Quad leaders promise ‘free and open’ Indo-Pacific region | India News,The Indian Express

Sep 25, 14:23 / Mənbə: Indianexpress.com

The Quad leaders vowed to ensure a “free and open” Indo-Pacific, which is also “inclusive and resilient” at a time when China’s assertiveness is growing in the region.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian PM Scott Morrison, Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga and US President Joe Biden, after their first in-person Quad summit Friday, described it as an opportunity to refocus themselves and the world on the Indo-Pacific and on the vision for what they hope to achieve.

“Together, we recommit to promoting the free, open, rules-based order, rooted in international law and undaunted by coercion, to bolster security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and beyond,” the Quad leaders said in a joint statement.

“We stand for the rule of law, freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful resolution of disputes, democratic values and territorial integrity of states. We commit to work together and with a range of partners,” the joint statement said.

The Quad leaders reaffirmed their strong support for ASEAN’s unity and centrality and for ASEAN’s outlook on the Indo-Pacific. “We underscore our dedication towards working with ASEAN and its member states — the heart of the Indo-Pacific region — in practical and inclusive ways. We also welcome the September 2021 EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific,” they said.

“On this historic occasion, we recommit to our partnership and to a region that is a bedrock of our shared security and prosperity — a free and open Indo-Pacific, which is also inclusive and resilient,” the Quad leaders said.

They also denounced the use of “terrorist proxies” in South Asia, in a veiled reference to Pakistan, as they emphasised the importance of denying any support to terrorist groups which could be used to launch or plan terror attacks, including cross-border attacks.

“We denounce the use of terrorist proxies and emphasised the importance of denying any logistical, financial or military support to terrorist groups which could be used to launch or plan terror attacks, including cross-border attacks,” the joint statement said.

The joint statement also said they will closely coordinate their diplomatic, economic and human rights policies towards Afghanistan and deepen their counter-terrorism and humanitarian cooperation in South Asia.

The Quad leaders reaffirmed that the Afghan territory should not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists or to plan or to finance terrorist acts. They also reiterated the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan.

“We stand together in support of Afghan nationals and call on the Taliban to provide safe passage to any person wishing to leave Afghanistan and to ensure that the human rights of all Afghans, including women, children, and minorities are respected,” the joint statement said.

The Quad leaders noted that since March, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused continued global suffering; the climate crisis has accelerated and regional security has become ever-more complex, “testing all of our countries individually and together. Our cooperation, however, remains unflinching.”

In their joint statement, the Quad leaders said with the Quad Vaccine Partnership’s financing of increased manufacturing capacity at the Hyderabad-based Biological E LTD, additional production in India will come on line later this year.

“In line with our March announcement, and recognising the continuing global supply gap, we will ensure this expanded manufacturing is exported for the Indo-Pacific and the world and we will coordinate with key multilateral initiatives, such as the COVAX facility, to procure proven safe, effective and quality-assured Covid-19 vaccines for low- and middle-income countries. We also recognise the importance of open and secure supply chains for vaccine production,” they said.

The Quad leaders said they have accomplished much to date despite months of pandemic hardship throughout the region and world. They welcomed Biological E LTD’s production, including through the Quad investments, of at least one billion safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines by the end of 2022.

“Today, we are proud to announce an initial step towards that supply that will immediately help the Indo-Pacific and the world to end the pandemic. The Quad also welcomes India’s announcement to resume exports of safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines, including to COVAX, beginning in October 2021,” they said.

One of the key takeaways of the first Quad leaders’ summit in March was the formation of the Quad Vaccine Initiative, a vaccine supply chain to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines for India, the US, Japan and Australia. Biological E Limited was chosen for this role of producing a billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

The joint statement said Japan will continue to help regional partners purchase vaccines through USD 3.3 billion of Covid-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan. Australia will deliver USD 212 million in grant aid to purchase vaccines for Southeast Asia and the Pacific. In addition, Australia will allocate USD 219 million to support last-mile vaccine roll-out and lead in coordinating the Quad’s last-mile delivery efforts in those regions.

Building upon each of their regional infrastructure efforts, separately and together, Quad countries are launching a new Quad infrastructure partnership.

“As a Quad, we will meet regularly to coordinate our efforts, map the region’s infrastructure needs and coordinate on regional needs and opportunities. We will cooperate to provide technical assistance, empowering regional partners with evaluative tools and will promote sustainable infrastructure development,” the joint statement said.

The Quad leaders supported the G7’s infrastructure efforts, and look forward to cooperating with like-minded partners, including with the EU. “We reconfirm the G20 Quality Infrastructure Investment Principles and will re-energise our efforts to provide high-standards infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific,” they said.

“We reaffirm our interest in continuing our engagement with the Blue Dot Network. We emphasise the importance of supporting open, fair and transparent lending practices in line with international rules and standards for major creditor countries, including on debt sustainability and accountability, and call on all creditors to adhere to these rules and standards,” they said.

Recognising that their shared futures will be written in the Indo-Pacific, the Quad leaders said they will redouble their efforts to ensure that the grouping is a force for regional peace, stability, security, and prosperity.

“Towards that end, we will continue to champion 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 East and South China seas,” the joint statement said.

“We affirm our support to small island states, especially those in the Pacific, to enhance their economic and environmental resilience. We will continue our assistance with Pacific Island countries on responses to the health and economic impacts of Covid-19 and on quality, sustainable infrastructure, as well as partners to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, which poses especially serious challenges for the Pacific,” they said.

Xəbərin mənbəsi: Indianexpress.com



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