Brazil Hosts Navy Summit of Portuguese Speaking Countries

Brazil Hosts Navy Summit of Portuguese Speaking Countries

By Taciana Moury/Diálogo
September 25, 2018

The V Conference of the Navies of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries assembled delegations of seven countries in Rio de Janeiro.

The Brazilian Navy (MB, in Portuguese) hosted the V Conference of the Navies of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP, in Portuguese), August 7-9, 2018. The summit took place at the Brazilian Navy War College, in Rio de Janeiro.

The objective of the conference was to promote dialogue, improve cooperation, and exchange organizational experiences among the navies. Delegations from the Angolan Navy, Cape Verde Coast Guard, Equatorial Guinea Navy, Mozambique Navy, Portuguese Navy, and the São Tomé and Príncipe Coast Guard participated.

The theme for the 2018 summit was cooperation among the navies. Participants discussed partnership possibilities to monitor and control maritime traffic, while allowing each country to exercise sovereignty in their waters.

Admiral Eduardo Bacellar Leal Ferreira, MB commander, described the conference as an opportunity to increase cooperation among CPLP navies. “The union among countries gives us the tools to counter maritime traffic, such as human and drug trafficking, terrorism, and cyber warfare,” he said at the event.

More efficient navies

Among the decisions reached at the conference, Brazil and Portugal vowed to provide technical support in the implementation of a maritime surveillance system for the navies and coast guards of the community. “It will be an opportunity for younger navies to acquire the capacities to guarantee sovereignty in their waters,” said MB Captain Emilson Paiva de Faria, from the Navy General Staff’s International Affairs Division.

The officer highlighted the leadership role of the navies of Brazil and Portugal in increasing activities with those of CPLP. “The goal is to foster agreements to enable learning and training for others,” Capt. Paiva said.

Participants also committed to advising their respective governments in defining their maritime borders and expanding continental platforms. CPLP members will also develop and increase information exchange among navies and coast guards’ maritime traffic control centers to counter maritime threats.

“Currently, none of the navies can single-handedly patrol all waters against transnational crimes,” Captain Pedro Santana, commander of the Cape Verde Coast Guard, told the Brazilian Navy’s TV Marinha. “We must cooperate and create partnerships with nations to fight these crimes.”

Admiral Mendes Calado, chief of the General Staff of the Portuguese Navy, also stressed on the importance of integration between CPLP countries. “In addition to the language, another element that unites us is the sea, which is a space of opportunities, and also great threats and risks to our nations,” he said.

Capt. Paiva also pointed out additional noteworthy activities defined during the conference. “The delegations committed to promote the development of the ‘dual use navy’ concept, that is, for military and civilian purposes, to avoid duplication of costs and increase efficiency,” he said. “We also agreed on the creation of courses, exchanges, and internships with educational institutions and command-and-control operations of the Angolan Navy, Brazilian Navy, and the Portuguese Navy for officers and noncommissioned officers.”

Cooperation protocol

According to Capt. Paiva, the Portuguese Navy organized the first Conference of CPLP Navies in Lisbon, in 2008, to comply with the CPLP Cooperation Protocol in the Defense Domain of 2006. “At the time, the summit was a symposium and evolved into a conference with executive power in 2012,” the officer said.

The goal of the CPLP Cooperation Protocol in the Defense Domain is to promote and facilitate cooperation among member states by systematizing and clarifying upcoming measures. According to Capt. Paiva, cooperation among the navies on maritime matters is active and efficient within the community. “The protocol is the most important document, which enables the Brazilian Navy to continue to cooperate with the navies of the CPLP countries,” he said.

The biennial conference is the main discussion forum among the navies and coast guards of Portuguese speaking countries. The VI Conference will take place in 2020, in Cape Verde.