UK Government to host AFF22 onboard HMS Prince of Wales in New York

Posted on 26 May, 2022 by Advance 

On 28th-29th September, the UK Government will host the Atlantic Future Forum (AFF22) on the aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales in New York, bringing together senior politicians, policymakers, military leaders, academia, business leaders and entrepreneurs, from the UK and the USA.

Image courtesy Atlantic Future Forum

AFF22 will address the ‘New Threats and Security Dimensions of a New World’ and seek to strengthen the collective defence, security, trade and economic resilience of Euro-Atlantic allies. The event will be led by the Department for International Trade, working across government and with the Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs. It is chaired by Lord Sedwill and will be co-hosted by the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Ben Key and HM Ambassador Dame Karen Pierce.

The Forum will seek to advance the vital trading and economic partnership between the UK and US and explore how we boost innovation, economic growth and resilience. AFF22 will be an opportunity to discuss the new dimensions of international security, the response of NATO allies, collective defence, international trade and economic resilience, whilst bringing together senior policymakers with some of the largest companies and exporters from the UK and US. It will serve to promote advances in emerging technologies, including Quantum, AI and Cyber, which are shaping our future prosperity, economic resilience and security.

The Forum is being staged by the UK Government in close collaboration with the United States and will be a highlight of HMS Prince of Wales' maiden visit to the United States. It will be led by the Department for International Trade (DIT), reinforcing the importance of prosperity and trade alongside our defence and security relationships with like-minded allies. The Forum will seek to strengthen the trade and economic pillars of the Euro-Atlantic alliance and consider the possibilities of an economic Article Five in the development of the alliance.

Rt Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, Secretary of State for International Trade, said: “The UK continues to play a leading role in fortifying defence systems around the world. And as Russia wages a reckless and illegal war in Ukraine, the Atlantic Future Forum will be an opportune moment to bring together like-minded allies on an international scale to work together to restore global security.

“Bolstering trade will be key to achieving this; not just the trade made up of our exports and imports but that of ideas and strategies that will help us overcome challenges such as climate change, fight future pandemics, and reinvigorate our economies.”

AFF22 will be chaired by Lord Sedwill, the former UK Cabinet Secretary and National Security Advisor. It is being co-hosted by the First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Sir Ben Key and Dame Karen Pierce, HM Ambassador to the United States. As in previous years, it is anticipated that senior politicians from both the UK and US will attend the Forum.

Lord Sedwill, chairman of Atlantic Future Forum, said: “AFF22 comes at a critical time for the Euro-Atlantic alliance with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The US/UK relationship has always been at the core of the alliance and the AFF is a unique opportunity to bring together government and the military, together with academia and business, to strengthen not only security and defence but also the trade and economic sinews of the alliance.”

The Atlantic Future Forum is dedicated to strengthening the defence, security, technology and trading relationships between democratic nations. This year’s Forum will focus on the new dimensions of international security and how we strengthen the transatlantic alliance in a world of emerging threats – balancing the ‘hard power’ of military responses with ‘soft’ power strategies of influence, mobilisation and diplomacy in Europe and beyond.

The Forum is unique amongst international summits in bringing together the worlds of business, government and the military. AFF22 will promote the importance of the UK and US as trade and economic partners and explore ways to boost innovation and technology. The Forum will gather many of the entrepreneurs driving the UK’s vibrant tech ecosystem, SMEs and innovators with some of the largest UK and US private sector companies. The event will help showcase advances in Quantum, AI and Cyber and the emerging technologies proving important to our future prosperity, security and economic resilience.

A number of private sector strategic partners are supporting AFF22 and helping shape the content agenda, including Arqit, BAE Systems, KPMG, Boeing, Ierus Technologies, Improbable, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Northrop Grumman, OneWeb and Raytheon. They will continue to play a critical role as partners in the evolution and development of the Atlantic Future Forum.

This will be the fifth Atlantic Future Forum and the third hosted in the United States. Some 400 delegates will attend the Forum in person aboard HMS Prince of Wales, anchored off Lower Manhattan. The Forum will include a number of keynote speeches, presentations, plenary sessions, fireside chats and networking events. A gala event featuring the Royal Marines Band is scheduled for the evening of the 28th of September.