The Quad Foreign Ministers condemned terrorism and violent extremism in all its forms
Expressing deep concern over the use of emerging and evolving technologies for terrorism, Quad Foreign Ministers who met in New Delhi on Friday announced the setting up of a working group on counter-terrorism. The meeting, held a day after India hosted the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, was attended by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, and India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. "We note with deep concern that terrorism has become increasingly diffuse, aided by terrorists’ adaptation to, and the use of emerging and evolving technologies such as unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and the internet, including social media platforms for recruitment and incitement to commit terrorist acts, as well as for the financing, planning, and preparation of terrorist activities," the joint statement issued after the Quad Foreign Ministers' Meeting said. The working group will explore cooperation amongst the Quad, and with Indo-Pacific partners, to counter new and emerging forms of terrorism, radicalisation and violent extremism, the statement added. The first meeting of this working group will be held in the US later this year. During their meeting, the Quad Foreign Ministers unequivocally condemned terrorism and violent extremism in all its forms and manifestations. "We denounce the use of terrorist proxies and emphasize the importance of denying any logistical, financial or military support to terrorist organizations which could be used to launch or plan terrorist attacks, including transnational and cross-border attacks. We reiterate our condemnation of terrorist attacks, including 26/11 Mumbai, which claimed lives of citizens from all Quad countries, and Pathankot attacks," the joint statement said. The Foreign Ministers said they were committed to working together with their regional and international partners to promote accountability for the perpetrators of such terrorist attacks, including through designations by the UN Security Council 1267 Sanctions Committee. "In this regard, we express our concern at attempts to politicise the working of the UNSC Sanctions Regimes and call on all states to maintain the transparent, objective and evidence based working methods of UNSC Sanctions Committees," the joint statement said. 'NEED JUST AND LASTING PEACE IN UKRAINE ' "We continued to discuss our responses to the conflict in Ukraine and the immense human suffering it is causing, and concurred that the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible," the joint statement said. The Foreign Ministers underscored the need for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine in accordance with international law, including the UN Charter. Recognizing that peace and security in the maritime domain underpins the development and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific, they reiterated the importance of respect for sovereignty, consistent with international law. We reiterate the importance of adherence to international law, 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 South and East China Seas. “We strongly oppose any unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo or increase tensions in the area. We express serious concern at the militarization of disputed features, the dangerous use of coast guard vessels and maritime militia, and efforts to disrupt other countries’ offshore resource exploitation activities,” the joint statement stressed. According to the joint statement, they also decided to work closely to align and complement Quad’s agenda with Japan’s Presidency of the G7, India’s Presidency of the G20 and the United States’ APEC host year in 2023. During their meeting, they strongly emphasised the importance of maintaining peace, stability and prosperity and expressed their deep concern at the deteriorating situation in Myanmar. They also used the opportunity to condemn North Korea’s destabilising ballistic missile launches, including the launch of yet another Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) on February 18, 2023 in violation of UN Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs).