Quad has become a significant platform for four large resident democracies that want to ensure an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific: EAM Jaishankar
Stating that Quad has become a “significant and substantive platform” for four large resident Indo-Pacific vibrant democracies, that are seeking to uphold an open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday said the initiative has “emerged from global necessities.”
The EAM said the Indo-Pacific has been a key factor behind deepening of strategic partnership between India, US, Japan, and Australia.
“Our strong commitment to Quad and the Indo-Pacific has been clearly a key factor in the deepening of our strategic partnerships with our three Quad partners,” Jaishankar said in his speech at the inaugural Quad think tank forum in New Delhi.
“Let us look at why the Quad? The answer is very simple. It is there for global good and it is there for the global commons. It is facilitated by the emergence of the Indo-Pacific. And it is propelled by a change in the global order that requires more, not less, collaboration among the like-minded(countries),” he said.
Emphasizing on the reason for its existence, he said, “It is there for global good and it is there for the global commons. It is facilitated by the emergence of the Indo-Pacific. And it is propelled by a change in the global order that requires more, not less, collaboration among the like-minded (countries).”
On what the Quad stands for, the EAM explained it through five messages: One, it reflects the growth of a multi-polar order.  Two, it is a post-alliance and post-cold war thinking. Three, it is against spheres of influence. Four, it expresses the democratizing of the global space and a collaborative, not unilateral, approach. And five, it is a statement that in this day and age, “others cannot have a veto on our choices.”

Australia Foreign Minister Penny Wong, Japan Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa and US Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell, who also addressed the forum, emphasised that the Quad was about creating resilience and offering more choices to partners of the Quad across the region.
EAM Jaishankar described the Quad as an “overhead light, creative, flexible, nimble, responsive and open-minded enterprise.” But while dwelling on the Quad’s achievements, he presented a list of activities associated with the initiatives and they included maritime security, infrastructure, and connectivity. HADR, critical technologies, communications, space cooperation, cyber security, counter-terrorism, fellowships, climate action and others.
Further elaborating on some of the Quad’s recent activities, he said, “In critical technologies, Quad seeks to build resilient supply chains in telecom, cyber security, semiconductors, and AI. An Open RAN pilot is underway in Palau, as part of these efforts. We are also promoting cyber awareness and capacity building in the Indo-Pacific, which could be, which is, vulnerable to cyber threats.”
“Quad countries together have announced more than 1800 ‘Infrastructure Fellowships’ for policy makers and technical experts to familiarise them with infrastructure projects and their implementation. By pooling together our technical expertise, we are actually enhancing the ability of the Indo-Pacific countries to select smart and reliable options,” Jaishankar said while highlighting the Quad’s recent activities.
He said India, Australia, Japan, and the US have also commenced discussions about deploying digital public infrastructure to deliver public goods in the Indo-Pacific.

 “One very unique Quad initiative has been the STEM Fellowship program – under which about 100 scholars from the four countries have enrolled in courses in US universities. I am very happy to share with you all that the second cycle of Quad STEM Fellowships has been extended to ASEAN member countries as well,” EAM Jaishankar said while talking about activities of the Quad.

In pursuance of global good, he said the Quad has given birth to some larger collaborations and they include, Indo-Pacific Maritime Domain Awareness Initiative, under which data is being supplied for countering illicit maritime activities and responding to climate-related and humanitarian events.
The other is the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, which seeks to offer alternative economic engagement mechanisms and it is making steady progress and addressing issues like supply chains, clean economies, sustainability, digital economies amongst others. India and 13 other countries are negotiating the text of agreements under IPEF.
Jaishankar said there are three clear messages about the Quad: “One, the Quad is here to stay. Two, the Quad is here to grow. And three, the Quad is here to contribute.” The grouping is an initiative that makes the Indo-Pacific and the whole world more free and open and much respectful of international law and a rules-based order.
With India set to host the Quad Leaders Summit this year, the think tank forum was organised alongside the Raisina Dialogue, the country’s flagship conference on geopolitics and geo-economics, so that experts could brainstorm on the future course and focus areas of the grouping. Jaishankar said the forum was also part of preparations for the summit.