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Quad leaders’ summit today: Ten points on PM Narendra Modi’s participation, meeting agenda

Washington DC (US): In some hours from now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take part in the first in-person Quad leaders meeting along with leaders of the US, Japan, and Australia in Washington. Here’s looking at 10 points about the summit, PM Modi’s interactions and the topics that are likely to dominate the discussions.

1) The Quad consists of four countries: the United States, Australia, India, and Japan. The Quad works on a far broader agenda, which includes tackling security, economic, and health issues.

2) President Joe Biden will be hosting the first in-person Quad leaders’ summit comprising Australia, India, Japan, and the US. As part of their ongoing efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, PM Modi along with US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and their Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga will review the Quad Vaccine initiative which was announced in March this year, the Ministry of External Affairs has said.

3) The leaders will review progress made since their first virtual summit on March 12, 2021, and discuss regional issues of shared interest. They will also exchange views on contemporary global issues such as critical and emerging technologies, connectivity and infrastructure, cyber security, maritime security, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, climate change, and education.

4) The Summit on Friday would provide a valuable opportunity for dialogue and interactions among the leaders, anchored in their shared vision of ensuring a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.

5) A US official has said that hosting the Quad fundamentally is a demonstration of the priority of engaging in the Indo-Pacific, including through new multilateral configurations designed to focus on 21st-century challenges.

6) Ahead of his Quad meeting, PM Modi met his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison, US Vice President Kamala Harris, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and held meetings with five global CEOs for potential investment in India.

7) On March 12, the first-ever virtual summit of the top leaders of Quad comprising of PM Modi, United States President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Suga, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison took place.The four leaders had stressed upon a free, open, and rule-based Indo-Pacific region that is “anchored by democratic values, and unconstrained by coercion”.

8) Biden is scheduled to host PM Modi at the White House on September 24 (later in the day today, around 8.30PM-9.30PM IST). This is going to be the first in-person meeting between the two leaders after Biden took over as the US President on January 20. PM Modi’s US visit will conclude on September 25 with an address at the United Nations General Assembly focusing on the pressing global challenges including the Covid-19 pandemic, the need to combat terrorism, climate change, and other important issues.

9) PM Modi is accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, and senior officials. The high-level session of the UNGA began on Tuesday in New York.

10) The theme for this year’s General Debate is ‘Building Resilience through hope to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalise the United Nations’.