Thirty-two coastal Atlantic countries across four continents adopted a Declaration on Atlantic Cooperation launching the Partnership for Atlantic Cooperation today on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. This new multilateral forum brings together an unprecedented number of coastal Atlantic countries across Africa, Europe, North America, South America, and the Caribbean.
This Partnership is the first grouping to span both the North and South Atlantic and address a broad range of issues, from economic development to environmental protection to science and technology. It is also the first time that so many Atlantic countries have come together to establish a forum through which we can work together on a more regular basis and to lay down, via the Declaration, a set of shared principles for the Atlantic region, such as a commitment to an open Atlantic free from interference, coercion, or aggressive action. This Declaration builds on last year’s Joint Statement on Atlantic Cooperation, which started a process to explore deeper cooperation in the region. Today’s launch is the product of that process and intensive diplomacy by the White House and the State Department.
Coastal Atlantic countries share direct and interconnected interests in the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic Ocean is the world’s most heavily traveled ocean with critical trade routes and global energy reserves. The World Bank estimates that the ocean contributes $1.5 trillion annually to the global economy—and expects this figure to double by 2030. Sustainable ocean economy sectors are estimated to generate almost 50 million jobs in Africa and to contribute $21 billion to Latin American GDP. Meanwhile, challenges like illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing; natural disasters; and illicit trafficking threaten this economy. We recognize that no country alone can solve the cross-boundary challenges in the Atlantic region or fully address the opportunities before us.
The Partnership for Atlantic Cooperation seeks to usher in a new chapter in regional cooperation, forging deeper connections across Atlantic countries on four continents. The purpose of the Partnership is twofold: (1) to enable Atlantic countries to expand cooperation on a range of shared goals and (2) to uphold a set of shared principles for Atlantic cooperation.
The Partnership will give our countries a new platform to work together on issues such as science and technology, sustainable ocean economy, and climate change. Participating countries also endorsed a Plan of Action outlining the first phase of work this new grouping will undertake, including scientific cooperation and shared research, information and maritime awareness, and development of a cadre of young Atlantic scientists. The Partnership will convene regularly and establish working groups to carry out this work. To the greatest extent possible, the Partnership will collaborate with and build on existing regional initiatives.
The Partnership’s members will also work together to uphold the guiding principles for Atlantic cooperation outlined in the Declaration. This includes:
- A commitment to uphold international law, including the UN Charter, to promote an open Atlantic in which Atlantic states are free from interference, coercion, or aggressive action
- A commitment to uphold the principles of sovereign equality, territorial integrity, and political independence of states, among others
- Recognition of the special interest and primary role that Atlantic states have in the Atlantic
Participating Countries: The following countries came together to endorse the Declaration on Atlantic Cooperation and the Plan of Action and to launch the Partnership for Atlantic Cooperation: Angola, Argentina, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Canada, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Iceland, Ireland, Liberia, Mauritania, Morocco, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Portugal, the Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Spain, Togo, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uruguay.