Washington DC: Days after US President Joe Biden stressed reforming the UN Security Council, Quad countries have committed themselves towards expanding the 15-member world body in both permanent and non-permanent categories.
A joint statement issued following a meeting of Quad foreign ministers in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly also called for respecting the territorial integrity. It was apparently aimed at China.
”We are committed to advancing a comprehensive UN reform agenda, including through expansion in permanent and non-permanent seats of the UN Security Council so that it reflects the current global realities and incorporates more geographically diverse perspectives,” said the foreign ministers of Quad that comprise India, Japan, Australia and the United States.
The meeting was attended by foreign ministers – Penny Wong of Australia, S Jaishankar of India, Hayashi Yoshimasa of Japan and US Secretary of State Tony Blinken. ”We underscored the need to address attempts to unilaterally subvert the international and multilateral system, including in the UN,” they said.
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Meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, the ministers said Quad’s vision is for a region where the rules-based international order is upheld and where the principles of freedom, the rule of law, democratic values, peaceful settlement of disputes, sovereignty, and territorial integrity are respected.
”We reaffirmed our conviction that international law, peace, and security in the maritime domain underpins the development and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific. We strongly oppose any unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo or increase tensions in the region,” they said.
”We also reaffirmed our unwavering support for ASEAN unity and centrality, ASEAN-led regional architecture, and practical implementation of ASEAN’s outlook on the Indo-Pacific.”
Welcoming the progress in delivering on Quad commitments, the ministers said they were pleased to sign guidelines to operationalise the Quad Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Partnership for the Indo-Pacific announced by Quad leaders in May 2022.
”We look forward to the counter-terrorism tabletop exercise being hosted by Australia later in 2022, and we announced a statement on ransomware, calling on states to take reasonable steps to address ransomware operations emanating from their territory,” they said.
Quad ministers reiterated the Quad’s commitment to supporting regional partners’ efforts in improving their maritime security and domain awareness. ”We support the ongoing efforts, in close consultation with regional partners, to take forward the Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness,” said the joint statement.
”We will continue to leverage our collective expertise to support the region, to respond to other challenges, such as education and disinformation, as well as advance the initiatives set forth by Quad leaders on health security, climate change, infrastructure, peaceful use of outer space, critical and emerging technologies, and cybersecurity,” it said.