West indian countries

Quad countries sign humanitarian assistance and disaster relief agreement

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India, USA, Australia and Japan to sign HADR agreement in view of Ukraine conflict and climate-related events

India, USA, Australia and Japan to sign HADR agreement in view of Ukraine conflict and climate-related events

The United Nations

Foreign ministers from the Quad group of countries – India, the United States, Australia and Japan – met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Friday to sign a partnership of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR).

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said the world was going through difficult times – listing the Ukrainian conflict and climatic events, and said it was particularly important for the Quad to continue the “constructive agenda” that he had set himself and work together to deliver public goods. The origins of the Quad trace their roots to a HADR partnership in 2004 following the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami. The HADR partnership was finalized, according to Jaishankar, at the Quad Summit in Tokyo in May.

Mr. Jaishankar said other initiatives were underway and highlighted several programs that were previously announced: a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) scholarship, an economic framework with other partners (presumably a reference to the Indo Pacific Economic Framework), and a maritime domain awareness initiative that was announced in Tokyo.

Significantly, Mr. Jaishankar referred to the reform of the United Nations system, which is a long-standing objective of India but which received particular attention during this year’s United Nations High-Level Week.

“Today, I believe, is also an opportunity for us together to discuss how to strengthen the UN-led multilateral system,” Mr. Jaishankar said. Earlier on Friday, Jaishankar attended a high-level breakfast, “Reinvigorating Multilateralism and Realizing Comprehensive Security Council Reform”, which included ministers from about 30 countries, said an official, including the South Africa, Brazil, Nicaragua, the Maldives and Bhutan. .

“I think our meeting today – including the document we are about to sign – is proof that the Quad is strong and going from strength to strength,” Blinken said, adding that he hoped the ministerial meeting on the sidelines of the UNGA would become a regular event.

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong said the Quad aims to bring tangible benefits to the region and ensure the region is “peaceful, stable, prosperous and in which sovereignty is respected”.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said the world was witnessing “direct attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force” and the international order based on the rule of law was under threat. He underscored the importance of the meeting – a demonstration of commitment to the UN Charter and a “free and open Indo-Pacific”.

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