The first in-person QUAD Leaders summit is going to take place in Washington DC next week.
The announcement related to the Leaders’ Summit of the Quadrilateral Framework was made by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the White House. The meeting will be hosted by the US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the meeting in person, according to an official statement issued by MEA. Other leaders of the QUAD countries — Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga and Australian PM Scott Morrison will also be there in person.
What will be the focus of the summit?
The summit level leaders meeting marks a major milestone for the grouping. This has been in the works for some time now.
According to the White House, “Elevating the Quad has been a priority of the Biden-Harris Administration, as seen through the first-ever Quad Leaders-level engagement in March. It was a virtual meet and now this Summit, which will be in-person”.
The leaders will review the progress made since the first virtual summit of the QUAD in March this year. Since the QUAD leaders are meeting close on the heels of the fall of Afghanistan, regional issues which are of mutual interest to all the member countries are going to be on the top.
They will also review the QUAD Vaccine initiative which was announced earlier this year at the end of the Virtual summit.
The focus of the in-person Summit is going to be on promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific and of course maritime security and emerging technologies.
Also, on the agenda are connectivity and infrastructure, cyber security, climate change, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.
Prime Minister Modi’s Programme
According to the MEA statement, on September 25, 2021, he is scheduled to address the General Debate of the High-Level Segment of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
Theme for this year’s general debate is ‘Building Resilience through hope to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalize the UN’.
The White House Statement has said that there is a bilateral meeting between the US President Biden and Prime Minister Modi which is scheduled for September 23. This will be the first in-person meeting between the two leaders since the change of guard in Washington.
More about the QUAD Vaccine Initiative
Earlier this year it was decided that COVID vaccines which will be developed in the US, will get manufactured in India, and this project will be financed by the US, Japan and supported by Australia.
To meet the challenges of the 21st century the Biden-Harris administration has been focusing on engaging in the Indo-Pacific through new multilateral configurations.
This is a vision which has been backed by India and the US and many other countries in the region. As has been reported in many other countries in the recent month including the UK, some members of the European Union have published their papers which highlight their visions and how to support it.
When did QUAD come into existence?
Tsunami in 2004 led to the existence of QUAD and in 2007 it was formalized.
At that time Australia had its own concerns, however, a decade later in 2017, all met at an official level. And since 2019, the QUAD members are having regular meetings at the foreign ministers level.
On September 25, he will be travelling to New York for the United Nations General Assembly high-level week for the address. During his address, he will be focusing on UN reforms, climate change,Covid crisis and vaccines, counter terror and some references can be expected on Afghanistan as well.