The Foreign Ministers of Quad member countries (Australia, India, Japan and the US) have reaffirmed their commitment to supporting a free and open Indo-Pacific, which is inclusive and resilient in a New Delhi meeting on March 3, 2023.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar chaired the Quad Foreign Ministers meeting attended by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Japan foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Australian foreign minister Penny Wong.
In a joint statement, the leaders reiterated their support to the principles of freedom, rule of law, sovereignty and territorial integrity, peaceful settlement of disputes without resorting to threat or use of force and freedom of navigation and overflight, and oppose any unilateral attempt to change the status quo, all of which are essential to the peace, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.
To combat terrorism and violent extremism, the members agreed to establish the Quad Working Group on Counterterrorism, which will promote cooperation amongst the Quad, and with Indo-Pacific partners, to counter new and emerging forms of terrorism, radicalization to violence and violent extremism. "We look forward to its first meeting in the United States in 2023 to continue our discussions on this global issue,” the statement read.
Further the group expressed their unwavering support for ASEAN centrality and unity and commitment to supporting Pacific Island countries in line with the objectives of the Pacific Islands Forum’s 2050. They also stressed on maintaining rules-based international order, and supporting meritorious and independent candidates for elections in the UN and in international forums to maintain the integrity and impartiality of the international system.
In the maritime domain, the Quad emphasized the importance of respect for sovereignty, consistent with international law. “We reiterate the importance of adherence to international law, as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to meet challenges to the maritime rules-based order, including in the South and East China Seas,” the statement noted.
On the important matter of the Ukraine conflict all Quad members reflected on the consequences and agreed that the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible. The leaders expressed their deep concern at the deteriorating situation in Myanmar and condemned North Korea’s destabilizing ballistic missile launches.