Established on 17 July 1996, by a decision of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and Sao Tome and Principe, a community of almost 200 million Portuguese speakers. In 2002, it was East Timor's turn to join this community.
These are the overall objectives of the CPLP:
- Diplomatic and political alignment between its Member States in matters of international relations;
- Co-operation in particular in the economic, social, cultural, legal and technical-scientific fields and the implementation of promotional projects;
- Promotion and dissemination of Portuguese, especially the empowerment of the International Institute of the Portuguese Language (IILP).
To these three overall objectives of the CPLP can be added, as a priority area and one that has been assuming major dynamism, that of citizenship and movement of persons.
Co-operation in the CPLP came to fruition, especially after the adoption of the three CPLP co-operation reference documents: the CPLP General Co-operation Strategy and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), adopted at the VI Summit of Heads of State and Government in Bissau (2006) and Co-operation in CPLP: Co-operation in CPLP - A Strategic Vision for Post-Bissau Co-operation, approved at the XIV Council of Ministers, Praia/2009. These documents have led to major conceptual and methodological advances, accompanied by a significant progression in the context of activities under theIndicative Co-operation Programme (PIC) - the specific instrument for co-operation actions under the CPLP over which the Special Fund exercises its powers.
In terms of co-operation, the CPLP has a special fund, which is supported by voluntary contributions from public and private entities to promote specific actions. These have focused mainly on priority areas such as education, health, the environment, citizenship and human resources training. Together, the Member States define priorities and then, with the support of the Executive Secretariat, deal with identifying and obtaining the resources necessary for their implementation. The drafting of proposals for co-operation projects in the context of the community follows the rules contained in the Handbook on the Drafting of Projects supported by the special fund, which is one of the sources of funding for co-operation programmes and projects.
Camões I.P. is the Portuguese focal point for the area of co-operation and, as such, has participated actively in the meetings of the CPLP focal points for co-operation, held twice a year in February and July, and before this the meeting of the Council of Ministers of the CPLP.