Quad Leaders’ Joint Statement

Posted on: May 20, 2023 | Back | Print

Today, we — Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, Prime Minister Kishida Fumio of Japan, and President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. of the United States — met for the third in-person Quad Leaders’ Summit, hosted by Prime Minister Albanese.

2. Together, we reaffirm our steadfast commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific that is inclusive and resilient. The global strategic and economic environment is changing rapidly – with direct impacts on countries in the region. We believe we should navigate this time of uncertainty and opportunity together, working closely with our Indo-Pacific partners. We believe all countries have a role in contributing to regional peace, stability, and prosperity, as well as upholding international law, including the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the rules-based international order. We seek a region where no country dominates and no country is dominated – one where all countries are free from coercion, and can exercise their agency to determine their futures. Our four countries are united by this shared vision.

3. As Indo-Pacific countries, Quad partners are deeply invested in our region’s success. Harnessing our collective strengths and resources, we are supporting the region’s development, stability, and prosperity through the Quad’s positive, practical agenda. Our work is guided by regional countries’ priorities and responds to the region’s needs. We are and will continue to be transparent in what we do. Respect for the leadership of regional institutions, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), is and will remain at the centre of the Quad’s efforts.

4. The Quad Leaders’ Vision Statement we have issued today sets out our shared vision for the Quad and the Indo-Pacific region based on these principles.

5. Today we reaffirm our consistent and unwavering support for ASEAN centrality and unity. We are committed to ensuring the Quad’s work is aligned with ASEAN’s principles and priorities and continues to support implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP). We underscore ASEAN’s regional leadership role, including in the East Asia Summit, the region’s premier leader-led forum for strategic dialogue, and the ASEAN Regional Forum. We strongly support Indonesia’s 2023 ASEAN Chairmanship and its Chair theme "ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth”. We will continue to strengthen our respective relationships with ASEAN and seek opportunities for greater Quad collaboration in support of the AOIP.

6. We recommit to working in partnership with Pacific island countries to achieve shared aspirations and address shared challenges. We reaffirm our support for Pacific regional institutions that have served the region well over many years, foremost the PIF, and warmly welcome Cook Islands assuming the PIF Chair in 2023. We continue to support the objectives of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, and commit to working with partners, including through Partners in the Blue Pacific, to support engagement with these objectives. We welcome the 3rd Summit of the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation and the U.S. – Pacific Island Forum meeting, both to be held in Papua New Guinea in coming days. We also applaud Japan’s longstanding engagement with Pacific island countries through the Pacific Islands’ Leaders Meeting (PALM), and Australia’s deep and enduring commitment to the Pacific as part of the Pacific family, including as a founding member of the PIF.

7. In these efforts, Quad Leaders will listen to and be guided at every step by Pacific priorities, including climate action, ocean health, resilient infrastructure, maritime security and financial integrity. In particular, we acknowledge climate change remains the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific and applaud Pacific island countries’ global leadership on climate action.

8. We remain committed to strengthening cooperation in the Indian Ocean region. We welcome the work of IORA as the Indian Ocean region’s premier forum for addressing the region’s challenges. We recognise India’s leadership in finalising the IORA Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (IOIP) and express our support for its implementation. We thank Bangladesh for its term as IORA Chair and commit to working with Sri Lanka and India as they assume the roles of IORA Chair and Vice Chair respectively this year.

9. We, the countries of the Quad, will work together to be a global force for good. We will bring our combined resolve to support each other’s international leadership in 2023 including Australia’s hosting of the Quad, Japan’s G7 presidency, India’s G20 presidency and the United States’ APEC host year.

