Joint Statement from Quad Leaders » Kamal Sandesh
We, the leaders of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States, convened today in person as “the Quad” for the first time. On this historic occasion we recommit to our partnership, and to a region that is a bedrock of our shared security and prosperity—a free and open Indo-Pacific, which is also inclusive and resilient. Just six months have passed since our last meeting. Since March, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused continued global suffering; the climate crisis has accelerated; and regional security has become ever-more complex, testing all of our countries individually and together. Our cooperation, however, remains unflinching.
The occasion of the Quad summit is an opportunity to refocus ourselves and the world on the Indo-Pacific and on our vision for what we hope to achieve. Together, we recommit to promoting the free, open, rules-based order, rooted in international law and undaunted by coercion, to bolster security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. We stand for the rule of law, freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful resolution of disputes, democratic values, and territorial integrity of states. We commit to work together and with a range of partners. We reaffirm our strong support for ASEAN’s unity and centrality and for ASEAN’s Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, and we underscore our dedication towards working with ASEAN and its member states—the heart of the Indo-Pacific region—in practical and inclusive ways. We also welcome the September 2021 EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.
Since our first meeting, we have made considerable progress in tackling some of the world’s most pressing challenges: the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, and critical and emerging technologies.
Our partnership on COVID-19 response and relief marks an historic new focus for the Quad. We launched the Quad Vaccine Experts Group, comprised of top experts from our respective governments, charged with building strong ties and better aligning our plans to support Indo-Pacific health security and COVID-19 response. In doing so, we have shared assessments of the state of the pandemic and aligned our efforts to combat it, reinforced shared diplomatic principles for mitigating COVID-19 in the region, and actively improved coordination of our efforts to support safe, effective, quality-assured vaccine production and equitable access, in close collaborations with multilateral efforts including the COVAX Facility. In addition to doses financed through COVAX, Australia, India, Japan, and the United States have pledged to donate more than 1.2 billion doses globally of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. And to date, we have delivered nearly 79 million safe, effective, and quality-assured vaccine doses to countries in the Indo-Pacific as part of those commitments.
Thanks to the Quad Vaccine Partnership’s financing of increased manufacturing capacity at Biological E LTD, additional production in India will come on line later this year. In line with our March announcement, and recognizing the continuing global supply gap, we will ensure this expanded manufacturing is exported for the Indo-Pacific and the world, and we will coordinate with key multilateral initiatives, such as the COVAX Facility, to procure proven safe, effective and quality-assured COVID-19 vaccines for low- and middle-income countries. We also recognize the importance of open and secure supply chains for vaccine production.
We have accomplished much to date despite months of pandemic hardship throughout the region and world. The Quad leaders welcome Biological E LTD’s production, including through our Quad investments, of at least one billion safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2022. Today, we are proud to announce an initial step towards that supply that will immediately help the Indo-Pacific and the world to end the pandemic. The Quad also welcomes India’s announcement to resume exports of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, including to COVAX, beginning in October 2021. Japan will continue to help regional partners purchase vaccines through $3.3 billion of COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan. Australia will deliver $212 million in grant aid to purchase vaccines for Southeast Asia and the Pacific. In addition, Australia will allocate $219 million to support last-mile vaccine rollouts and lead in coordinating the Quad’s last-mile delivery efforts in those regions.
We will also strengthen our Science and Technology (S&T) cooperation in the areas of clinical trials and genomic surveillance so that we can accelerate our efforts to end this pandemic and build better health security. We are committed to align around shared global targets to help vaccinate the world, save lives now, and build back better, including by strengthening global health security financing and political leadership. Our countries will also conduct a joint pandemic-preparedness tabletop or exercise in 2022.
We have joined forces to tackle the climate crisis, which must be addressed with the urgency it demands. Quad countries will work together to keep the Paris-aligned temperature limits within reach and will pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. To this end, Quad countries intend to update or communicate ambitious NDCs by COP26 and welcome those who have already done so. Quad countries will also coordinate their diplomacy to raise global ambition, including reaching out to key stakeholders in the Indo-Pacific region. Our work is organized across three thematic areas: climate ambition, clean-energy innovation and deployment, and climate adaptation, resilience and preparedness, with the intent to pursue enhanced actions during the 2020s, contributing to the aim of achieving global net-zero emissions preferably by 2050, and taking into account national circumstances. We are pursuing nationally appropriate sectoral decarbonization efforts, including those aimed at decarbonizing shipping and port operations and the deployment of clean-hydrogen technology. We will cooperate to establish responsible and resilient clean-energy supply chains, and will strengthen the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure and climate information systems. Quad countries will work together for successful outcomes at the COP26 and G20 that uphold the level of climate ambition and innovation that this moment requires.
