12 Mar Quad Summit (The Hindu)
- The leaders of the QUAD countries are meeting for the first time virtually amidst the pandemic on 12th March 2021 to discuss various important issues.
- Access to COVID-19 vaccines, cooperation on technology, and climate change are the most important issues to be discussed during the summit.
- The first-ever joint statement of the group is expected after the summit, as till now, there have been no joint statements by the group and only separate readouts citing the differences in the previous ventures.
- The urgency for international collaboration to establish equitable access to vaccines.
- Participation towards upholding a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
- Challenges such as stringent supply chains, turning up and critical technologies, maritime security, and climate change.
- Administering regional crises, including recent developments in Myanmar.
- With respect to Afghanistan, the U.S. has configured its plan to initiate talks and layout a possible exit of its troops from the zone of conflict.
- India would push for the opposition to its proposal at the World Trade Organisation to waive Trade-Related Intellectual Property (TRIPS) guidelines.
- Which would help India produce more vaccines generically.
- Protest the Chinese agenda to term the QUAD as Indo-Pacific NATO, especially since the Quad framework has no treaty, no structure, and no secretariat currently.
Facts about QUAD:
- It is an informal strategic dialogue between four countries established in 2017.
- India, the USA, Japan, and Australia are its members currently.
- The aim of the group is to safeguard and support a free, open, and flourishing Indo-Pacific region.