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Home : Press Room : Transcripts
SPEECH | March 23, 2023

Closing remarks delivered by Cabo Verde Chief of Defense Rear Adm. António Duarte Monteiro

- Ambassador of the United States, Honorable Jeff Daigle

- Admiral Linda Fagan, Commander, United States Coast Guard

- Admiral Stuart Munsch, Commander Naval Forces Europe and Africa

- Distinguished Guests from Africa, Europe and the Americas,

As I have the privilege and honor to speak at this moment when the curtain falls on the Inaugural Symposium of African Maritime Forces, I would like first of all, on behalf of the Armed Forces of Cape Verde, to express our sincere thanks to the AFRICOM Command, in the person of the Commander of the United States Naval Forces Europe and Africa - NAVAF, Mr. Admiral Stuart Munsch, and to the Commander of the United States Naval Forces Europe and Africa - NAVAF, Mr. H.E. Dr. H.E. Dr. Dr. Irwin Munsch. Admiral Stuart Munsch, for the trust deposited in us to host, as co-host, in the wonderful Island of Sal, the first Symposium of the African Maritime Forces under the theme SECURITY AT SEA GUARANTEES STABILITY ON LAND.

Furthermore, I would like to greet all the Commanders, Chiefs of Staff of African Navies, Coast Guards and / or Naval Infantry and respective members of their delegations, as well as the Honorable Admirals, Generals and Officers of friendly countries such as Brazil, Spain, Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

A very special recognition and gratitude to all Participants of the host country, the United States of America, represented here at various levels and, in general, to all participants.

Thank you very much for your participation and contributions to this great event.

Still in a very special way, I want to praise the speakers for the quality of the topics presented at this event, as well as the moderators and respective panel chairs for their brilliant performance, and to highlight the superb conduction of works by Admiral Chase Patrick.

Also, I want to recognize and praise the role of those in the back stage, many of them certainly not present here, worked tirelessly so that we could be gathered here to discuss hot and important issues concerning maritime security.

Last but not least, I would like to thank the interpreters for their invaluable work in creating the conditions for communication to flow effectively and efficiently, so that the participants could communicate with each other regardless of the language spoken.

Mr. Admiral Stuart Munsch

Dear Admirals, Commanders of the Navy, Coast Guard and/or Naval Infantry

Dear Participants, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen

We live in a world in which we are confronted with a wide range of threats of uncertain or diffuse origins, with the African continent facing various types of conflicts from seemingly small to worrying proportions that spread through branched organizations, thus mortgaging the development and prosperity of its peoples.

These changes are so serious that they have forced a revision of the doctrine, in which the paradigm of collective security becomes an imperative. The changing nature of threats has forced the adaptation of concepts, equipment, weapons, where the use of

the use of new and advanced technologies helps to highlight the growing importance of demanding training.

Cape Verde also understands that the threats that may eventually hover over any country in the sub-region also represent a danger to its security because the global nature of this is increasingly strong. And so it is with cocaine trafficking from South America, which uses the Atlantic and West African region as a transit.

Likewise, in relation to other threats, namely maritime pollution, depletion of marine resources, unregulated and unregulated fishing, trafficking in various illicit activities, and piracy, Cape Verde has sought, within the framework of a holistic, collaborative, and cooperative approach, to join those who combat these nefarious threats to the countries' development.

Dear Admirals, Generals, Commanders, Distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen

During these three days of hard work, we were enlightened with several presentations, containing diverse and transversal information to the entire maritime security sector, dealing with matters of local, regional, and global interest.

It was here reinforced, without a doubt, the need for a holistic strategic approach, on the basis of partnerships are they bilateral and / or multilateral, in order to achieve a desired level of maritime safety and allow the exercise of activities at sea, in a regulated framework and properly controlled.

The panels, addressed, inter alia, the "Strategic Approaches to Maritime Security", "Operational Perspectives on Maritime Security", "Strengthening Law Enforcement at Sea

Law Enforcement at Sea", "The Role of the Naval Infantry" and "Sharing Initiatives between Regions".

It was possible to share ideas and initiatives, as well as demonstrate regional and global capabilities and strategic vision that can be adapted and adopted at the national level. However, such initiatives can also be integrated in a regional perspective, through cooperation between states, through the promotion of interoperability, information sharing in order to maintain a common operational framework and the development of maritime situational awareness, allowing the rationalization of the use of scarce resources that countries have and be able to collaboratively and jointly face the main threats widely discussed here.

The panels presented, culminated in discussions on regional interoperability and sharing of initiatives, through the division of working groups by regions, in order to better address the actions taken and difficulties experienced, thus allowing the implementation of best practices.

Overall, it is concluded that threats to maritime security do not respect political boundaries, and there is very little that an individual state can do alone. The need to cooperate with others is fundamental to the very concept of increased maritime security and sustainable development of the blue economy. Common sense tells us that we cannot achieve security in isolation. If, despite our best efforts in our territories, our neighbors, however inadvertently, provide a haven for those who wish to harm us, no one can claim to be genuinely secure.

Thus, it is our understanding that cooperation with other states in security, law enforcement, and the protection of the environment should not be viewed as a derogation of sovereignty, but rather as a multiplication of the effectiveness of our sovereignty.

Distinguished Admirals, Generals, Officers, Professors, distinguished participants,

Using the words of AFRICOM Commander, General Langley, in his closing address at the Meeting of African Chiefs of Defence Staff in Rome three weeks ago, I have no doubt that the inaugural African Maritime Forces Symposium achieved its objectives and was worthwhile not only for the rich summary of discussions but also for the elaborate synthesis of proposed solutions presented by the excellent speakers, thus providing decision-makers and subsequently planners with key elements to chart the "ROAD MAP" The way ahead.

Before ending, I would like, once again, to reiterate our sincere thanks to AFRICOM, through NAVAF for the window of opportunity created to bring together the leaders of the Maritime Forces of the African countries in its inaugural symposium, constituting an important opportunity to share experiences, best practices, build bridges and develop a set of responses, in order to strengthen security and achieve local, regional and international stability, a sine qua non condition for the development of our countries.

I address to the distinguished participants, to express our satisfaction for having you among us, and to wish you a good return to your respective countries and that you take from our country the most pleasant impressions and memories.

Thank you very much.

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