New maritime monitoring program, Covid cooperation, climate pledge in Quad joint statement


NEW DELHI: The Quad has pledged to remain steadfast in its commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific and continue cooperation in tackling Covid.
A joint statement issued after the Tokyo summit also mentioned the Ukraine conflict in the light of a changed global security scenario. However the carefully worded statement avoided a mention of both China or Russia.
It also pledged to continue cooperation in building healthcare infrastructure and a joint effort to tackle Covid. It also touched upon issues like climate change and cybeersecurity, among others.
Here are the moot points from the joint statement issued by the four Quad leaders:
Free-and-open Indo-Pacific
The leaders emphasized that all countries must seek peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law. They also opposed any coercive, provocative or unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo and increase tensions in the area.
They statement in the same breath mentioned “militarization of disputed features, the dangerous use of coast guard vessels and maritime militia, and efforts to disrupt other countries’ offshore resource exploitation activities”- a tacit reference to China’s militarisation of disputed and artificial islands in the South China Sea.
Although the joint statement did not mention China, it emphasized the Quad’s support for “maintenance of freedom of navigation and overflight, to meet challenges to the maritime rules-based order, including in the East and South China Seas.”
It also reaffirmed “unwavering support for Asean unity and centrality and for the practical implementation of Asean Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.”
Ukraine, N Korea, Myanmar
The Quad leaders discussed respective responses to the conflict in Ukraine and the ongoing tragic humanitarian crisis, the statement said, and assessed its implications for the Indo-Pacific.
About the prevailing tensions in the Korean peninsula, the statement said “We reaffirm our commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, consistent with United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs).
It condemned North Korea’s “destabilizing ballistic missile development and launches, including multiple intercontinental ballistic missile tests, in violation of UNSCRs.” It urged Pyongyang to “abide by all of its obligations under the UNSCRs, refrain from provocations, and engage in substantive dialogue.”
The Myanmar crisis, it said “has caused grave humanitarian suffering and posed challenges to regional stability.” The statement called for immediate end to violence in Myanmar, the release of all political detainees, including foreigners, engagement in constructive dialogue, humanitarian access, and the swift restoration of democracy.
New program for maritime monitoring
Quad on Tuesday launched a major new initiative for the Indo-Pacific that allows the partner countries to fully monitor the waters on their shores and help ensure peace and stability in the region, a move that comes amid China’s increasingly intimidatory behaviour.
It is designed to work with regional partners to respond to humanitarian and natural disasters, and combat illegal fishing.
The announcement on the rollout of the Indo-Pacific Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA) came at the end of the second in-person Quad summit attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Australian PM Anthony Albanese.
A joint statement by the four leaders said the IPMDA will support and work in consultation with Indo-Pacific nations and regional information fusion centres in the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands by providing technology and training to support shared maritime domain awareness to promote stability and prosperity.
Covid & healthcare cooperation
The Quad will continue to lead global efforts for Covid-19 response, with a view to building better health security and strengthening health systems, the statement said.
“We welcome the progress on the expansion of J&J vaccine production at the Biological E facility in India under the Quad Vaccine Partnership– sustainable manufacturing capacity will yield long-term benefit in the fight against COVID-19 and future pandemics,” it added,
Quad also set a goal for strengthening the global health architecture and pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (PPR) to build better health security.
Pledge to implement Paris climate agreement
Quad pledged to steadfastly implement the Paris Agreement and deliver on the outcomes of COP26, and accelerate efforts to raise global ambitions on climate change.
The Quad Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Package (Q-CHAMP)” was launched during the Tokyo summit, with “mitigation” and “adaptation” as its two themes.
The programme includes ongoing activities under the Quad Climate Working Group like green shipping and ports aiming for a shared green corridor framework, clean energy cooperation in clean hydrogen and methane emissions from the natural gas sector and strengthening clean energy supply chains.

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