Senior Officials from the Ministry of External Affairs of India, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade of Australia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and Department of State of the United States of America met by video conference on 12 August to continue their consultations.
The Quad Foreign Ministers meeting in February was followed by the historic first Leaders’ Summit held in March 2021 which adopted a positive vision and pledged to strengthen cooperation on contemporary challenges.
The consultations provided an opportunity to exchange views on the wide-ranging impact of COVID-19 in the Indo-Pacific region, and the importance of collaborative efforts to contain the pandemic, ensure health security and a quick economic recovery. In this context they reviewed the progress of the Quad Vaccine initiative which was announced by the Leaders, with the objective of enhancing vaccine production and equitable access.
The Officials discussed issues of common interest and explored possibilities of collaboration in resilient supply chains, emerging and critical technologies, maritime security, cyber security, counter-terrorism, infrastructure and connectivity, higher education, climate change and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
Recalling their shared values and principles, the Officials reaffirmed commitment towards a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region based on respect for international law. They reiterated their firm support for ASEAN centrality, ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific and ASEAN-led mechanisms in the regional architecture.
The Officials look forward to continuing regular consultations and the next Foreign Ministers’ Meeting later this year.