The Quad’s positive, practical agenda

10. We recognise the urgent need to address the climate crisis, which poses tremendous environmental, social, and economic challenges for our region. Today we underline our dedication to taking significant action on climate change – individually and collectively. We will continue to support climate mitigation, adaptation, and resilience efforts in alignment with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement as well as regional architecture, including ASEAN, the PIF, and IORA. We will continue to collaborate on green shipping and ports, disaster risk management, exchanging climate information, and capacity building support for Article 6 implementation of the Paris Agreement. Under the Climate Information Services Initiative, we plan to coordinate our collective resources to support early warning systems in the Indo-Pacific, including through the Pacific-led Weather Ready Pacific initiative and the longstanding leadership of the Pacific Meteorological Council. We also intend to provide support through global partnerships such as the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) and its Infrastructure for Resilient Islands States (IRIS) initiative.

11. We recognise that achieving sustainable consumption and production is a key component of global efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), environment and climate ambitions. We will work together to seek meaningful outcomes on climate action and the clean economy transition in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF).

12. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report makes clear that rapid and far-reaching transitions are needed across all sectors and systems. As we move to a net zero world, we underscore that it is critical to strengthen our cooperation to ensure better access to affordable, reliable and secure clean energy in the Indo-Pacific. We will work together to increase the region’s access to climate finance and climate smart technology. Under the Quad Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Package (Q-CHAMP), launched in 2022, we continue to work together and with Indo-Pacific partners to enhance climate and clean energy cooperation as well as promote adaptation and resilience. In this regard, we welcome the Sydney Energy Forum and the Quad Clean Hydrogen Partnership meeting hosted by Australia and India respectively in July 2022.

13. Building on those foundations, today, we are issuing a Statement of Principles on Clean Energy Supply Chains in the Indo-Pacific, which provide a basis for our engagement in the region on clean energy supply chain development. The principles are designed to promote diverse, secure, transparent and resilient clean energy supply chains and support a sustainable, and inclusive clean energy transition. We also announce a Clean Energy Supply Chains initiative designed to accelerate the Indo-Pacific’s clean energy transition. Working with Indo-Pacific partners, the initiative will facilitate research and development and feasibility study projects to lower clean energy manufacturing and deployment costs, enhance regional energy security, and expand and diversify the regional production of necessary materials and technologies.

14. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how important health security is to our societies, our economies, and the stability of our region. In 2021 and 2022, Quad partners stepped up to help meet the region’s most pressing need, delivering more than 400 million safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine doses to Indo-Pacific countries and almost 800 million doses globally, bilaterally and in partnership with COVAX.

15. Today, we announce the evolution of our Quad Vaccine Partnership into a broader Quad Health Security Partnership. Through this partnership, we will strengthen our coordination and collaboration in support of health security in the Indo-Pacific. We plan to implement a suite of activities to build the region’s capacity to detect and respond rapidly to outbreaks of diseases with epidemic and pandemic potential. These activities include support for health workforce development, disease surveillance, and electronic health information systems and coordination of outbreak responses, such as the Quad Pandemic Preparedness Exercise.

16. We will continue cooperation with Indo-Pacific partners to meet the region’s infrastructure priorities. Delivering on our commitment at the 2022 Quad Leaders’ Summit, we will continue to support access to quality, sustainable and climate-resilient infrastructure investments in our region. We aim to ensure the investments we support are fit for purpose, demand driven and responsive to countries’ needs, and do not impose unsustainable debt burdens. We will build on ongoing programs for Indo-Pacific countries including training and capacity-building focused on digital and economic connectivity, clean energy, and climate resilient power sector infrastructure. We continue to strengthen capacity to manage debt issues, including under the G20 Common Framework and promote debt sustainability and transparency.

17. Today, we announce a new initiative to boost infrastructure expertise across the Indo-Pacific: the ‘Quad Infrastructure Fellowships Program’. The initiative aims to empower more than 1,800 of the region’s infrastructure practitioners to design, build and manage quality infrastructure in their home countries.

18. The Quad is committed to improving the region’s connectivity through the development of resilient infrastructure. We recognise the urgent need to support quality undersea cable networks in the Indo-Pacific, which are key to global growth and prosperity. Today we announce a new ‘Quad Partnership for Cable Connectivity and Resilience’. The Partnership will strengthen cable systems in the Indo-Pacific, drawing on Quad countries’ world-class expertise in manufacturing, delivering and maintaining cable infrastructure.

