New Delhi: Meeting was held in New Delhi today between the foreign ministers of the four nations that form the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, also known as QUAD. The meeting was attended by the representatives of India, the United States, Japan, and Australia, all of whom gathered to discuss various issues of mutual concern. The QUAD has emerged as a significant platform in the Indo-Pacific region, which aims to ensure a free and open region that is inclusive, stable, and prosperous.
The meeting was held amid the ongoing escalations and the heightened tensions in the region, which has been exacerbated by the rapid rise of China. The four countries reaffirmed their commitment to the QUAD’s vision of a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific, which accounts for more than half of global maritime trade. The QUAD members also exchanged views on the security challenges facing the region and discussed measures to enhance cooperation in areas such as defense, counter-terrorism, cybersecurity, maritime security, and the promotion of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
One of the key takeaways from the meeting was the announcement of several new initiatives aimed at deepening the QUAD’s cooperation. These included the launch of a new working group on cybersecurity, the establishment of a new dialogue on critical minerals, and the creation of a joint framework for cooperation on climate change.
The Joint statement released after the meeting emphasized the need for greater cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, particularly in the face of growing regional security challenges. The four nations also reiterated their commitment to international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and called for the peaceful resolution of disputes.
The joint statement also expressed concerns about the human rights situation in various parts of the world, including Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Myanmar. The four nations reaffirmed their commitment to upholding human rights and the rule of law, and called on other countries to join them in this effort.
The QUAD was initiated in 2007 as an informal strategic forum by the then Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. The aim was to strengthen regional security and promote economic prosperity. However, the QUAD did not take off initially, with Australia pulling out in 2008 after China protested against the grouping. The QUAD was revived in 2017 and was seen as a response to China’s growing dominance in the region. And since then, the four nations have held several meetings at the ministerial and senior official levels to discuss issues of mutual concern. Naval exercises have also been scheduled in the upcoming weeks by the QUAD, to be held off Australia’s coast.
The QUAD has gained significant momentum in recent years, particularly in the wake of China’s aggressive actions in the Indo-Pacific region. The QUAD members have also been expanding their cooperation with other countries in the region, such as Indonesia, South Korea, and Vietnam, to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific.
The QUAD meeting held in New Delhi on March 3, 2023, was a significant step towards enhancing regional cooperation and promoting peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. The meeting provided a platform for the four nations to discuss regional security challenges, deepen their cooperation, and reaffirm their commitment to international law and human rights. The QUAD has emerged as a critical forum for promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific, and its relevance is likely to increase in the coming years, given the challenges facing the region.