Quad Leaders’ Joint Statement: “The Spirit of the Quad”

MARCH 12, 2021  STATEMENTS AND RELEASES

1. We have convened to reaffirm our commitment to quadrilateral cooperation between Australia, India, Japan, and the United States. We bring diverse perspectives and are united in a shared vision for the free and open Indo-Pacific. We strive for a region that is free, open, inclusive, healthy, anchored by democratic values, and unconstrained by coercion. We recall that our joint efforts toward this positive vision arose out of an international tragedy, the tsunami of 2004. Today, the global devastation wrought by COVID-19, the threat of climate change, and security challenges facing the region summon us with renewed purpose.  On this historic occasion of March 12, 2021, the first-ever leader-level summit of the Quad, we pledge to strengthen our cooperation on the defining challenges of our time.
 
2. Together, we commit to promoting a free, open rules-based order, rooted in international law to advance security and prosperity and counter threats to both in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. We support the rule of law, freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful resolution of disputes, democratic values, and territorial integrity. We commit to work together and with a range of partners. We reaffirm our strong support for ASEAN’s unity and centrality as well as the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. Full of potential, the Quad looks forward to the future; it seeks to uphold peace and prosperity and strengthen democratic resilience, based on universal values.
 
3. Our common goals require us to reckon with the most urgent of global challenges. Today, we pledge to respond to the economic and health impacts of COVID-19, combat climate change, and address shared challenges, including in cyber space, critical technologies, counterterrorism, quality infrastructure investment, and humanitarian-assistance and disaster-relief as well as maritime domains.
 
4. Building on the progress our countries have achieved on health security, we will join forces to expand safe, affordable, and effective vaccine production and equitable access, to speed economic recovery and benefit global health. With steadfast commitment to the health and safety of our own people, we also recognize that none of us can be safe as long as the pandemic continues to spread. We will, therefore, collaborate to strengthen equitable vaccine access for the Indo-Pacific, with close coordination with multilateral organizations including the World Health Organization and COVAX. We call for transparent and results-oriented reform at the World Health Organization. We are united in recognizing that climate change is a global priority and will work to strengthen the climate actions of all nations, including to keep a Paris-aligned temperature limit within reach. We look forward to a successful COP 26 in Glasgow. We will begin cooperation on the critical technologies of the future to ensure that innovation is consistent with a free, open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific. We will continue to prioritize the role of international law in the maritime domain, particularly as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and facilitate collaboration, including in maritime security, to meet challenges to the rules-based maritime order in the East and South China Seas. We reaffirm our commitment to the complete denuclearization of North Korea in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolutions, and also confirm the necessity of immediate resolution of the issue of Japanese abductees. As long-standing supporters of Myanmar and its people, we emphasize the urgent need to restore democracy and the priority of strengthening democratic resilience.
 
5. To advance these goals and others, we will redouble our commitment to Quad engagement. We will combine our nations’ medical, scientific, financing, manufacturing and delivery, and development capabilities and establish a vaccine expert working group to implement our path-breaking commitment to safe and effective vaccine distribution; we will launch a critical- and emerging-technology working group to facilitate cooperation on international standards and innovative technologies of the future; and we will establish a climate working group to strengthen climate actions globally on mitigation, adaptation, resilience, technology, capacity-building, and climate finance. Our experts and senior officials will continue to meet regularly; our Foreign Ministers will converse often and meet at least once a year. At the leader level, we will hold an in-person summit by the end of 2021. The ambition of these engagements is fit to the moment; we are committed to leveraging our partnership to help the world’s most dynamic region respond to historic crisis, so that it may be the free, open, accessible, diverse, and thriving Indo-Pacific we all seek.

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Remarks by President Biden, Prime Minister Modi of India, Prime Minister Morrison of Australia, and Prime Minister Suga of Japan in the Virtual Quad Leaders Summit

MARCH 12, 2021  SPEECHES AND REMARKS / State Dining Room / 8:32 A.M. EST

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Hello, everyone.  I wish we were able to do this in person, but it’s wonderful to gather with friends even — even in this virtual format.  We’re reminded that we’re in the midst of a global crisis, but we’re going to overcome that as well. 

The Quad group is — was created in the wake of, as you just — everyone just saw on that short film — in the wake of a crisis under my predecessor, George W. Bush, on the 204 — the 2004 tsunami. 

I remember later, Mr. Prime Minister, in Japan, going and visiting that — the aftermath of that.  It was devastating what you all went through. 

And for the first time, we’re convening this group as — at a leader level.  And I want to thank my counterparts for joining me today: Prime Minister Morrison and Modi and Suga.  You — it’s good to have you all.  Like I said, I wish we were doing this together. 

The — it’s also the first multilateral summit that I’ve had the opportunity to host as President.  And on this — and on this moment, it’s a purpose that I think we all are concerned about: a free and open Indo-Pacific is essential to each of our futures, our countries.

