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Regional architecture

Quad

The Quad is a diplomatic network. It provides a vehicle for strategic exchange and positive, practical cooperation. It complements Australia's engagement in the ASEAN-led architecture, and our other bilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation.

Australia's Quad partnership with India, Japan and the United States is an important pillar of our international agenda. It brings together four like-minded democracies committed to acting in support of an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific region with ASEAN at its centre.

The Quad's principal objective remains to support Indo-Pacific partners respond to the region's most pressing challenges - COVID-19 vaccines and economic recovery, critical and emerging technology, climate change, maritime security, infrastructure, counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, cyber and countering disinformation.

The Quad's origins date back to our cooperation in the wake of the December 2004 tsunami, which created an unprecedented humanitarian crisis around the Indian Ocean. At that time, Quad countries coordinated rapid humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. 

Quad meetings and processes

Quad partners engage through four primary channels – Senior Officials, Foreign Ministers, Leaders and Experts.

Regular Senior Officials' Meetings

Seven Quad Senior Officials' Meetings have been held since November 2017. At these meetings, officials exchange strategic assessments and progress practical cooperation. Australia will host the eighth iteration of talks in the coming months. Regular Senior Official Talks helped create a pathway for Ministerial and Leader engagements.

Foreign Ministers' Meetings

On 18 February 2021, Foreign Minister Payne joined her US, Indian and Japan counterparts for the third Quad Foreign Ministers Meeting. At the virtual meeting, Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to supporting an Indo-Pacific anchored in international law and deepening Quad cooperation on the region's core challenges. The meeting followed talks in Tokyo in October 2020 and New York in September 2019.

Ministers agreed to form a number of working groups including maritime security, infrastructure, supply chain resilience, counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, cyber and critical technologies to countering disinformation.

At the most recent meeting on 18 February, Quad partners agreed to elevate the relationship through a virtual Leaders' Summit.

Leaders' summit

On 12 March 2021 (13 March AEDT), President Biden hosted the inaugural Quad leaders' summit, which included Prime Ministers Morrison, Modi and Suga. At the virtual meeting, Leaders agreed landmark initiatives to support an open, inclusive and resilient region. They reaffirmed their strong support for ASEAN centrality and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.

Leaders pledged to strengthen Quad cooperation on the defining challenges of our time, including the economic and health impacts of COVID-19, combatting climate change, and collaborating on critical and emerging technology.  Leaders announced:

  • a Quad vaccines partnership to accelerate the region's pathway out of COVID-19 by expanding safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing and delivery in 2021.  Australia is contributing $100 million, focused on providing ‘last-mile' delivery support to Southeast Asia;
  • the launch of a Critical and Emerging Technology Working Group to boost cooperation on technology standards and innovation; and
  • the establishment of a Climate Change Working Group to strengthen global climate action.

Leaders agreed to hold an in-person meeting before the end of the year.

Experts engagement

Senior Quad experts engage regularly across the breadth of the Quad's growing practical cooperation agenda.

Key publications

March 2021 Leaders' Summit

Media Releases

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