Washington seeks to fund a new Atlantic gathering on ocean health and security

Washington seeks to fund a new Atlantic gathering on ocean health and security
Washington seeks to fund a new Atlantic gathering on ocean health and security
Today, the United States chaired an initiative of 18 countries bordering the Atlantic to intensify their cooperation and committed an additional $100 million to support the environment, maritime security, and reduce illegal fishing.

On the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken met the foreign ministers of Angola, Brazil, Ghana, Portugal and Senegal in what he described as the product of a general diplomacy.

At the meeting, Blinken said the nations would cooperate “in envisioning greater cooperation on both sides of the entire Atlantic, in both the North and the South.”

“We know that we cannot take for granted the free and open navigation that employs a large number of our citizens, the submarine cables that connect us, the fish stocks and the wildlife that we depend on,” he said.

“Only together can we confront the growing challenges and threats to our Atlantic future,” he added.

The White House issued a joint statement to 18 countries, including Britain, Canada, Spain and Norway, during exploratory talks to establish the initiative.

The statement called for action together against piracy, unregulated fishing, the effects of pollution and climate change.

He stressed that “the Atlantic Ocean also provides untapped economic potential, from natural resources to new technologies,” adding, “No country alone can solve the transnational challenges in the Atlantic region or fully deal with the opportunities before us.”

Subject to congressional approval, the administration of President Joe Biden will allocate an additional $100 million next year to this effort in addition to the roughly $400 million spent each year on maritime initiatives in the Atlantic, according to a senior US official.

According to United Nations figures, one in five fish caught in the Atlantic comes from illegal fishing, which translates to losses of up to $23 billion annually.

It “harms coastal communities that depend on sustainable fish stocks for their income and food. It fuels corruption. It threatens the health and biodiversity of our oceans,” Blinken said.

The initiative comes at a time when the Biden administration is increasingly focusing on environmental cooperation around the world, including ocean health.

The administration places among its top priorities the Pacific region, which is seen as a potential conflict area against the impact of the growing influence of China.

The joint statement said the new Atlantic grouping would look toward developing a “sustainable ocean economy” and improving cooperation in search and rescue and counter-piracy operations.

The initiative includes Brazil, weeks before the elections, in which opinion polls show President Jair Bolsonaro, an ally of businessmen skeptical of the climate crisis, a retreat.

The article is in Arabic

Tags: Washington seeks fund Atlantic gathering ocean health security

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