Quad Joint Leaders’ Statement reaffirms ASEAN unity, centrality hinh anh 1Leaders of the Quad countries pose for a group photo. (Photo: Kyodo/VNA)

Tokyo (VNA) - Leaders of the Quad countries - the US, Japan, India, Australia - have reaffirmed their unwavering support for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)'s unity and centrality and for the practical implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP).

In the Quad Joint Leaders’ Statement following the in-person summit which wrapped up in Tokyo, Japan, on May 24, they welcomed the European Union (EU)’s Joint Communication on the EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific which was announced in September 2021 and increased European engagement in the Indo-Pacific region. 

The sides will also champion adherence to international law, particularly as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and the maintenance of freedom of navigation and overflight, to meet challenges to the maritime rules-based order, including in the East and South China Seas.

The statement underlined that the Quad leaders strongly support the principles of freedom, rule of law, democratic values, sovereignty and territorial integrity, peaceful settlement of disputes without resorting to threat or use of force, any unilateral attempt to change the status quo, and freedom of navigation and overflight, all of which are essential to the peace, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region and to the world. 

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, US President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Australia’s new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese pledged to “continue to act decisively together to advance these principles in the region and beyond”. They reaffirmed their resolve to uphold the international rules-based order.

The sides announced the establishment of the "Quad Partnership on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) in the Indo-Pacific". This Partnership aims to further strengthen collaboration to effectively respond to disasters in the region.

During the meeting, the Quad leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation in COVID-19 response and global health security, infrastructure, climate, cybersecurity, space, and critical and emerging technologies.

They also agreed to hold the next in-person summit in 2023 hosted by Australia./.