New Atlantic Charter between the US & the UK
The New Atlantic Charter signed
- The new US President, Joseph Biden met the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson in person at the 2021 G7 Summit in Cornwall, England, and both of them signed the New Atlantic charter on the 10th of June 2021.
- The new Atlantic Charter is a 600-word document that confirms a joint engagement between the US and the UK on a range of issues.
- The agreement is the latest version of the Atlantic Charter originally signed in 1941 by Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, during the world war.
- The original agreement was signed in the setting of World War II and the UK was trying to woo the US into the conflict against Italy. This time around Biden seems to work on bringing Boris into the conflict against China and big tech companies like Twitter.
- The new agreement promises cooperation against the latest global challenges and disputes.
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I – support democracy
- Policies and institutions of democracy will be protected.
- The concept that the state is governed, not by the ruler or the nominated representatives of the people but by the law, will be used (rule of law).
- They will be champions not by creating false auras but by being so clear that objects can be seen distinctly that in turn comes from having nothing to conceal or hide (transparency). Open policies and independent media will monitor the government and support civil society.
- Basic dignity and the human rights of all citizens will be ensured by opposing anyone who unjustly violates the rights of another.
II – international cooperation and economy
- International cooperation will be strengthened using more efficient institutions and laws that are suited to meet the new challenges of the 21st century and those who attempt to weaken them will be dealt with.
- Global challenges and the danger of new technologies will be managed and tackled.
- Economic gains and the dignity of labor will be promoted. Open and fair trade between nations will be facilitated.
III – sovereignty & responsible loans
- United behind the principles of the authority of a state to govern itself without foreign intervention (sovereignty), wrongfully entering into, seizing, or taking possession of the property of other countries that were often considered an act of war (territorial integrity) and attempts at peace to try and resolve any such disputes will be made.
- They will oppose meddling (especially during elections) using propaganda that uses narrative or facts that deliberately misleads by providing biased information that is false or altered to achieve a particular goal (disinformation) and others who are in the habit of continuously damaging the good reputation of someone (malign influence).
- They reaffirmed commitment to the purpose of consistent and timely disclosure in connection with financial transactions entered into by the central government or regional governments that allows potential lenders to more accurately assess risks associated with buying bonds issued by particular countries (debt transparency). Uncertainty about countries’ debts leads lenders to increase the cost of borrowing ultimately leading to plunder and this is where the (sound governance of debt relief) comes into play.
- They will defend key principles such as freedom of navigation and where airlines fly over territories of other countries by paying a fee (overflight) and other internationally lawful uses of the seas.
IV – Shared security & research
- Cloud service providers use a shared security responsibility model, which means your security team has some responsibilities for security as you move applications, data, containers, and workloads to the cloud. The provider takes some responsibility, but not all. It means that the cloud provider has built-in security controls and you are building on that security foundation by putting into effect security controls of your own to protect your cloud environments. The charter decided to protect their innovative advantages in science and technology to support shared security.
- They plan to deliver jobs at home, open new markets, and promote the development and deployment of new standards and technologies to support democratic values
- Continue investing in research into the biggest challenges facing the world like the corona
- Encourage development that meets the needs of the present, without endangering the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (sustainable global development). The use of wind and solar energy, crop rotation, use of water-saving fittings and fixtures, and creating more green spaces like parks, wetlands, lakes, forests, or other ecosystems
V – Disarmament and collective security
- The new Atlantic charter declared combined responsibility for maintaining a security arrangement in which each country in the system accepts that the security of one is the concern of all and therefore commits to a joint response to threats and breaches to peace called collective security.
- Ensure international stability and resilience against the full range of modern threats like cyber threats. Cyberspace has witnessed a ‘militarisation’ as a growing number of states engaged in cyber operations directed against foreign governments and businesses. The charter pledged to promote the framework of responsible State behavior in cyberspace.
- A first user principle that believes that nuclear weapons are intended to discourage other states from attacking with their nuclear weapons by instilling doubt or fear of the consequences (nuclear deterrents) to the defense of NATO as long as there are nuclear weapons.
