Quad leaders agree to create working groups on vaccine, critical technologies, climate actions

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Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla speaking at a special briefing of Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). (Photo/ANI)
Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla speaking at a special briefing of Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). (Photo/ANI)

New Delhi [India], March 12 (ANI): The leaders of Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) on Friday agreed to set up three working groups to facilitate vaccine distribution and innovative technologies and to strengthen climate actions globally.

Addressing a press conference after the first Quad summit meeting held virtually, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said India looks forward to being a part of all these working groups.

"The leaders agreed to the creation of three working groups - a vaccine expert working group to implement our path-breaking commitment to safe and effective vaccine distribution, a critical and emerging technology working group to facilitate cooperation on international working standards and innovative technologies of the future and a climate working group to strengthen climate actions globally on mitigation, adaptation, resilience, technology building capacity and climate finance," Shringla said.

"I have already spoken on vaccines, frontier technologies and their safe and judicious use for the security and prosperity of all and advancing the effort against climate change in every possible manner. We welcome the opportunity to cooperate even more closely with our Quad partners in these areas that have been identified," he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, United States President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison attended the meeting. The meeting was hosted by the US.

Shringla said during the discussions, there was a wholesome appreciation by the other leaders of India's role in providing vaccines to 70 countries all over the world under the Vaccine Maitri initiative.

The leaders agreed on a Quad vaccine initiative to ramp up manufacturing and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines in the Indo-Pacific region.

Shringla said additional capacities will not in any manner affect domestic vaccine production.

"Our additional capacities that are being created, will not in any manner affecting our domestic vaccine production and roll out. In a sense, the Quad initiative builds on the Vaccine Maitri initiative, which has been very successful and it is evidence that Make in India and Aatmanirbhar Bharat are reliable contributors to global supply chains and augment global availability of critical commodities and products."

He also said that the four leaders talked about an in-person meeting later this year, which may be on the margins of a summit where all four leaders are present. (ANI)