The Foreign Ministers of the Quad countries; India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, and Japan s Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa met on the sidelines of the 78th United National General Assembly in New York. They reaffirmed their support for the United Nations Charter and a rule-based order. The four leaders also reiterate their commitment to a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific and seek further to deepen the Quad cooperation in the international system. In a joint readout, they reiterated advancing the Quad leader’s vision of establishing an Indo-Pacific region that is "peaceful and prosperous, stable and secure; free from intimidation and coercion, that opposes the use of force to change the status quo," held in Hiroshima Summit in May 2023. The F.M. also showed their support for the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), which aims at social, economic, and environmental development for all countries and to achieve and implement the 2030 agenda. The Quad is a non-military grouping of four democracies-India, Japan, the U.S., and Australia, originally formed and collaborated with disaster relief assistance and management during the Indian Ocean Tsunami 2004. The Quad countries have been working with a diverse, multidimensional, and practical approach to advancing the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific. Quad’s working groups are on climate, global health security, emerging technologies, cyber, space, and Infrastructure. The four leaders in the New York meeting said, "The Quad’s practical action in the Indo-Pacific is advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs by delivering sustained economic and social value that is responsive to regional partners." Furthermore, they underscored the effectiveness of institutions and reaffirmed their support for regional architectures and organizations like ASEAN’s unity and centrality, the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).
Interestingly, at the time of the U.N. assembly where the United Nations Security Council is divided over the Russia-Ukraine war and is not able to reach any consensus to end the war, Quad Foreign Ministers highlighted their commitment to a comprehensive U.N. reform, including increasing seats of permanent members and non-permanent members. While emphasizing the importance of the U.N. charter and international law, they expressed their deep concern for militarizing the disputed territories, extremist activities, and terrorism in the Indo-Pacific region. The ministers strongly voiced their concerns about the humanitarian crises in Ukraine, the political and humanitarian crises in Myanmar, and North Korea’s nuclear proliferation.
To sum up, The Quad countries have collaborated multilaterally and aim to deepen cooperation with like-minded countries to provide practical solutions for global challenges that benefit the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.
Author’s Bio: Dr. Indu Saxena is a senior expert and fellow at the Consortium of Indo-Pacific Researchers. She writes on U.S. India Relations, South Asia, and Indo-Pacific Security.