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Quad Senior Officials’ Meeting, 12 August 2021
On 12 August, senior officials from Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, India’s Ministry of External Affairs, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the US Department of State met by videoconference to progress initiatives agreed by Quad leaders at their inaugural Summit in March and by Foreign Ministers at their third meeting in February.
At the meeting, officials discussed expanding access to safe and effective vaccines across the Indo-Pacific under the flagship Quad Vaccine Partnership. They also provided updates on their countries’ respective regional vaccine initiatives.
The immense health and economic toll of COVID-19, including recent devastating surges across the region, has compounded the strategic challenges facing our region. In this context, officials shared assessments on recent strategic developments, and reaffirmed their commitment to working with regional partners to support an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific.
Officials underscored grave concerns about the crisis in Myanmar, including the rapidly deteriorating COVID-19 situation, and its implications for regional stability. They reiterated calls for an immediate cessation of violence and the release of all those arbitrarily detained. Officials reaffirmed their support for ASEAN-led efforts to chart a course out of the crisis, and welcomed the appointment of Brunei Foreign Minister II Erywan as the Special Envoy of the ASEAN Chair on Myanmar. Quad partners continue to urge the Myanmar military to engage with ASEAN to implement the ‘Five Point Consensus’ fully and swiftly.
Officials noted progress in implementing Quad leaders’ commitments to cooperate on climate change and critical and emerging technology. They reaffirmed their resolve to deepen cooperation on priorities agreed by ministers, including maritime security, cyber, infrastructure, counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and countering disinformation.
Quad partners are steadfast supporters of ASEAN centrality. Officials recognised the critical convening power of the ASEAN-led architecture and reiterated their support for the principles of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. They commended Brunei Darussalam's chairing of ASEAN in 2021.
Officials looked forward to continuing regular consultation at all levels.