19. Quad partners’ export credit agencies make an important contribution to the prosperity of the Indo-Pacific. We welcome ongoing efforts to enhance cooperation among Quad partners’ export credit agencies, including through a Memorandum of Cooperation between ECGC Limited of India, Export Finance Australia (EFA), Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) of Japan, and Export-Import Bank of the United States (USEXIM).

20. We recognise the transformative power of technology, including digital public infrastructure, to support sustainable development in the Indo-Pacific and deliver economic and social benefits. We are stepping up our efforts to strengthen supply chain resilience and improve the region’s digital connectivity through access to critical and emerging technologies and advanced telecommunications technology, including 5G networks.

21. Today, we announce cooperation with Palau to establish a deployment of Open Radio Access Networks (Open RAN), the first in the Pacific. The Quad is committed to ensuring regional countries are not left behind as telecommunications markets and network architectures evolve. We support access to innovations, such as Open RAN, that enable greater vendor choice for countries to expand and modernise their telecommunications networks. We also welcome the release of the Open RAN Security Report which is expected to promote industry investment in approaches to telecommunications that are demonstrably open, interoperable, trusted and secure.

22. The Quad International Standards Cooperation Network and the Quad Principles on Critical and Emerging Technology Standards, released today, reflect our support for industry-led, consensus-based multi-stakeholder approaches to the development of technology standards.

23. We welcome the launch of the private sector-led Quad Investors Network (QUIN), which aims to facilitate investments in strategic technologies, including clean energy, semiconductors, critical minerals, and quantum.

24. We intend to support joint research to advance innovation in agriculture through emerging technologies designed to empower farmers everywhere to increase yield and resistance.

25. We reaffirm our commitment to a more secure cyberspace and to fostering an international digital economy that works for everyone. Quad partners will continue collaborating to enhance regional capacity and resilience to cyber incidents and threats. We welcome the first Quad Cyber Challenge, held earlier this year to promote cyber awareness and empower participants across the Indo-Pacific to protect themselves online. We also welcome the Quad Joint Principles for Secure Software and the Quad Joint Principles for Cyber Security of Critical Infrastructure, and efforts to develop a guiding framework for ensuring supply chain security and resilience. These principles are designed to strengthen our region’s defences against cyber threats to the software supply chain and critical infrastructure and services.

26. We recognise the importance of space technologies and space-related applications in responding to climate change and disasters, and enhancing the sustainable use of oceans and marine resources. We reaffirm our commitment to supporting capacity building for countries in the region. The Quad Space Working Group will explore avenues to deliver Earth Observation data and other space-related applications to assist nations across the Indo-Pacific to strengthen climate early warning systems and better manage the impacts of extreme weather events. We commit to open sharing of civil Earth Observation data. We will continue to consult each other and the region on the peaceful, safe and sustainable use of outer space. We announce our intention to share expertise and experience in space situational awareness. We commit to strengthening our commercial space cooperation, including convening a commercial space business forum in 2023.

27. We are pleased the Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA), announced at the 2022 Tokyo Quad Leaders’ Summit, is underway in its pilot phase. Through IPMDA, we are providing near-real-time, integrated and cost-effective maritime domain data to maritime agencies in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, and will expand coverage to partners in the Indian Ocean region in the coming months. This supports our regional partners in combatting a wide range of illicit maritime activities, including illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and responding to climate-related and humanitarian events. We are committed to deepening engagement with regional partners to support maritime safety and security and uphold international law.

28. At the 2021 Quad Leaders’ Summit in Washington, we launched the Quad Fellowship. This year, we welcome the first cohort of Quad STEM Fellows, who will begin their studies in the United States in August 2023. Our one hundred Quad Fellows from all four Quad countries represent the best and brightest of our next generation. The diversity and dynamism of this inaugural class will help to ensure our nations remain at the forefront of innovation and we wish them well.

