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International Relations

Quad and G-4 Meet

  • 27 Sep 2019
  • 5 min read

The foreign ministers of the Quad countries - India, US, Australia and Japan - met on the sidelines of the UNGA meeting on 27th September 2019.

  • The group is seen as a regional counterweight to China and has only met at the Joint or Assistant Secretary level since 2017. The latest meeting is seen as an upgrade by at least three levels.
  • The Ministers met to discuss cooperation on counter-terrorism, mentoring, assistance in disaster relief, airtime security, cooperation, development, finance and cybersecurity efforts etc.
  • The Quad countries were “resolute” in their view of the centrality of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in South East Asia.
    • The notion of ASEAN centrality broadly refers to the group of countries being at the centre of security and strategic frameworks for the Asia-Pacific region.

Quad

  • The Quadrilateral security dialogue or Quad was first mooted by the Japanese Prime Minister in 2007.
  • However, the idea couldn’t move ahead with Australia pulling out of it, apparently due to Chinese pressure.
  • In November 2017, India, the US, Australia and Japan gave shape to the long-pending "Quad" Coalition to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence (especially China).
    • Australia is worried about China's growing interest in its land, infrastructure and politics and influence on its universities.
    • In the last decade, Japan believes that China has tried to bully it on several territorial issues.
    • China has border disputes with India. China is also blocking India’s path into the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
    • A weakened US sees the coalition as an opportunity to regain its influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • India has been hesitant about the Quad, in part because it does not want to isolate China and because it has had a history of staying clear of security alliances.
  • Members of the Quad, barring Australia, are currently engaged in the annual Malabar exercises – military exercises that started between India and the U.S. in 1994 and became trilateral (with Japan) in 2015.
    • India has not permitted Australia to participate in these exercises, concerned about what message it would send to China, which is wary of the exercise.

G-4 Meeting

  • The foreign ministers of G-4 grouping also held a meeting on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
  • G-4 is a group of four countries i.e. Brazil, Germany, India and Japan which support each other’s bids for permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)
  • The G-4 countries have decided to prepare for a fresh push for reforms at the UNGA in 2020 when the UN celebrates its 75th anniversary.
  • It was highlighted that there is a clear need for an enhanced role of developing countries and of major contributors to the United Nations to make the UNSC more legitimate, effective and representative.
    • This means that India and Brazil — the two developing countries in G-4 grouping — should get a place along with China, which is the only developing country in the UNSC.
    • The countries also put a focus on the role of the African continent in the Council.
  • G-4 said that the reforms-related decisions should be by a two-third majority in the UN General Assembly, which was enshrined in the 1998 resolution of the UNGA.
    • This is contrary to the position taken by China, which has always said that the decisions should be taken through “comprehensive consensus”.

Source: IE

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