The United States is committed to working with you, our partners, and all our allies in the region to achieve stability.  And this is a group of — particularly important because it’s dedicated to the practical solutions and concrete results. 

And, my counterparts, if you’ll forgive me, I’d like to give one example of why it matters.  There are many examples, but, yesterday, I signed in law the American Rescue Plan to get the American people through this pandemic and kick start our economy and our economic recovery.  It’s a bill that will get meaningful help into the hands of people in our country who need it the most. 

Consequently, this week, the OECD revised up its expected rate of growth for the United States this year as a consequence of that legislation.  In fact, it doubled it from 3.2 percent to 6.5 percent; the fastest rate in one-year economic growth since 1984.  And it’s critical because the OECD also predicted that the United States economic growth, fueled by the ARP and increased vaccinations, will be a key driver in global growth this year and our trade partners benefiting around the world as a consequence. 

But to get this right, we all have to focus on generating domestic demand and driving sustainable global growth.  And we’ve launching an ambitious new joint partnership that is going to boost vaccine manufacturing, and — for the global benefit — and strengthen vaccinations to benefit the entire Indo-Pacific. 

We’re establishing a new mechanism to enhance our cooperation and raise our mutual ambitions as we address accelerating climate change. 

And — and we’re renewing our commitment to ensure that our region is governed by international law, committed to upholding universal values, and free from coercion.  

We’ve got a big agenda ahead of us, gentlemen, as you well know, but I’m optimistic about our prospects.  The Quad is going to be a vital arena for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.  And I look forward to working closely with — with all of you in the coming years. 

And now, Prime Minister Modi, I’m kicking it over to you.  And again, it’s great to see you.

PRIME MINISTER MODI:  Your Excellencies — President Biden, Prime Minister Morrison, and Prime Minister Suga — it is good to be among the friends.  I thank President Biden for this initiative. 

Excellencies, we are united by our democratic values and our commitment to a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific.  Our agenda today — covering areas like vaccines, climate change, and emerging technologies — make the Quad a force for global good.

I see this positive vision as an extension of India’s ancient philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which regards the world as one family.  We will work together, closer than ever before, for advancing our shared values and promoting a secure, stable, and prosperous Indo-Pacific. 

Today’s summit meeting shows that Quad had come of age.  It will now remain an important pillar of stability in the region.  Thank you.

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Thank you.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Prime Minister Morrison.

PRIME MINISTER MORRISON:  President Biden, for this wonderful initiative and bringing us together.  And my fellow prime ministers, it’s great to see you.  Namaste.  Good morning.  Konnichiwa.  And from Australia, g’day.

As we begin a new day here in Australia, it’s not yet dawn.  But we join together as Quad leaders of nations to welcome what I think will be a new dawn in the Indo-Pacific through our gathering. 

History teaches us that when nations engage together in a partnership of strategic trust, of common hope, and shared values, much can be achieved.  When the world emerged from the Great War and our last global pandemic a century ago, it soon found a Great Depression and another global conflict that unleashed a poverty and a devastation that was unthinkable. 

As we emerge from this global pandemic and the global recession, let us together create a different future.  It is the Indo-Pacific that will now shape the destiny of our world in the 21st century. 

As four leaders of great, liberal democracies in the Indo-Pacific, let our partnership be the enabler of peace, stability, and prosperity, and to do so inclusively with the many nations of our region to share in their vision, as expressed through ASEAN, for an open, inclusive — inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific; to respect and support their sovereignty, independence, and security by upholding our values and supporting international law; and to address the many challenges we face, from COVID to climate change.

Know, friends, that Australia, while looking to our friends in all of these tasks, we never leave it to our friends.  We’ll do our share of the heavy lifting to lighten the burden for us all. 

I’m delighted to now hand over to my good friend, Yoshi, Prime Minister Suga.

PRIME MINISTER SUGA:  (As interpreted.)  Joe, Mr. Modi, and ScoMo: It is a great honor to realize the Japan-Australia-India-U.S. leaders’ summit with all of you — working together to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Starting with the response to the tsunami disaster that we just saw on the video, the Quad four countries transformed into a forum for diplomatic dialogue in 2007. 

Since then, after overcoming some difficult circumstances from around 2017, we gained a fresh momentum.  In October, last year, we reached the stage of holding the foreign ministers meeting here in Tokyo.  Less than half a year since then, we are now holding this first leaders’ summit.  And I do feel emotional about the development.  I thank Joe for your initiative.

With the four countries working together, I wish to firmly advance our cooperation to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific and to make visible and tangible contribution to the peace, stability, and prosperity of the region, including overcoming COVID-19. 

Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake.  We received massive support from the U.S., Australia, and India in our response to the disaster.  Joe visited the affected areas soon after the disaster.  And I thank you once again

I look forward to a fruitful discussion today. 

