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About Quad Grouping

Context:

Foreign Ministers of the Quad (India, the U.S., Australia, and Japan) met on the fringes of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to sign a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) partnership into effect.

  • Under the HADR, the member countries will coordinate their disaster response operations in the Indo-Pacific region with other National and International agencies, private non-governmental organizations.

Relevance:

GS II- International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About QUAD
  2. What were the objectives of the grouping?
  3. Quad Initiatives
  4. What are the future plans of the Quad?

About QUAD

  • The Quad is an informal strategic forum comprising four nations, namely –India, United States of America, Australia and Japan.
  • One of the primary objectives of the Quad is, to work for a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
  • The group for the first time met in 2007 on the side lines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
  • It is considered an alliance of maritime democracies.
  • The forum is maintained through meetings, semi-regular summits, information exchanges, and military drills of all the member countries.
  • The motive behind the Quad is, to keep the strategic sea routes in the Indo-Pacific, free of any military or political influence.
  • The core objective of the Quad is, to secure a rules-based global order, freedom of navigation and, a liberal trading system.
  • The coalition also aims to offer, alternative debt financing for nations in the Indo-Pacific region.
Purpose of Quad:
  • Recently the U.S. has clarified that Quad is not a security or military partnership.
  • Its purpose is to advance cooperation on key priorities in specific sectors that is consistent with international law
  • It promotes shared values of its members and underpins peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • A U.S. State Department spokesperson said that “We work to support the rule of law, freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful resolution of disputes, democratic values, and territorial integrity through open dialogue and information sharing on a diverse set of issue areas, including Maritime Security”.

Significance of Quad:

Quad is becoming a powerful mechanism and its significance is given below:

  • Helping to vaccinate a big part of the world and getting a lot of vaccines out there,
  • Strengthening maritime security to push back against aggression and coercion in the Indo-Pacific region,
  • Working together on emerging technologies and making sure that they can be used in positive ways and an increasingly broad and deep agenda.
  • It also supports many activities/platforms as part of its shared approach to the Indo-Pacific.

What were the objectives of the grouping?

  • Coming together to foster a free and open Indo-Pacific formed the bedrock of cooperation.
  •  Emphasis was laid on “rule of law, territorial integrity, freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful resolution of disputes, and democratic values” in the region.
  • The other areas of immediate focus were the pandemic through strengthening equitable vaccine access for the Indo-Pacific, combating climate change, sharing critical technologies, cyber security, supply chain resilience, and infrastructure and connectivity projects.
  • Now it commits to promoting the free, open, rules-based order, rooted in international law and undaunted by coercion, to bolster security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.

Quad Initiatives:

  • Quad leaders launched the Quad Vaccine Initiative (QVI) with the aim of manufacturing and distributing at least a billion COVID-19 vaccines for the Asia region by the end of 2022.
  •  As for emerging technologies, the four countries aimed to work on the development and diversification of 5G telecommunications and the creation of supply chains for critical minerals and technologies for making semiconductors used in smartphones, another area where China is a leader.
  • Quad nations had also agreed to build joint connectivity projects and transparent infrastructure funding for countries in the region.
    • The emphasis on connectivity saw the Quad challenge China in another sphere: a coordinated effort to provide financing and sustainable alternatives to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which has led many nations to take loans and accept infrastructure bids from Beijing.
  • The Quad also created a working group for combating climate change which would oversee efforts to foster green shipping by decarbonising maritime supply chains and promoting the use of clean hydrogen.

What are the future plans of the Quad?

  • The Leaders will review the progress of Quad initiatives and Working Groups, identify new areas of cooperation and provide strategic guidance and vision for future collaboration.
  • The Quad summit is expected to discuss the Russian war in Ukraine, and the impact of three months of Western sanctions.
  • US also unveiled the ‘Indo-Pacific Economic Framework’ (IPEF) which is a programme to bind countries in the region more closely through common standards.
  • Quad members also launched a maritime monitoring plan to curb illegal fishing in the Indo-Pacific.

-Source: The Hindu


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