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Quad gradually emerging as a strong voice for free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific

Niti Post - March 3, 2023
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India hosted the Quad Foreign Ministers meeting on Friday, March 3. The meeting was presided over by External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar and was attended by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Australian Foreign minister Penny Wong and Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi. The Quad group comprises India, Australia, Japan, and the United States of America. Focused on ensuring a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific, the meeting witnessed the exchange of views on recent developments in the Indo-Pacific region and regional issues of mutual interest.

The meeting deliberated on various issues pertaining to the Indo-Pacific region and can be regarded as an important platform to ensure peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. According to the joint statement released by the Quad countries, it aims to support the region through practical cooperation on contemporary challenges such as health security, climate change, clean energy transition, infrastructure, and connectivity among others. Further, another major area in which the Quad group is focusing is to address the debt crisis which is a major huddle for various countries for their development.

Quad members supporting reforms in the structures of the UN

“We reiterate our unwavering support for the UN Charter, including its three pillars, and our steadfast commitment to strengthening the UN and international system through a comprehensive reform agenda, including through expansion in permanent and non-permanent seats of the UN Security Council,” the Quad said in a joint statement. India has called for reforms to the United Nations’ current structure on numerous occasions and platforms. As said by the Permanent Representative of India to the UN, Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj, the UN of today is far from reflective of the true diversity of the UN’s wider membership.

Quad members working to provide peace and security in the maritime domain

During the meeting, India and Quad emphasized the importance of upholding international law in the midst of difficulties to the maritime rules-based order, including in the South and East China Seas. Furthermore, Quad expressed serious concern about the militarization of disputed features, the dangerous use of coast guard vessels and maritime militia, and efforts to disrupt other countries’ offshore resource exploitation activities.

Establishment of the Quad Working Group on Counter-Terrorism

Another significant outcome of the meeting was the formation of the Quad Working Group on Counter-Terrorism. The formation of the group could be a significant step in developing counter-terrorism cooperation among Quad members and Indo-Pacific partners to combat new and emerging forms of terrorism, radicalization to violence, and violent extremism. Further, the first meeting of the group is scheduled to take place in the United States in 2023.

Emphasis on importance of maintaining peace, stability, and prosperity

The Quad grouping has established itself as a significant global voice. In a joint statement, the group expressed concern about Myanmar’s deteriorating situation, as the country is witnessing a severe humanitarian crisis since a military coup in 2021. North Korea’s ballistic missile launches, including the launch of an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), were also condemned by Quad. Furthermore, the group discussed the conflict in Ukraine and stressed a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in Ukraine in accordance with international law. The Quad Leaders’ Summit is scheduled to be hosted by Australia this year.

 

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