The Foreign Ministers of Australia, India and Japan and the Secretary of State of the United States met in Melbourne, Australia on February 11, for the fourth Quad Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. The Quad (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue) is a strategic security forum between the United States, India, Japan and Australia, first formed in 2007.
After the meeting, in a joint statement, the Quad stated the importance of 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 South and East China Seas.
The Quad is determined to deepen engagement with regional partners, including through capacity-building and technical assistance, to strengthen maritime domain awareness; protect their ability to develop offshore resources, consistent with UNCLOS; ensure freedom of navigation and overflight; combat challenges, such as illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing; and promote the safety and security of sea lines of communication.
The Quad recognizes that international law, peace, and security in the maritime domain underpins the development and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific.
Fighting terrorism and extremism
The Quad is exchanging information on ever-evolving threats and working with Indo-Pacific countries, and in multilateral fora, to counter all forms of terrorism and violent extremism.
The Quad denounced the use of terrorist proxies for cross-border terrorism and urge countries to work together to eliminate terrorist safe havens; disrupt terrorist networks and the infrastructure and financial channels which sustain them; and halt cross-border movement of terrorists.
In this context, the Quad called on all countries to ensure that territory under their control is not used to launch terror attacks and to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of such attacks.
Pledge to donate 1.3 billion vaccine doses
As the world enters the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Quad partners have collectively provided more than 500 million vaccine doses. Together, they have pledged to donate more than 1.3 billion vaccine doses globally.
The Quad Vaccine Partnership is reported rapid progress in expanding vaccine production at the Biological E facility in India, which aims to deliver at least 1 billion vaccines by the end of 2022, with the delivery of the first batch of Quad-supported vaccines in the first half of this year.
The partners are assisting to train healthcare workers, combat vaccine hesitancy and augment infrastructure, especially cold chain systems, for ‘last mile’ vaccine delivery. They also are working to identify and address vaccine gaps and barriers exacerbated by gender, disability and social inequities, and ensure safe, effective, affordable and quality-assured vaccination coverage in hard-to-reach areas.