- They assured NATO Allies and partners that they will always be able to trust them, even as they continue to strengthen their own national forces.
- To reduce the risks of international conflict they proposed arms control by reducing, limiting, or abolishing weapons (disarmament)
- Proliferation prevention measures like increasing international security standards on the storage and transport of fissile materials like Uranium and Plutonium and thereby stop the spread of facilities capable of producing weapons
- They committed to hitting back at terrorists who threatened citizens and their interests.
VI – Inclusive growth & illicit finance
- Continue building an inclusive, fair, climate-friendly, sustainable, rules-based global economy for the 21st century.
- Inclusive growth is economic growth that is distributed fairly across society and creates opportunities for all. Countries generate wider benefits for society by increasing public and private investment in labor-intense economic sectors.
- The rules-based global economy is a shared promise by all countries to conduct their activities in accordance with agreed rules such as international law, regional security arrangements, trade agreements, immigration protocols, and cultural arrangements.
- Strengthen financial stability and transparency, fight corruption and illicit finance, and innovate and compete through high labor and environmental standards.
- Illicit financial flows mean dirty money crossing borders. Money that is illegally earned through corruption, tax evasion, smuggling and trafficking in minerals, wildlife, drugs, and people, and the financing of organized crime
VII Climate change and how to sustain nature
- The new Atlantic charter says that the world has reached a critical point where it must act urgently and ambitiously to tackle the climate crisis, protect biodiversity, and sustain nature. The UK and the US plan to prioritize these issues in all international action.
- Climate crisis is a term defining global warming and climate change, and their consequences. Global warming affects mankind’s food and water security. Human actions have increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere leading to more heat retention and have raised surface temperatures. Climate change is a direct cause of soil degradation, which limits the amount of carbon the earth is able to contain.
- Biodiversity refers to every living thing, including plants, bacteria, animals, and humans that exist on earth. Much of it is in danger due to human consumption and other activities that disturb and even ruin ecosystems. Pollution, climate change, and population growth are all threats to biodiversity.
- To sustain nature, countries have to keep agriculture chemical-free, ban single-use plastics, move to organic food, reduce the use of fossil fuels and inspire others to do the same.
VIII Collective defense against health threats
- They recognize the catastrophic impact of health crises, and the global good in strengthening our collective defenses against health threats.
- Collective defense means that an attack on one ally is considered an attack against all allies. One of the biggest threats to international health security arises from outbreaks of emerging epidemic diseases like Covid19 that are occurring in increasing numbers. health services as a strategy must reach the poor and underserved populations.
- They also committed to strengthen health systems and advance health protections and assist others to do the same.
The original Atlantic Charter
- US President Franklin Roosevelt and UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill met in 1941 in Newfoundland, Canada to discuss details of the war. The UK was outmaneuvered during the Second World War and Churchill was hoping that the agreement would motivate the US to formally join the allies.
- Later they made a formal announcement from a US Naval base about a willingness to work together but did not join the war immediately. They were forced to provide troops months later after the Japanese pulverized Pearl Harbour.
- Till then countries had acted in their own interest. The Atlantic Charter was born after the nations understood the importance of acting independently without outside interference from other nations and reduced trade barriers thereby providing better economic and social conditions for all their citizens
- The US and the UK fought many wars together including the two World Wars, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Gulf War, and the War on Terror. Their leaders have been considered close and public opinion in both countries has supported the partnership.
- The fact that diverse nations agreed to the outlined and many nations joined them and that partnership ultimately led to the formation of the United Nations.
- Controversially all the principles outlined were purely hypocritical when one considers the situation in most British colonies during that time were undemocratic.
Anomalies and contradictions
- Biden has taken a harsh stand against China and Russia, questioning them on human rights and their lack of commitment to democracy.
- As part of its vaccine diplomacy, the Charter member states promised 1 billion doses of the vaccine to poor nations by the end of 2021 that included a donation of 500 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by the US.
The US currently holds 2.6 billion doses of vaccines for a population of 330 million people which made the Chinese say that, unlike the US, China will not use vaccines to influence or lead the world