First Ministerial Meeting of Atlantic African States adopts “Rabat Declaration”, calls for enhanced political & security dialogue
The first Ministerial Meeting of Atlantic African States held at the initiative of Morocco ended Wednesday with the adoption of the “Rabat Declaration”.
In this Declaration, the Ministers of the Atlantic African States welcomed King Mohammed VI’s vision to make the Atlantic African area a pragmatic and relevant inter-African framework for cooperation, as well as his commitment for reactivating this geostrategic consultation framework between African Atlantic States.
They decided to establish three thematic groups, in charge of political and security dialogue; the blue economy, maritime connectivity and energy; and sustainable development and the environment.
They also emphasized the importance of optimizing the Atlantic African space for a more concerted and coordinated management of migration governance.
The participants expressed full support for the Conference of African Atlantic States as an appropriate framework for capitalizing on mutually beneficial opportunities for cooperation, including with existing regional, sub-regional and inter-regional mechanisms, in order to generate synergies and produce effective and proactive responses to the challenges of this shared space, particularly through the designation of dedicated National Focal Points for the African Atlantic Process in the framework of this Conference.
They recalled, in this respect, the declarations resulting from the previous ministerial meetings, within the framework of the cooperation launched since 2009, in particular the Rabat Declaration dated August 4, 2009 which constitutes a foundational document of the African Atlantic Process.
Taking into account these challenges, the Rabat Declaration adopted at the end of this first ministerial meeting emphasized the need to act collectively through the coordination of actions on a set of strategic themes and structuring sectors, in order to meet the imperatives of security, sustainable development and prosperity in this shared area.
On the other hand, the Ministers of the African Atlantic States affirmed that the States of the region have the primary responsibility for strengthening the capacities of State structures, defending national unity and territorial integrity.
The Ministers committed themselves to continue their cooperation and coordination, calling for enhanced political and security dialogue, primarily to counter terrorism, transnational organized crime in all its forms, piracy, migrant trafficking and kidnaping for ransom at sea. They also vowed to undertake in-depth exchanges to seize opportunities in the blue economy, maritime connectivity, and energy sectors; as well as continued consultations to address environmental challenges.
The Ministers also called for strengthening transatlantic cooperation, particularly with Latin American countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean, and decided to meet on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2022.
The ministerial meeting was an opportunity to develop a common African vision on this vital space, to promote an African Atlantic identity and to defend the strategic interests of the Continent with a single voice.
The participants decided to hold their next meeting in the Kingdom of Morocco.
The 1st ministerial meeting, attended by 21 countries bordering on the Atlantic, fifteen of which were represented at ministerial level, was an opportunity to develop a common African vision on this vital space, to promote an African Atlantic identity and to defend the strategic interests of the Continent with one voice.
Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita stressed at the opening of this meeting, that Atlantic Africa has almost everything to be an area of peace, stability and shared prosperity.
The process born in Rabat in 2009 is reborn today under a new light, “but with the same horizon that we share, from Cape Spartel to the Cape of Good Hope,” said Bourita, emphasizing the strategic importance of this space that is no longer to prove.
This Moroccan initiative confirms the Kingdom’s commitment to optimizing the strategic value of the Atlantic and its desire to see all the riparian countries gather on both sides of the Atlantic around common principles and converging interests.