We have established cooperation on critical and emerging technologies, to ensure the way in which technology is designed, developed, governed, and used is shaped by our shared values and respect for universal human rights. In partnership with industry, we are advancing the deployment of secure, open, and transparent 5G and beyond-5G networks, and working with a range of partners to foster innovation and promote trustworthy vendors and approaches such as Open-RAN. Acknowledging the role of governments in fostering an enabling environment for 5G diversification, we will work together to facilitate public-private cooperation and demonstrate in 2022 the scalability and cybersecurity of open, standards-based technology. With respect to the development of technical standards, we will establish sector-specific contact groups to promote an open, inclusive, private-sector-led, multi-stakeholder, and consensus-based approach. We will also coordinate and cooperate in multilateral standardization organizations such as the International Telecommunication Union. We are mapping the supply chain of critical technologies and materials, including semiconductors, and affirm our positive commitment to resilient, diverse, and secure supply chains of critical technologies, recognizing the importance of government support measures and policies that are transparent and market-oriented. We are monitoring trends in the critical and emerging technologies of the future, beginning with biotechnology, and identifying related opportunities for cooperation. We are also launching today Quad Principles on Technology Design, Development, Governance, and Use that we hope will guide not only the region but the world towards responsible, open, high-standards innovation.
Going forward, we will not only deepen our cooperation in these critical areas, but we will broaden it to new ones. Building upon each of our regional infrastructure efforts, separately and together, we are launching a new Quad infrastructure partnership. As a Quad, we will meet regularly to coordinate our efforts, map the region’s infrastructure needs, and coordinate on regional needs and opportunities. We will cooperate to provide technical assistance, empowering regional partners with evaluative tools, and will promote sustainable infrastructure development. We support the G7’s infrastructure efforts, and look forward to cooperating with like-minded partners, including with the EU. We reconfirm the G20 Quality Infrastructure Investment Principles and will reenergize our efforts to provide high-standards infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific. We reaffirm our interest in continuing our engagement with the Blue Dot Network. We emphasize the importance of supporting open, fair, and transparent lending practices in line with international rules and standards for major creditor countries, including on debt sustainability and accountability, and call on all creditors to adhere to these rules and standards.
Today, we begin new cooperation in cyber space and pledge to work together to combat cyber threats, promote resilience, and secure our critical infrastructure. In space we will identify new collaboration opportunities and share satellite data for peaceful purposes such as monitoring climate change, disaster response and preparedness, sustainable uses of oceans and marine resources, and on responding to challenges in shared domains. We will also consult on rules, norms, guidelines and principles for ensuring the sustainable use of outer space.
We are proud to begin a new chapter of educational and people-to-people cooperation as we inaugurate the Quad Fellowship. Stewarded by Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative, and with generous support from Accenture, Blackstone, Boeing, Google, Mastercard, and Western Digital this pilot fellowship program will provide 100 graduate fellowships to leading science, technology, engineering, and mathematics graduate students across our four countries. Through the Quad Fellowship, our next generation of STEM talent will be prepared to lead the Quad and other like-minded partners towards the innovations that will shape our shared future.
In South Asia, we will closely coordinate our diplomatic, economic, and human-rights policies towards Afghanistan and will deepen our counter-terrorism and humanitarian cooperation in the months ahead in accordance with UNSCR 2593. We reaffirm that Afghan territory should not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan or to finance terrorist acts, and reiterate the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan. We denounce the use of terrorist proxies and emphasized the importance of denying any logistical, financial or military support to terrorist groups which could be used to launch or plan terror attacks, including cross-border attacks. We stand together in support of Afghan nationals, and call on the Taliban to provide safe passage to any person wishing to leave Afghanistan, and to ensure that the human rights of all Afghans, including women, children, and minorities are respected.
We also recognize that our shared futures will be written in the Indo-Pacific, and we will redouble our efforts to ensure that the Quad is a force for regional peace, stability, security, and prosperity. Towards that end, we will continue to champion adherence to international law, particularly as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to meet challenges to the maritime rules-based order, including in the East and South China Seas. We affirm our support to small island states, especially those in the Pacific, to enhance their economic and environmental resilience. We will continue our assistance with Pacific Island countries on responses to the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 and on quality, sustainable infrastructure, as well as partner to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, which poses especially serious challenges for the Pacific.
We reaffirm our commitment to the complete denuclearization of North Korea in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolutions, and also confirm the necessity of immediate resolution of the issue of Japanese abductees. We urge North Korea to abide by its UN obligations, refrain from provocations. We also call on North Korea to engage in substantive dialogue. We are committed to building democratic resilience in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. We continue to call for the end to violence in Myanmar, the release of all political detainees, including foreigners, engagement in constructive dialogue, and for the early restoration of democracy. We further call for the urgent implementation of the ASEAN Five Point Consensus. We will deepen our cooperation in multilateral institutions, including at the United Nations, where reinforcing our shared priorities enhances the resilience of the multilateral system itself. Individually and together, we will respond to the challenges of our time, ensuring that the region remains inclusive, open, and governed by universal rules and norms.
We will continue to build habits of cooperation; our leaders and foreign ministers will meet annually and our senior officials will meet regularly. Our working groups will continue their steady tempo to produce the cooperation necessary to build a stronger region.
At a time that tests us all, our commitment to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific is firm, and our vision for this partnership remains ambitious and far-reaching. With steadfast cooperation, we rise to meet this moment, together.
(News Source -Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Bhajpa Ki Baat staff and is published from a www.kamalsandesh.org feed.)