8:44 A.M. EST

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Fact Sheet: Quad Summit

MARCH 12, 2021  STATEMENTS AND RELEASES

The Quad Vaccine Partnership
While ensuring that vaccines have been made available to our people, “Quad” partners will launch a landmark partnership to further accelerate the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, Quad leaders are taking shared action necessary to expand safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing in 2021, and will work together to strengthen and assist countries in the Indo-Pacific with vaccination, in close coordination with the existing relevant multilateral mechanisms including WHO and COVAX.

  • Drawing on each of our strengths, we will tackle this complex issue with multi-sectoral cooperation across many stages of action, starting with ensuring global availability of safe and effective vaccines.
  • Quad partners are working collaboratively to achieve expanded manufacturing of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines at facilities in India, prioritizing increased capacity for vaccines authorized by Stringent Regulatory Authorities (SRA). Quad partners will address financing and logistical demands for production, procurement, and delivery of safe and effective vaccines. Quad partners will work to use our shared tools and expertise, through mechanisms at institutions including the United States Development Finance Corporation (DFC), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and, as appropriate, Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC), as well as others.
    • The United States, through the DFC, will work with Biological E Ltd., to finance increased capacity to support Biological E’s effort to produce at least 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2022 with Stringent Regulatory Authorization (SRA) and/or World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Use Listing (EUL), including the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
    • Japan, through JICA, is in discussions to provide concessional yen loans for the Government of India to expand manufacturing for COVID-19 vaccines for export, with a priority on producing vaccines that have received authorization from WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) or Stringent Regulatory Authorities.
    • Quad partners will ensure expanded manufacturing will be exported for global benefit, to be procured through key multilateral initiatives, such as COVAX, that provide life-saving vaccines for low-income countries, and by countries in need.
    • Quad partners will also cooperate to strengthen “last-mile” vaccination, building on existing health-security and development programs, and across our governments to coordinate and strengthen our programs in the Indo-Pacific.
      • This includes supporting countries with vaccine readiness and delivery, vaccine procurement, health workforce preparedness, responses to vaccine misinformation, community engagement, immunization capacity, and more.
      • Australia will contribute US$77 million for the provision of vaccines and “last-mile” delivery support with a focus on Southeast Asia, in addition to its existing commitment of US$407 million for regional vaccine access and health security which will provide full vaccine coverage to nine Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste, and support procurement, prepare for vaccine delivery, and strengthen health systems in Southeast Asia.
      • Japan will assist vaccination programs of developing countries such as the purchase of vaccines and cold-chain support including through provision of grant aid of $41 million and new concessional yen loans, ensuring alignment with and support of COVAX.
      • The United States will leverage existing programs to further boost vaccination capability, drawing on at least $100 million in regional efforts focused on immunization.
  • Our commitment will be implemented by the launch of a senior-level Quad Vaccine Experts Group, comprised of top scientists and officials from our governments. This group will support Quad cooperation in the long term, and use science and evidence to:    
    • design an implementation plan for the Quad COVID-19 vaccine effort;   
    • identify hurdles impeding vaccine administration in the region;   
    • work with financers and production facilities to monitor timely and sufficient capacity expansion that will lead to wider distribution of safe and effective vaccines;   
    • share governmental plans to support Indo-Pacific health security and COVID-19 response, and identify practical cooperation on “last-mile” delivery for hard-to-reach communities in need;   
    • strengthen and support the life-saving work of international organizations, including the WHO, COVAX, Gavi, CEPI, UNICEF, the G7, ASEAN, and governments, and call on other countries to do the same;   
    • make additional concrete recommendations before the end of the year.   

The Quad Climate Working Group
We have identified the climate challenge as a priority for the Quad and the Indo-Pacific region. We will establish a new Quad Climate Working Group focused on:

  • Cooperation, both among ourselves and with other countries, to strengthen implementation of the Paris Agreement, including to keep a Paris-aligned temperature limit within reach;
  • Working together and with other countries to support, strengthen, and enhance actions globally;
  • Committing to advancing low-emissions technology solutions to support emissions reduction; 
  • Cooperation on climate mitigation, adaptation, resilience, technology, capacity-building, and climate finance.

The Quad Critical and Emerging Technology Working Group
Quad leaders recognize that a free, open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific requires that critical and emerging technology is governed and operates according to shared interests and values. In that spirit, we will convene a Critical and Emerging Technology Working Group, which will:

  • Develop a statement of principles on technology design, development, and use;
  • Facilitate coordination on technology standards development, including between our national technology standards bodies and working with a broad range of partners;
  • Encourage cooperation on telecommunications deployment, diversification of equipment suppliers, and future telecommunications, including through close cooperation with our private sectors and industry;
  • Facilitate cooperation to monitor trends and opportunities related to developments in critical and emerging technology, including biotechnology;
  • Convene dialogues on critical technology supply chains.

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