We celebrate today, May 5, 2020, the World Portuguese Language Day.
It is the first time that this happens. And it is proof of the growing importance of this language, a structural element of our identity. The language that we have made ours becomes increasingly global and this fact is eventually recognized by the international community.To attest to the importance of the language is the resolution of the UNESCO general conference in November last year. The President of the Republic is pleased to note the fact that May 5 is also the day on which Indonesia accepted a peaceful and negotiated solution to the question of Timor-Leste, 21 years ago, and made an Agreement with Portugal within of the UN. The importance of the Portuguese language in the construction of our national identity was certified by the Constitution itself, which, in its Article 13, says that “Tetum and Portuguese are the official languages of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste”. Let us, therefore, reinforce the partnership between the two official languages, making Portuguese a language increasingly spoken by our People, and Tetum a language capable of absorbing the challenges of modernity.
Congratulations to CPLP with its nine Member States and its 19 associated observers. Congratulations also to the International Portuguese Language Institute (ILP) and the National Commissions that work to embody the purposes of the ILP.
To affirm our geopolitical identity, the participation of the citizens in the consolidation of the Tetum / Portuguese partnership is crucial. The role of education, public administration, the media and the church is essential. Long live the Portuguese language!Long live the partnership between our official languages, Tetum and Portuguese.