Global and regional issues

29. We remain fully resolved to uphold peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific maritime domain. We strongly oppose destabilising or unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo by force or coercion. We emphasise the importance of adherence to international law, particularly as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and the maintenance of freedom of navigation and overflight, in addressing challenges to the maritime rules-based order, including those in the East and South China Seas. We express serious concern at the militarisation of disputed features, the dangerous use of coastguard and maritime militia vessels, and efforts to disrupt other countries’ offshore resource exploitation activities. We emphasise that disputes should be resolved peacefully and in accordance with international law, without threat or use of force.

30. Together, with our global and regional partners, we will buttress international institutions and initiatives that underpin global peace, prosperity and development. We reiterate our unwavering support for the United Nations (UN) Charter and the three pillars of the UN system. In consultation with our partners, we will work collectively to address attempts to unilaterally undermine the integrity of the UN, its Charter and its agencies. We seek to strengthen and reform the multilateral system so it may better reflect contemporary realities and meet aspirations of the Indo-Pacific region. We remain committed to a comprehensive UN reform agenda, including through expansion in permanent and non-permanent categories of membership of the UN Security Council. We reaffirm our commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We underscore the importance of achieving the SDGs in a comprehensive manner without selectively prioritising a narrow set of such goals, and reaffirm that the UN has a central role in supporting countries in their implementation.

31. We stand for adherence to international law, peaceful resolution of disputes and respect for principles of the UN Charter, including territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states. In this context, today we express our deep concern over the war raging in Ukraine and mourn its terrible and tragic humanitarian consequences. We recognise its serious impacts on the global economic system including on food, fuel and energy security and critical supply chains. We will continue to render humanitarian assistance to Ukraine for its recovery. Conscious that ours must not be an era of war, we remain committed to dialogue and diplomacy. We support a comprehensive, just and lasting peace consistent with the UN Charter. In this context, we concur that the use, or threat of use, of nuclear weapons is serious and inadmissible.

32. We condemn North Korea’s destabilising ballistic missile launches and pursuit of nuclear weapons in violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs). These launches pose a grave threat to international peace and stability. We urge North Korea to abide by all its obligations under the UNSCRs, refrain from further provocations and engage in substantive dialogue. We urge North Korea to resolve the abductions issue immediately. We reaffirm our commitment to the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula consistent with relevant UNSCRs and call on all countries to fully implement these UNSCRs. We stress the importance of addressing proliferation of nuclear and missile technologies related to North Korea in the region and beyond.

33. We remain deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in Myanmar and again call for an immediate cessation of violence. We call for the release of all those arbitrarily detained, unhindered humanitarian access, resolution of the crisis through constructive dialogue, and the transition of Myanmar towards an inclusive democracy. We reaffirm our consistent support to ASEAN-led efforts, including the work of the ASEAN Chair and Office of the Special Envoy. We call for full implementation of all commitments under the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus.

34. We unequivocally condemn terrorism and violent extremism in all its forms and manifestations including cross-border terrorism. We are committed to international cooperation and will work with our regional partners in a comprehensive and sustained manner to strengthen capability to prevent, detect and respond to threats posed by terrorism and violent extremism, consistent with international law. We are committed to working together to promote accountability for the perpetrators of such terrorist attacks. We reiterate our condemnation of terrorist attacks, including the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai and in Pathankot, and our commitment to pursuing designations, as appropriate, by the UN Security Council 1267 Sanctions Committee. We will strengthen our cooperation through the new Working Group on Counterterrorism announced during the Quad Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in March 2023.

35. We endorse the outcomes of the 3 March Quad Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in New Delhi and the Ministers’ Joint Statement committing to deepening practical and positive cooperation for the benefit of the Indo-Pacific region. India will host our next in-person Quad Leaders’ Summit in 2024.

36. We, the Quad Leaders, remain firm in our resolve to meet the challenges facing our region and clear in our vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific that is stable, prosperous and inclusive. In doing so we are committed to working in partnership with Indo-Pacific countries – large and small – in deciding our future and shaping the region we all want to live in.