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Member states of the Community of Portuguese-Language Countries (CPLP) have authorised a US application for observer status at the organisation, according to the ambassador in Lisbon of Cabo Verde, which holds its rotating presidency.
At a meeting on Monday of the CPLP’s Permanent Conciliation Committee (PCC), the ambassadors of the nine member states declared that they had “no objection to the expression of interest of the United States to become an associate observer,” said Eurico Monteiro, the Cabo Verde ambassador, in comments to Lusa after the meeting.
This means that the US can now go ahead and formalise the process it must follow to obtain associate observer status, including meeting the requirements and submitting the necessary documents.
After that the governments must once more give the green light, before a final decision at the next summit of CPLP heads of state and government, which is to take place next summer in Luanda.
In mid-September, the US took the first step towards becoming an associate observer, with a written request to that effect, Monteiro revealed to Lusa at the time. He said at that time that member states would “analyse [the request] very carefully”.
According to Monteiro, a country of “the size of the US would always help to bring greater visibility to the CPLP [and] greater prestige and will always be a partner” on which the organisation can count, “certainly, in the various initiatives and in strengthening cooperation with member states,” as well as in “mobilising energies”.
The status of observer was created at the organisation’s second summit in Praia, Cabo Verde, in July 1998, in response to a desire on the part of CPLP members to extend collaborations outside the community itself.
In 2005, at a CPLP Council of Ministers meeting in Luanda, the categories of associate observer and consultant observer were created.
States wishing to acquire associate observer status must outline their guiding principles, in particular with regard to the promotion of democratic practices, good governance and respect for human rights, and to foster through its human rights programmes similar objectives to those of the CPLP, even if they are not in a position to become full members of the organisation, as its official website explains.
As regards applications, they should be “duly substantiated in order to demonstrate a real interest in the CPLP’s principles and objectives” and are to be presented to the organisation’s executive secretariat, which – after consideration with the PCC (made up of ambassadors of the member states) – is to forward them to the CPLP’s Council of Ministers, which in turn is to recommend the decision to be taken by the summit of heads of state and government.
Associate observers may take part, without voting rights, in summits and in council meetings, and are granted access to the corresponding non-confidential documentation. They may also present formal communications in meetings if they are duly authorised for this purpose, as well as being invited to technical meetings.
However, any CPLP member state may, if it deems it appropriate, request that a meeting takes place without the participation of observers.
At present, there are 18 countries that are CPLP associate observers and one organisation, the Organisation of Ibero-American States (OEI).
The CPLP is made up of Angola, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe and East Timor.Source: Lusa
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