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Australia-India-Japan-United States Quad Senior Officials’ Meeting
On 18 December, senior officials from Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the foreign ministries of India, Japan and the United States met by videoconference to progress initiatives agreed by ministers at the second Quad Foreign Ministers' Meeting in October in Tokyo.
At the meeting, officials discussed our respective efforts to support the region’s health and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. We underlined our commitment to working together to facilitate access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, as they become available.
Alongside the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis, strategic pressures in the region are intensifying. We shared strategic assessments and our respective visions for a region in which sovereign states engage each other on the basis of rules, norms and international law. We underscored our commitment to working together, and with regional partners, to support an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific.
Quad partners are focused on strengthening the resilience of regional supply chains, countering disinformation, and promoting quality infrastructure investment, including in the Mekong sub-region. We are also coordinating on maritime security, cyber and critical technology, critical minerals, counter-terrorism, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
As committed ASEAN dialogue partners, Quad countries resolutely support ASEAN centrality and unity. We underscored the critical role of the ASEAN-led architecture and the principles set out in the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific in guiding the region out of the COVID-19 crisis, and underpinning longer-term stability and prosperity. We commended Vietnam's chairing of ASEAN in 2020, and looked forward to Brunei Darussalam's 2021 chair year.
Quad partners will continue regular ministerial and senior officials’ consultations in 2021.