QUAD Opening remarks
Thank you very much, Foreign Minister Motegi for hosting us here, particularly in the circumstances of COVID-19, and thank you also to our friends, Minister Jaishankar and Secretary Pompeo for travelling for what will be I’m sure a very productive meeting.
This important step in the continuing evolution of the Quad signals our steadfast commitment to working together to promote an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific.
The Quad has a positive agenda. It is a diplomatic network that assists us, as democracies, to align ourselves in support of shared interests.
We believe in a region governed by rules, not power. We believe in the fundamental importance of individual rights and in a region in which disputes are resolved according to international law. And we believe in regional security and recovery from COVID-19 that supports sovereign choices for the countries of the Indo-Pacific.
Australia is achieving this vision in our engagement across the Indo-Pacific by working closely with ASEAN, by stepping up with the Pacific, including supporting regional institutions such as the Pacific Islands Forum. We are supporting the region’s economic recovery, strengthening health security, promoting access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.
In these efforts, Australia has no more important partners than Japan, the United States and India.
Today, we will exchange strategic assessments and agree to actions to support our aligned interests in areas including health cooperation, maritime security, critical minerals and technologies, countering disinformation, and humanitarian assistance.
Foreign Minister Motegi, we are grateful for Japan’s leadership, and honoured to be here so soon after Prime Minister Suga assumed office.
As Secretary Pompeo said, we also acknowledge our great friend, former Prime Minister Abe for his leadership over many years. Under Prime Minister Suga and your leadership, we look forward to a successful meeting and an even more powerful partnership between our four countries.