Liberia has accepted a United States Government’s invitation to join the Atlantic Cooperation Initiative, a Forum of African, Caribbean, European, and American states that share coastlines with the Atlantic Ocean.
The announcement was made by the Commissioner of the Liberia Maritime Authority, Lenn Eugene Nagbe, during a meeting at the U.S. State Department on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, with Ambassador Jessica Lapenn – the U.S. coordinator of the body.
The Commissioner emphasized Liberia’s commitment to formalize its membership in the soonest possible time – as the country with the 2nd largest shipping registry in the world – while stressing the need to further strengthen the organization.
The LiMA boss also lamented insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea due to piracy and other transnational crimes, which, he said pose a threat not just to maritime transport but coastal communities of the Atlantic states.
He highlighted the need for all member states to work towards ensuring safety for the global maritime trade. He said this is essential not only to ensure unhindered movement of vessels but also the protection of the environment.
“The Atlantic Cooperation Initiative is an effective platform that can address the nexus of maritime crimes, environmental degradation, and terrorism which continue to plague the Atlantic,” Commissioner Nagbe said.
During the meeting, the U.S. official thanked Liberia for accepting to join the cause to protect the oceans from nefarious elements. She said the United States looks forward to working with Liberia as a preeminent member of the Atlantic Cooperation Initiative.
Speaking earlier, Foreign Minister Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah reiterated Liberia’s commitment to performing its role as a respectable member of the international community through its stance on global issues. He described US-Liberia relations as strategic and mutually beneficial.