Joint Statement on Atlantic Cooperation
We, Angola, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Ireland, Mauritania, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Senegal, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as coastal countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean and members of the community of Atlantic countries, share a commitment to a peaceful, prosperous, open, and cooperative Atlantic region, while preserving the ocean as a healthy, sustainable, and resilient resource for generations to come.
We all depend on the Atlantic for our livelihoods. The Atlantic Ocean is home to important trade routes, significant natural resources, and essential biodiversity. Challenges such as piracy; transnational organized crime; illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing; climate change; pollution; and environmental degradation pose a threat to our livelihoods. The Atlantic Ocean also offers untapped economic potential, from natural resources to new technologies. No country alone can solve the cross-boundary challenges in the Atlantic region or fully address the opportunities before us.
In order to bring together Atlantic countries to accomplish our shared goals, we will explore opportunities, as appropriate, to partner on a set of common challenges in the Atlantic Ocean region and to explore the development of a wider dialogue on strengthening cooperation in the region.
We will explore opportunities to advance shared sustainable development, economic, environmental, scientific, and maritime governance goals across the Atlantic, in accordance with international law, in particular as set forth in the provisions of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and we reaffirm UNCLOS’s important role in setting out the legal framework that governs all activities in the ocean and the seas. We aim to enhance regional cooperation, to develop a shared approach to Atlantic Ocean issues, and to build shared capacity to solve the challenges we face in the Atlantic.
We will explore opportunities to work together to advance our shared goals in the region across multiple topics. We will work to develop the sustainable ocean economy and an inclusive economic model to ensure the ocean continues to sustainably support our livelihoods, from food for growing populations to the conduct of global commerce, both now and for future generations. We recognize that there is no sustainable development without a serious commitment to promote development and alleviate poverty in developing countries. We acknowledge the importance of the transfer of technology on voluntary and mutually agreed terms as a means to bolster development, create jobs and income, support livelihoods, and bridge the technological gap among nations.
We will pursue opportunities to address the challenges of climate change and environmental degradation, collaborating on science-based, innovative solutions to advance our shared goals, including averting, minimizing, and addressing loss and damage; building climate resilience; conserving marine and coastal ecosystems; and mitigating marine pollution.
We will explore pathways to improve maritime governance, from enabling cooperation for humanitarian response and search and rescue operations to deterring piracy, addressing IUU fishing, and combatting narcotics trafficking. We are also committed to seeing the South Atlantic as a zone of peace and cooperation that contributes significantly to the strengthening of international peace.
Several organizations in the Atlantic have already made important progress on our shared goals. We will build on the spirit of mutually reinforcing Atlantic cooperation fostered by these organizations and support their work to the fullest extent possible. We seek to partner with organizations such as, among others, the Atlantic Center in the Azores as a central hub for innovative, pan-Atlantic policy analysis, political dialogue, and capacity building; the Zone of Peace and Cooperation in the South Atlantic as a key coordinating body for South Atlantic countries; the Yaoundé Architecture and the G7++ Friends of the Gulf of Guinea as a central body on African regional maritime law enforcement; and the All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance as a venue to advance scientific cooperation. We also seek to partner with other appropriate organizations, including regional fisheries bodies and organizations working on sustainable ocean economy and climate and environment issues related to the Atlantic.
We will continue to identify additional areas for cooperation based on dialogue with coastal Atlantic countries and existing Atlantic-focused organizations. We will explore opportunities to bring together Atlantic countries, while sharing principles of peaceful existence and ensuring our actions on the Atlantic Ocean, especially the high seas, abide by international law and the international law of the sea, in particular as set forth in the provisions of the 1982 UNCLOS. We seek to strengthen our mutual dialogue and cooperation on this host of shared challenges in the region. We invite other coastal Atlantic countries to join us.