Striving to ensure that Indo-Pacific is accessible and governed by international law: Quad leaders pen joint op-ed

New Delhi: Following the first-ever virtual summit of the top leaders of Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) on March 12, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, United States president Joe Biden, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison and Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga  jointly-authored opinion article for The Washington Post. 

“Now, in this new age of interconnection and opportunity throughout the Indo-Pacific, we are again summoned to act together in support of a region in need,” the leaders wrote.

The Op-ed drew parallels between what the world needs and what the Quad aims for. Op-ed read, “Since the tsunami, climate change has grown more perilous, new technologies have revolutionized our daily lives, geopolitics have become ever more complex, and a pandemic has devastated the world.”

“Against this backdrop, we are recommitting to a shared vision for an Indo-Pacific region that is free, open, resilient and inclusive. We are striving to ensure that the Indo-Pacific is accessible and dynamic, governed by international law and bedrock principles such as freedom of navigation and peaceful resolution of disputes, and that all countries are able to make their own political choices, free from coercion. In recent years, that vision has increasingly been tested,” it added.

The Quad counties leaders said they would work to support the 2015 Paris climate pact. To strengthen their “quest for a region that is open and free”, they have agreed to partner to address the challenges “presented by new technologies and collaborate to set the norms and standards that govern the innovations” of the future. 

Additionally thew piece refers to climate change as both a strategic priority and an urgent global challenge. including for the Indo-Pacific region. “That’s why we will work together and with others to strengthen the Paris agreement, and enhance the climate actions of all nations,” the leaders pledge in the Op-ed. 

The opinion article described Quad as a “flexible group of like-minded partners dedicated to advancing a common vision and to ensuring peace and prosperity. We welcome and will seek opportunities to work with all of those who share in those goals.”

Australia, India, Japan and the United States — a group of democratic nations dedicated to delivering results through practical cooperation — coordinated rapid humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to people in need. Our cooperation, known as “the Quad,” was born in crisis. It became a diplomatic dialogue in 2007 and was reborn in 2017.”

The Quad countries have pledged to work with other countries who share the same goals to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are administered throughout the region till 2022. The leaders of the four countries in the write-up announced that they are “launching an ambitious effort to help end COVID-19. Together, we pledge to expand and accelerate production in India of safe, accessible and effective vaccines. We will partner at each stage to ensure that vaccines are administered throughout the Indo-Pacific region into 2022.”

The Quad leaders, in their piece, take back the readers to the starting point of this cooperation, “In December 2004, the continental shelf off the coast of Indonesia shifted two meters, creating one of the largest tidal waves in modern history and a nearly unprecedented humanitarian crisis around the Indian Ocean. With millions displaced and hundreds of thousands killed, the Indo-Pacific region sounded a clarion call for help. Together, our four countries answered it.

As per the rare opinion piece, penned down by Quad country leaders in the Washington post, they will “combine our scientific ingenuity, financing, formidable productive capacity and long history of global-health partnership to surge the supply of life-saving vaccines, in close collaboration with multilateral organizations including the World Health Organization and Covax Facility.”

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