Shared commitment of QUAD members is for maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific

In his remarks at the two-day international workshop on 'Quad in the Indo-Pacific', Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan on Thursday said the Covid-19 pandemic has presented before the world enormous challenges and “we are united in efforts towards recovery, resilience and rebuilding, guided by the ancient Indian philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – of the world being one family.”

“This is also our ethos and guiding principle towards the Indo-Pacific region,” he noted.

Noting that India has created partnerships and mechanisms with countries, the opportunities, concerns and stakes of which intersect with India’s that include SCO, BRICS, RIC, Muraleedharan stated that New Delhi engages with its partners on common areas of interests and convergences to advance its common goals.

“Quad is one such mechanism. As political democracies, market economies and pluralistic societies, the Quad partners are committed to upholding a rules-based international order, underpinned by the rule of law, transparency, freedom and navigation in the international seas, respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty and peaceful resolution of disputes,” he said.

Explaining that the shared commitment of QUAD members is for maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific, the Minister clarified that “our consultations with any group of partners is not directed against any other country or group.”

Recalling that so far three meetings of Quad at the Ministerial level and seven at the senior officials level have been held, the Minister said, “We have discussed practical cooperation in the areas of maritime security, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), supply chain resilience and counter-terrorism in the Indo-Pacific region.”

In recent months Quad discussions have also focused on our efforts to address the many challenges posed by COVID pandemic, he added.

The historic and first Leader’s level Summit was held virtually on March 12 in which the four countries upgraded the Quad conversation to the apex level, Muraleedharan said.

“At the meeting, the four countries emphasized their commitment to the principles that unite us and underpin all our national experiences – our shared belief in democracy, pluralism and market-based economic principles and our shared commitment to a free and open, inclusive and rules-based, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region,” he reiterated.

The Quad Leaders adopted a positive agenda and vision, focusing on contemporary issues such as vaccines, climate change and emerging technologies, MoS for External Affairs said.

He explained that the Quad vaccine collaboration initiative, in particular, is a path breaking effort, envisioning manufacture of US vaccines in India – and delivery to countries in the Indo-Pacific region with support of Japan and Australia.

“It is an example of collective efforts which can be leveraged for global good, in these challenging times. India welcomes this initiative and looks forward to wholeheartedly and unstintingly participating in it,” Muraleedharan stated. This is a vaccine supply chain being built by trust and being built to convey trust, he added further.

“It is an example of the human-centric international cooperation and globalisation that Prime Minister Modi ji has referred to on more than one occasion. It is also a validation of India’s reputation as a reliable manufacturer of high-quality vaccines and pharmaceutical products,” the MoS continued.

“We look forward to working with our Quad partners for the success of these initiatives, which demonstrate the Quad’s constructive agenda and collective efforts towards the well-being of the Indo-Pacific region,” he said.