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1st Ever Leader-Level Summit of QUAD Countries held virtually

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opening remarks at the first Quadrilateral LeadersOn March 12 2021, The First-ever Leader-Level Summit of 4 QUAD  (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue) countries – India, Japan, USA & Australia took place virtually.

Participants

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
  • US President Joseph Biden
  • Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison
  • Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga

Highlights

‘Free & Open’ Indo-Pacfic region

  • The 4 Countries agreed to work towards an ‘open’ & ‘free’ Indo-Pacific region.

Expert Working Group

Proposals for setting up 3 Expert Working Groups were cleared during the meet. They are

  • Vaccine Expert working Group
  • Emerging Technology working group
  • Climate working group for technology, capacity building & climate finance

QUAD to fund India’s Vaccine Maitri Initiative

The 4 QUAD leaders agreed to launch a Mega Vaccine initiative to fight against COVID-19.

  • The leaders plan to send 1 Billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines across Asia by 2022.
  • The vaccines needed for the initiative will be produced in additional production capacities in India under the Vaccine Maitri Initiative.
  • Financial assistance for setting up additional capacities will be provided by US & Japan, while Australia will contribute in logistical aspects.

Funding

  • The US will collaborate with India’s Biological E Ltd for the initiative, it will provide funding through the DFC (Development Finance Corporation).
  • Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) will provide financial assistance to enhance India’s vaccine production capacities.
  • Australia will contribute USD 77 Million for provision of vaccines and ‘last-mile’ delivery support.

QUAD Grouping

  • It was initially proposed & established in 2007 by then-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.
  • In November 2017, during the 2017 ASEAN Summit, the 4 countries agreed to revive the QUAD alliance.
  • The alliance aims to counter China’s rising influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • In September, 2019, The QUAD Foreign ministers held their first meeting under QUAD.

Recent Related News:

i.On December 21, 2020, US President, Donald Trump conferred the ‘Legion of Merit’ to Indian Prime Minister  Narendra Modi ; Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia; Former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe. All belonging to the QUAD forum.

ii.November 7, 2020, Phase 1 of the 24th Edition of the Four-nation Naval Exercise Malabar 2020 took place in the Bay of Bengal from November 3-6, 2020. Since 2007, this is the 1st time that all the QUAD members participated in the Malabar Naval Exercise.