Today the Programme and External Relations Commission of the Executive Council of UNESCO approved a decision recommending to the next UNESCO General Conference the adoption of a resolution proclaiming 5 May as World Portuguese Language Day.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs salutes this approval. Much more than just an official language, the Portuguese Language is one of the most widely spoken worldwide and shall continue to grow in number of speakers and with an increasingly strong expression on the internet, international organizations, in the world of business and art and in many other dominions.

The decision, which will be formally adopted by the Executive Council’s plenary on 23 October, recognises the role and contribution of the Portuguese Language for the preservation and dissemination of human culture and civilization. It also highlights Portuguese as the most widely spoken language in the southern hemisphere and as an official language of three regional institutions and of the UNESCO General Conference. 

This proposal, submitted to the Executive Council by the nine countries of the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (Comunidade de Países de Língua Portuguesa – CPLP), had the co-sponsoring of twenty-four countries of all continents and regions of the world and, now, the endorsement of the fifty-eight members of the Executive Council.

The final deliberation is left to the most representative body of UNESCO, the General Conference, gathering the one hundred and ninety-three member states in its 40th session, which will take place from 12 to 27 November.

The proclamation of international days falls within the competence of the United Nations General Assembly and, on their areas of competence, of the United Nations Specialised Agencies, such as UNESCO, in these cases appointed as world days. World Portuguese Language Day, once established officially, will be integrated in the calendar of days celebrated by UNESCO and by the United Nations.

Lisbon, 17 October 2019

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