Title: Atlantic Countries Commit to Strengthen Cooperation for Economic Development and Environmental Protection
In a significant step towards enhancing regional cooperation, more than 30 countries across the Atlantic have pledged to bolster coordination on economic development, environmental protection, maritime issues, and more. The adoption of the Declaration on Atlantic Cooperation took place during a meeting hosted by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken ahead of the annual U.N. General Assembly meeting. This commitment marks an important milestone in addressing the common challenges faced by Atlantic nations, while also fostering sustainable growth and environmental stewardship.
The Importance of the Atlantic:
With the Atlantic Ocean hosting the largest amount of international shipping and serving as a data thoroughfare through undersea cables, its significance cannot be overstated. However, it faces various threats, including climate change, which has led to stronger and more devastating storms and illegal fishing practices. Secretary Blinken highlighted the pivotal role played by the Atlantic in driving global climate and weather patterns, emphasizing the urgency to address these challenges collaboratively.
Key Elements of the Declaration:
The Declaration on Atlantic Cooperation solidifies commitments towards an open Atlantic region that is free from interference, coercion, or aggressive actions. Furthermore, it emphasizes the upholding of sovereign equality, territorial integrity, and political independence of states, recognizing the individual contributions made by each nation within the Atlantic. This ambitious regional cooperation initiative facilitates closer ties between coastal countries from Africa, Europe, North America, and South America.
Promoting Sustainable Growth and Addressing Key Challenges:
The Partnership for Atlantic Cooperation, created on the sidelines of last year’s General Assembly, serves as a platform for countries to work collectively on crucial issues affecting the region. By endorsing the declaration, nations including Angola, Argentina, Canada, Ireland, Nigeria, Portugal, the United States, and Uruguay commit to improving cooperation and reaching consensus on principles for the Atlantic region. The World Bank estimates that Atlantic Ocean commerce contributes $1.5 trillion annually to the global economy, with expectations to double by 2030. Additionally, sustainable ocean economy sectors are projected to generate nearly 50 million jobs in Africa and contribute $21 billion to the Latin American economy. Challenges, such as illegal fishing, natural disasters, and illicit trafficking, need to be addressed to ensure the sustainable growth of the region.
Activism and the Need for Urgent Action:
Coinciding with the General Assembly meeting in New York, thousands of protesters have taken to the streets, urging world leaders to accelerate their efforts to combat climate change. While some leaders responsible for significant carbon pollution will not be present, it is imperative for those in attendance, including President Joe Biden, to prioritize climate change discussions. While President Biden is not attending a climate-focused summit convened by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the declaration’s adoption demonstrates the commitment of Atlantic countries to address environmental concerns.
The commitment of more than 30 Atlantic countries to enhance coordination on economic development, environmental protection, and maritime issues reflects a significant stride towards sustainable growth and regional stability. By fostering collaboration and addressing common challenges, these nations aim to preserve the delicate balance of the Atlantic ecosystem while harnessing its immense economic potential. The Declaration on Atlantic Cooperation encourages a unified approach in tackling climate change, promoting sustainable practices, and securing a prosperous future for all Atlantic nations.