Marked by Diversity, Portuguese Language Promotes Understanding, Conciliation, Says Secretary-General in Message for World Day

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message on World Portuguese Language Day, observed on 5 May:

It is always with renewed joy that I join the celebration, on 5 May, of World Portuguese Language Day — and that I salute all Portuguese speakers.

In a global context marked by multiple and interconnected crises, languages of global communication are an indispensable vehicle of understanding and hope.  They are also a place of resistance against those who intend to spread hatred, exclusion, violence, extremism, misogyny and discrimination.

Language is often the refuge and hope of the most vulnerable — the hope of being heard, that their voices count, of not being “left behind”.

The Portuguese language is also a good example of this, being shared and constructed by populations on all continents.  Marked by diversity, it is a language that promotes understanding and conciliation.

The Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries embodies this spirit, promoting cooperation and solidarity among its nine member States.

For the more than 260 million speakers in the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries and its diasporas, the Portuguese language continues to be a language of mobilization in favour of a renewed urgency in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

We need to reaffirm that commitment and that hope, in every language — and we need to move from words to deeds.  We need to reaffirm our commitment to peace and security, development and human rights, listening to all voices, guided by the common principles on which the United Nations is based.

Only then will we be able to inhabit, as Amílcar Cabral aspired to — and I quote — “A world for all, without evil nor harm.”

For information media. Not an official record.