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Asia

Quad ministers reaffirm commitment to Indo-Pacific & push UN reforms 

September 23, 2023 12:05 PM IST

Quad countries’ (India, Japan, Australia, the USA) Foreign Ministers met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly and reaffirmed their commitment to a “free and open Indo-Pacific”. 

India’s External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar, along with his counterparts, expressed support for UN reforms and called for a UN Security Council that is more representative, transparent, effective, and credible.

They discussed the Quad Counterterrorism Working Group’s Consequence Management Exercise and further explored the areas in which the grouping can support its regional partners in response to a terrorist attack. In line with this, it was also announced that the next Quad Counterterrorism Working Group meeting and tabletop exercise will be held in Honolulu, Hawaii, in December.

The group emphasised upholding international law and respect for sovereignty for all countries to ensure peace in the Indo-Pacific and reiterated its strong opposition to any unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo by force or coercion. It also expressed concern about the militarization of disputed features, the dangerous use of coast guard and maritime militia vessels, and efforts to disrupt other countries’ offshore exploitation activities.

Expressing concern about the global food security situation, the grouping backed the resumption of the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI). On Ukraine, it urged for a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in Ukraine in accordance with international law, consistent with the principles of the UN Charter.

The group strongly condemned North Korea for its ballistic missile technology and for its continued pursuit of nuclear weapons in violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs). “We reaffirm our commitment to the complete denuclearization of North Korea consistent with UNSCRs, and we urge North Korea to abide by all its obligations under the UNSCRs and engage in substantive dialogue,” the statement said.

On the political, humanitarian, and economic crisis in Myanmar, it called for the immediate cessation of violence, the release of all those unjustly detained, and the return to Myanmar’s transition towards inclusive federal democracy. Quad also supported ASEAN-led efforts and the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus.

The next Quad Foreign Ministers’ Meeting is scheduled to take place in Japan in 2024.

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