After Historic First Summit, Quad Leaders Pledge Commitment To Free, Inclusive, Rule-Based Indo-Pacific Region

During the first Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad), the four leaders – the US, Australia, India and Japan – stressed for a free, open and rule-based Indo-Pacific region that is “anchored by democratic values, and unconstrained by coercion”.

In a joint statement, the Quad leaders said: “We bring diverse perspectives and are united in a shared vision for the free and open Indo-Pacific. We strive for a region that is free, open, inclusive, healthy, anchored by democratic values, and unconstrained by coercion.”

“Today, the global devastation wrought by COVID-19, the threat of climate change, and security challenges facing the region summon us with renewed purpose,” they said.
The quad leaders also committed to holding an in-person leaders’ summit by the end of 2021.

Pledging to strengthen cooperation towards promoting a free, rules-based order, rooted in international law to advance security and prosperity and counter threats to both in the Indo-Pacific and beyond, the leaders committed to supporting rule of law, peaceful resolution of disputes, democratic values and territorial integrity.

“We reaffirm our strong support for ASEAN’s unity and centrality as well as the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. Full of potential, the Quad looks forward to the future; it seeks to uphold peace and prosperity and strengthen democratic resilience, based on universal values,” the leaders further said.

The leaders also pledged to respond to the economic and health impacts of COVID-19, combat climate change, and address shared challenges, including in cyberspace, critical technologies, counterterrorism, quality infrastructure investment, and humanitarian-assistance and disaster-relief as well as maritime domains.

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“… We will join forces to expand safe, affordable, and effective vaccine production and equitable access, to speed economic recovery and benefit global health… We will, therefore, collaborate to strengthen equitable vaccine access for the Indo-Pacific, with close coordination with multilateral organizations including the World Health Organization and COVAX. We call for transparent and results-oriented reform at the World Health Organization,” the statement said.

The four nations committed to keeping a Paris-aligned temperature limit within reach and prioritising the role of international law in the maritime domain and facilitate collaboration, including in maritime security, to meet challenges to the rules-based maritime order in the East and South China Seas.

On Myanmar, the leaders underscored the urgent need to restore democracy and the priority of strengthening democratic resilience.

They also reaffirmed 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 will combine our nations’ medical, scientific, financing, manufacturing and delivery, and development capabilities and establish a vaccine expert working group to implement our path-breaking commitment to safe and effective vaccine distribution; we will launch a critical- and emerging-technology working group to facilitate cooperation on international standards and innovative technologies of the future; and we will establish a climate working group to strengthen climate actions globally on mitigation, adaptation, resilience, technology, capacity-building, and climate finance,” further read the joint statement.

The Quad is a strategic forum comprising India, Japan, Australia and the United States of America, held its first-ever head of states meet virtually on Friday.

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