language; to endeavour to establish in certain member countries concrete forms of cooperation between the Portuguese language and other national languages in the field of research and enhancement; to widen the cooperation among member countries in the field of political and diplomatic concerted action, particularly within the framework of international organizations, so as to give ever greater expression of their common interests and needs within the international community; to develop economic and entrepreneurial cooperation among member countries; and to mobilize internal and external efforts and resources aimed at assisting in reconstruction and rehabilitation programmes, as well as humanitarian aid and emergency actions in member countries.
The CPLP also has among its objectives the promotion of cooperation in the following areas: the preservation of the environment; the protection of human rights, including the rights of children; strengthening of the social and economic condition of women; and the eradication of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia.
The CPLP is very open with regard to national diversity and cultural richness among its member States, which also belong to a multitude of other regional and multilateral bodies. Some of our countries are also members of the Organization of African Unity, the Organization of American States, the European Union, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Commonwealth and the International Organization of La Francophonie. We ardently desire that at the dawn of the next millennium, East Timor will join our Community as an independent Asian country, well integrated into its own regional neighbourhood.
Aware of the cultural reality that an identity of their own confers upon its members, the CPLP is also meant to be a bridge among the different geographical areas where its member States lie. By forming an association, they wish to promote peace, democracy, the rule of law, development, social justice and respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States and for the principle of non-interference in internal affairs. In that way, they concur with the promotion of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
Since its inception, the CPLP has sought to cooperate efficiently and constructively with the United Nations and other relevant regional and subregional organizations. This has been the case in the search for solutions to the war in Angola, in the recent crisis in Guinea-Bissau and in the process of self-determination of East Timor. In the case of Guinea-Bissau, it should be noted that the concerted action between the CPLP and the Economic Community of West African States contributed much to the re-establishment of peace in that member country. The CPLP took part in the round table sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme aimed at coordinating the much-needed assistance for the rehabilitation process in Guinea-Bissau. The CPLP is also taking the necessary steps to cooperate in the reconstruction of East Timor.
Recognizing the benefits that would stem from a closer relationship with the United Nations, the Council of Ministers of the CPLP decided, at their meeting of July 1998, held in Praia, Cape Verde, that the Community would take the necessary steps in order to be granted observer status in the General Assembly. It is the hope of the seven member States of the CPLP that the General Assembly will transform our endeavour into reality by adopting draft resolution A/54/L.15.
I would like to announce the additional sponsors of the draft resolution: Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and Sao Tome and Principe.
The Assembly will now take a decision on draft resolution A/54/L.15.
May I take it that the Assembly decides to adopt draft resolution A/54/L.15?
I now call on the representative of Brazil.
I have the privilege of expressing the appreciation of the seven member States of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) -- Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and Sao Tome and Principe -- to the other 181 Members of the United Nations for accepting the request to grant our Community observer status at the General Assembly.
The Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries is not foreign to this Hall. Two years ago, on United Nations Day, three Portuguese-language music stars -- Tito Paris of Cape Verde, Dulce Pontes of Portugal and Carlinhos Brown of Brazil -- presented a show on behalf of the CPLP. On that occasion, the President of Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, sent a message stating that the CPLP was to be seen as an extension of the international personality of its seven member nations, which bring their shared historical heritage into the present in the form of joint political action and a quest for cooperation.
Bringing together peoples from Africa, America, Europe and soon Asia, our Community is inspired by democratic principles. As the Permanent Representative of Angola stated, the CPLP statutes reaffirm the ideals of universal cooperation expressed in the San Francisco Charter. Hence, the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries was constituted in the light of the values of peace, democracy, rule of law, human rights, development and social justice, bearing in mind the principles of sovereign equality of States, non-interference in their internal affairs and respect for their territorial integrity.
Not only do the main goals of CPLP share the purposes of the United Nations Charter, but the values that constitute the framework of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries are also consistent with the principles of this universal Organization.
May I take it that it is the wish of the General Assembly to conclude its consideration of agenda item 171?