Quad foreign ministers reiterate their call for free and open Indo-Pacific
Quad foreign ministers emphasized on upholding the principles of UN Charter, while calling for a refrain from the use of threat against any sovereign state
Quad foreign ministers of India, US, Japan and Australia on Friday held a meeting on the sidelines of the 78th UN General Assembly in New York City and affirmed their support for a free, open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific.
"We recommit to advancing the vision Quad leaders articulated in Hiroshima on 20 May 2023: a region that is peaceful and prosperous, stable and secure, free from intimidation and coercion, and where disputes are settled in accordance with international law. We strongly support the principles of freedom, the rule of law, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and peaceful settlement of disputes; and oppose unilateral attempts to change the status quo. We seek to maintain and strengthen stability in the Indo-Pacific, where competition is managed responsibly,” the joint statement issued by foreign ministers of Quad countries said.
Quad foreign ministers reiterated their call for all countries to uphold the principles of the UN Charter and refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.
“We underscore our commitment to upholding international law as the foundation for stability and equitable treatment of all member states,” the joint statement maintained.
While reaffirming their “unwavering” support for ASEAN unity and centrality, the ASEAN-led regional architecture—including the East Asia Summit and ASEAN Regional Forum, they said they support an open, stable, and prosperous Indo-Pacific.
“We support an open, stable, and prosperous Indo-Pacific underpinned by effective institutions and we reaffirm our unwavering support for ASEAN’s unity and centrality, the ASEAN-led regional architecture – including the East Asia Summit and ASEAN Regional Forum – and practical implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific,” the joint statement issued by the Quad foreign ministers said.
With regard to the Quad’s 2050 strategy for the Pacific, the Quad foreign ministers said, “We respect Pacific-led regional organizations, foremost the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), and are committed to supporting Pacific Island countries in line with the objectives of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent endorsed by PIF leaders.”
On Quad’s strategy towards the Indian Ocean, Quad foreign ministers in their joint statement said, “We are also further strengthening our cooperation with partners in the Indian Ocean region, including through the Indian Ocean Rim Association, to address the region’s most pressing and important challenges.”
Quad foreign ministers reaffirmed their commitment to support the Indo-Pacific region through practical cooperation, including on climate change, clean energy supply chains, and on infrastructure through the Quad Infrastructure Fellowship Program and the Quad Partnership for Cable Connectivity and Resilience.
“We continue to advance the development of a secure and trusted telecommunications network with a network modernization project and Open Radio Access Network deployment in Palau, progress on Quad cybersecurity initiatives — and explore avenues to share Earth Observation data to monitor extreme weather events and support climate adaptation,” the joint statement maintained.
In order to strengthen the Quad’s readiness to support partners in times of humanitarian disaster, the Quad foreign ministers said, “We look forward to the Quad Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Working Group convening our second tabletop exercise in Brisbane, Australia, to strengthen the Quad’s readiness to support regional partners in times of humanitarian disaster.”
The Quad foreign ministers also discussed issues related to counterterrorism. In this regard, the joint statement read out said, “We are committed to countering terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including preventing the international and cross border movement of terrorists, and countering terror finance networks and safe havens. We stressed the need for a comprehensive and balanced approach to effectively curb terrorist activities through the whole nation and the international community efforts.”
Quad foreign ministers in their meeting also called for a comprehensive UN reform, including through expansion in permanent and non-permanent seats of the UN Security Council.
“In this regard, we call for a UN Security Council that is more representative, transparent, effective, and credible. We underscore the need to address attempts to subvert the international system, including in the UN, and promote accountability,” the joint statement maintained.
Regarding the ongoing war in Ukraine, they expressed their deep concern over “terrible and tragic humanitarian consequences” of the war.
“We underscore the need for a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in Ukraine in accordance with international law, consistent with the principles of the UN Charter. We are deeply concerned about the global food security situation and support the efforts of the UN in the resumption of the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI). In the context of this war, we concur that the use, or threat of use, of nuclear weapons would be unacceptable. We underscore that the rules-based international order must respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states,” the joint statement said.
Quad foreign ministers condemned North Korea’s launch of ballistic missile technology and its continued pursuit of nuclear weapons in violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs).
They also expressed their deep concern over the political, humanitarian, and economic crisis in Myanmar and called for the immediate cessation of violence and release of all those unjustly detained, unhindered humanitarian assistance, “resolution of the crisis through constructive dialogue, and a return to Myanmar’s transition towards inclusive federal democracy.”
On the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Quad foreign ministers reiterated their support for its full implementation so that “no one is left behind.”
“We underscore the importance of achieving the SDGs in their entirety without selectively prioritizing a narrow set of such goals and reaffirm that the UN has a central role in supporting countries in their implementation. We underline the primacy of the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs as a consensus document supported by all member states and call on member states and the UN to protect it,” the Quad foreign minister’s joint statement noted.
Quad foreign ministers' meeting in New York City was attended by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, India’ External Affairs Minister Jaishankar, Japan’s newly appointed Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa and Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong.
They decided to hold their next meeting in person in Japan in 2024.