The Hiroshima Quad Summit 2023

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    Recently, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi participated in the third in-person Quad Leaders’ Summit in Hiroshima, Japan.

    •  The Quad Summit was advanced by four days following US President Joe Biden’s decision not to go ahead with a planned visit to Australia because of stalled domestic debt ceiling negotiations

    About Quadrilateral Security Dialogue(Quad )

    • It is an informal multilateral grouping of India, the U.S., Australia, and Japan aimed at cooperation for a free and open Indo-Pacific region
      • While not stated explicitly by the leaders, one of the major basis for the grouping is to check China’s growing influence in the region.
    • Origin: The Quad began as a loose partnership after the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami when the four countries joined together to provide humanitarian and disaster assistance to the affected region. 

    About Hiroshima Summit

    • The Leaders had a productive dialogue about developments in the Indo-Pacific which affirmed their shared democratic values and strategic interests. 
    • They reiterated the importance of upholding the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and peaceful resolution of disputes.

    Key Highlights 

    • To strengthen the resilience and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific the Leaders announced following initiatives that would complement the development priorities of the region:
      • Clean Energy Supply Chains Initiative which would facilitate research and development and support the Indo-Pacific’s energy transition.
        •  In addition, the Quad Principles of Clean Energy Supply Chains were approved to guide engagement with the region on clean energy supply chain development. 
      • ‘Quad Infrastructure Fellowships Programme’ to support policymakers and practitioners in the region to design, build and manage sustainable and viable infrastructure in their countries. 
      •  ‘Partnership for Cable Connectivity and Resilience’ to leverage Quad’s collective expertise in the design, manufacturing, laying, and maintenance of undersea cables to secure and diversify these critical networks. 
      • Quad support for a small-scale ORAN deployment in Palau, the first in the Pacific region. 
        • They also released the ORAN Security Report to support industry investment in open, interoperable, and secure telecom platforms. 
      • Quad Investors’ Network has been launched as a private sector-led platform to facilitate investments in strategic technologies. 
      • The Leaders agreed on the need to preserve the integrity of the UN, its Charter, and its agencies. 
        • They agreed on continuing their efforts to strengthen and reform the multilateral system, including through an expansion of the UNSC membership in both permanent and non-permanent categories.
      • New principles on critical and emerging technologies, clean energy supply chains, and cyber security of critical infrastructure were outlined. 
        • Of particular significance was the plan to share expertise and experience in Space Situational Awareness and to expand the IPMDA to the Indian Ocean Region.
      •  A special focus on cooperation with the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) was highlighted. 

    Outcomes of Earlier Summits 

    • The first Leaders’ Summit of the Quad, held virtually in March 2021, had outlined the vision and purpose of this grouping (in its new and formal reemergence). 
      • It stressed that its primary objective was to cooperate on common challenges facing the Indo-Pacific region. 
      • Three working groups—on vaccines, critical and emerging technologies, and climate—were announced. 
    • A more comprehensive agenda was outlined in the statement issued after an in-person summit was held in Washington in September 2021.
      •  It spoke about broadening cooperation in other areas, including cyber, space, counterterrorism, international and maritime law, and education.
    • Another virtual summit was held in March 2022, and a brief statement reiterated a few of the points made in earlier statements. 
      • The Russia-Ukraine conflict was mentioned in general terms, with a focus on humanitarian aspects. 
    • The next in-person summit, held in Tokyo in May 2022, covered a much broader agenda, with an elaborate statement organised under different sections. 
      • Peace and stability were introduced as the first section, underlining the linkage between stability, security, and development, and the delivery of public goods
      • It emphasised the Quad’s focus on the delivery of promises and highlighted some tangible benefits for the Indo-Pacific region.
        • It announced the launch of the Quad Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Package (Q-CHAMP), the Quad Cybersecurity Partnership, Principles on Critical Technology Supply Chains, the Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA), and the Quad Partnership for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief in the Indo-Pacific.

    Progress and Relevance 

    • The range and depth of cooperative partnerships and programmes have increased significantly. 
    • It has gained good momentum in the alignment of strategies, fundamental principles, and delivery mechanisms in diverse areas related to the development and collectively countering the coercive strategy of China. 
    • The expanded joint naval exercise, Exercise Malabar, is increasingly seen by many as a Quad exercise, notwithstanding its history and evolution. 
      • The exercise is being hosted by Australia for the first time in August 2023 and will be of particular relevance.
    • The overall perception of the Quad has also become more positive since 2021, particularly in Southeast Asia. 
    • It has also given a major boost to bilateral cooperation among the Quad members and contributed towards enhancing mutual areas of convergence and adapting to those with divergences.

    Future outlook 

    • the Quad itself must sustain its focus on delivering outcomes, improve the effectiveness of counter-coercion, and show results in its intent of stepping up cooperation with the ASEAN, PIF, IORA, and other countries of the Indo-Pacific region.
    • More tangible outcomes are likely to become apparent in the coming months.
      • These should, however, be supported by relevant data, particularly in areas related to the delivery of public goods in the region.

    Source: ORF

    Mains Practice Question 

    [Q] Discuss the developments linked to Quadrilateral Security Dialogue in the last two years. What importance does it hold for India?