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Feb 14, 2024

Belize Joins Partnership for Atlantic Cooperation

United States Ambassador Jessica Lapenn concluded a whirlwind visit to Belize earlier today where she met with senior members of the Briceño administration, as well as several civil society organizations.  The trip was occasioned by Belize’s recent inclusion to the Partnership for Atlantic Cooperation, an initiative established by the U.S. government in September of last year.  More commercial and shipping traffic crosses the Atlantic than any other ocean and it is home to more than half of the world’s fisheries.  The meeting with local stakeholders was with a view to conserve the ocean, recognizing its importance to our lives and future.  Belize, as the newest member, is committed to the goals of advancing a peaceful, stable, prosperous, and safe Atlantic region.  News Five sat down with Ambassador Lapenn earlier today ahead of her departure.


Jessica Lapenn

Jessica Lapenn, U.S. Ambassador

“I’ve really had a chance to meet with the stakeholders in Belize on its marine and maritime issues.  So government, civil society, also international partners.  I’ve gotten, I think, a good understanding or the start of an understanding for what’s happening in the blue space in this country.  The reason I came was because of the very welcomed decision by the Government of Belize to join the Partnership for Atlantic Cooperation.  Government announced that decision yesterday and my visit was an opportunity to talk to them about what does the partnership look like, what will it mean for Belize and what will Belize bring to the partnership.”


Isani Cayetano

“The Partnership for Atlantic Cooperation is a fairly new initiative.  Talk to us about that and perhaps the buy-in from other countries to be a part of this initiative.”


Jessica Lapenn

”So it’s very new.  The partnership was launched last September.  So it was September 2023 with thirty-two countries, and with Belize it’s now thirty-eight.  So it is a meaningful reflection of Atlantic coastal states.  Much of the states on the Atlantic are now part of this initiative.  The initiative is designed to do a few things.  First, to say that we are an Atlantic region.  The countries around the Atlantic, in the north and south, have things in common: experiences and challenges. It doesn’t mean that everyone has the same experience and we know that there are important capacity differences, but we share an ocean and the ocean is increasingly important, whether from the perspective of trade or climate.  And so, as the states on the ocean we’re going to come together to think about what we have in common and how do we want to solve our common challenges.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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