Updated: March 13, 2021 7:54:14 am
At the first summit of the leaders of the Quadrilateral grouping, a Quad vaccine initiative was announced Friday in which India will manufacture American vaccines with Japanese funding and Australian logistical support for countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
Three working groups were also launched — Quad vaccine experts group, Quad Critical and Emerging Technology Working Group, and Quad Climate Working Group.
These were among the concrete outcomes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden, Japan PM Yoshihide Suga and Australian PM Scott Morrison met via virtual mode for the first summit of the grouping.
– ‘The Quad Vaccine Partnership: A factsheet’ issued after the summit stated: “While ensuring that vaccines have been made available to our people, “Quad” partners will launch a landmark partnership to further accelerate the end of the Covid-19 pandemic. Together, Quad leaders are taking shared action necessary to expand safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing in 2021, and will work together to strengthen and assist countries in the Indo-Pacific with vaccination, in close coordination with the existing relevant multilateral mechanisms including WHO and COVAX.”
It said the US will work with Biological E Ltd to finance increased capacity to support Biological E’s effort to produce at least 1 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines by the end of 2022 with Stringent Regulatory Authorization and/or World Health Organization Emergency Use Listing (EUL), including the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said it was decided that India’s manufacturing capacity is something that is going to be leveraged to make US vaccines.
“In today’s context, it is one of the most important initiatives. We are talking about huge investments in creating additional vaccine capacities in India for exports to countries in the Indo-Pacific region for their betterment. We are talking about producing a billion doses of vaccines by the end of 2022,” Shringla said.
– The Quad Climate Working Group: This is the hot button issue for the Biden administration, and the fact sheet said, “We have identified the climate challenge as a priority for the Quad and the Indo-Pacific region. We will establish a new Quad Climate Working Group focused on cooperation, both among ourselves and with other countries, to strengthen implementation of the Paris Agreement, including to keep a Paris-aligned temperature limit within reach.”
It also said that they will be working together and with other countries to support, strengthen, and enhance actions globally; committing to advancing low-emissions technology solutions to support emissions reduction; cooperation on climate mitigation, adaptation, resilience, technology, capacity-building, and climate finance.
– The Quad Critical and Emerging Technology Working Group: It said “Quad leaders recognize that a free, open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific requires that critical and emerging technology is governed and operates according to shared interests and values. In that spirit, we will convene a Critical and Emerging Technology Working Group, which will develop a statement of principles on technology design, development, and use; facilitate coordination on technology standards development, including between our national technology standards bodies and working with a broad range of partners.”
It also said that they will “encourage cooperation on telecommunications deployment, diversification of equipment suppliers, and future telecommunications, including through close cooperation with our private sectors and industry”.
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