In a major win to the Moditva-diplomatic statecraft, the Quad Leaders Summit condemned terror attacks in Mumbai and in Pathankot. India will also host the next in-person Quad Leaders’ Summit in 2024.
For his part as the leader of ‘New India’, PM Modi categorically asserted that if no drastic change is brought in the United Nations (UN) at the earliest, the world body may end up becoming just a “talk shop”.
“…..it is necessary that reforms should be given concrete shape in big institutions like the UN. It will also have to become the voice of the Global South. Otherwise we will just keep talking about ending conflict. The UN and Security Council will become just a talk shop,” PM Modi said in his opening statement at the G-7 Working Session on ‘Toward a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous World’.
The PM pointed out that the UN, which was established with the very purpose of establishing peace, has “often failed” to prevent conflicts today.
“Why, even the definition of terrorism has not been accepted in the UN yet ? If introspection is done, then one thing is clear. The institutions created in the last century are not in line with the system of the twenty-first century. They do not reflect the realities of the present,” he said at the meet of the world’s leading industrialists’ nations group.
“Raise your voice together against unilateral attempts to change the status quo,” he said in what is understood as a veiled reference to China. For that matter, the rest of the world had been attacking Russia for opening its conflict with Ukraine.
PM Modi said, “India has always been of the opinion that any tension, any dispute should be resolved through peaceful means, through dialogue”.
In this context, he cited the manner Indo-Bangladesh land and maritime boundary disputes were resolved. “And if there is a solution from the law, then it should be accepted. And it was in this spirit that India resolved its land and maritime boundary dispute with Bangladesh, PM Modi pointed out.
Much to the satisfaction of the Indian side and what could be at the chagrin of Pakistan, the Quad Leaders Summit, including US President Joe Biden, condemned terror attacks in Mumbai and in Pathankot.
“We unequivocally condemn terrorism and violent extremism in all its forms and manifestations, including cross-border terrorism. We are committed to international cooperation and will work with our regional partners in a comprehensive and sustained manner to strengthen capability to prevent, detect and respond to threats posed by terrorism and violent extremism, consistent with international law,” the Quad statement said after their Summit meet in Hiroshima.
“We are committed to working together to promote accountability for the perpetrators of such terrorist attacks,” it said in a veiled attack on Pakistan.
“We reiterate our condemnation of terrorist attacks, including the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai and in Pathankot, and our commitment to pursuing designations, as appropriate, by the UN Security Council 1267 Sanctions Committee. We will strengthen our cooperation through the new Working Group on Counter terrorism announced during the Quad Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in March 2023,” the Quad leaders said.
The leaders of the Quad group – Australia, India, Japan and the United States – delivered a thinly veiled swipe at Beijing’s behaviour on May 20 at a summit in Hiroshima. – The Guardian, London
“We strongly oppose destabilising or unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo by force or coercion,” a Quad statement said, using diplomatic language that appeared to refer to China’s economic tactics to gain leverage over poorer countries and also its military expansion in the Pacific.
PM Modi, the US president, Joe Biden, and their two partners in the group — Japanese PM Fumio Kishida and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese did not mention China by name, but the communist superpower was clearly the target of language in a joint statement calling for “peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific maritime domain”.
“We seek a region where no country dominates and no country is dominated — one where all countries are free from coercion, and can exercise their agency to determine their futures,” the leaders said.
The Quad leaders held their meeting while already gathered in Hiroshima for a Group of 7 summits.
The Australian PM, Anthony Albanese, had been scheduled to host Biden, Japanese PM Fumio Kishida and Indian PM Narendra Modi in Sydney next week. However, Biden pulled out, saying he had to return to Washington from Japan on May 21 to negotiate with Republican opponents on the US debt ceiling.
The Indian Government also took a keen interest in ensuring the Quad Leaders’ Summit in Hiroshima once the Australian mega event was cancelled.
In their statement, they stressed the Quad’s support for infrastructure improvements across the vast Asia-Pacific region, while saying, in another apparent dig at China, that they wanted to assist such investments but would “not impose unsustainable debt burdens” on the recipients of assistance.
Among the projects the Quad leaders highlighted was the “urgent need to support quality undersea cable networks in the Indo-Pacific, which are key to global growth and prosperity”. They announced a partnership aiming to draw on their countries’ expertise in the specialist maritime cable sector.
They also said that an existing pilot programme for hi-tech monitoring of illegal fishing would expand. They said they were “deeply concerned” by repression in Myanmar, and they condemned “North Korea’s destabilising ballistic missile launches and pursuit of nuclear weapons in violation of multiple UN security council resolutions”.