On September 24, President Biden hosted Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan at the White House for the first-ever in-person Leaders’ Summit of the Quad. The leaders have put forth ambitious initiatives that deepen our ties and advance practical cooperation on 21st-century challenges: ending the COVID-19 pandemic, including by increasing production and access to safe and effective vaccines; promoting high-standards infrastructure; combatting the climate crisis; partnering on emerging technologies, space, and cybersecurity; and cultivating next-generation talent in all of our countries.
COVID and Global Health
Quad leaders recognize that the most immediate threat to lives and livelihoods in our four countries and the world is the COVID-19 pandemic. And so in March, Quad leaders launched the Quad Vaccine Partnership, to help enhance equitable access to safe and effective vaccines in the Indo-Pacific and the world. Since March, the Quad has taken bold actions to expand safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity, donated vaccines from our own supply, and worked together to assist the Indo-Pacific in responding to the pandemic. The Quad Vaccine Experts Group remains the heart of our cooperation, meeting regularly to brief on the latest pandemic trends and coordinate our collective COVID-19 response across the Indo-Pacific, including by piloting the Quad Partnership COVID-19 Dashboard. We welcome President Biden’s September 22 COVID-19 Summit, and acknowledge that our work continues. The Quad will:
Help Vaccinate the World: As Quad countries, we have pledged to donate more than 1.2 billion vaccine doses globally, in addition to the doses we have financed through COVAX. To date we have collectively delivered nearly 79 million safe and effective vaccine doses to the Indo-Pacific region. Our Vaccine Partnership remains on track to expand manufacturing at Biological E Ltd. this fall, so that it can produce at least 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2022. As a first step towards that new capacity, the leaders will announce bold actions that will immediately help the Indo-Pacific in its quest to end the pandemic. We recognize the importance of open and secure supply chains for vaccine production. The Quad welcomed India’s announcement to resume exports of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, including to COVAX, beginning in October 2021. Through $3.3 billion in the COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan program, Japan will continue to help regional countries to procure safe, effective, and quality-assured vaccines. Australia will deliver $212 million in grant aid to purchase vaccines for Southeast Asia and the Pacific. In addition, Australia will allocate $219 million to support last-mile vaccine rollouts and lead in coordinating the Quad’s last-mile delivery efforts in those regions. Quad member countries will coordinate with the ASEAN Secretariat, the COVAX Facility, and other relevant organizations. We will continue to strengthen and support the life-saving work of international organizations and partnerships, including the WHO, COVAX, Gavi, CEPI, and UNICEF; and national governments. At the same time, the leaders are fully committed to strengthening vaccine confidence and trust. To that end, Quad countries will host an event at the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA) dedicated to combatting hesitancy.
Save Lives Now: Together as the Quad, we are committed to taking further action in the Indo-Pacific to save lives now. Japan, through Japan Bank for International Cooperation, will work with India to enhance key investments of approximately $100 million in the healthcare sector related to COVID-19, including vaccine and treatment drugs. We will utilize the Quad Vaccine Experts Group and convene as needed to urgently consult in relation to our emergency assistance.
Build Back Better Health Security: The Quad commits to better preparing our countries and the world for the next pandemic. We will continue to build coordination in our broader COVID-19 response and health-security efforts in the Indo-Pacific, and we will jointly build and conduct at least one pandemic preparedness tabletop or exercise in 2022. We will also further strengthen our science and technology cooperation in support of the 100-Day Mission-to have safe and effective vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics available within 100 days—now and into the future. This includes collaboration on current and future clinical trials, such as launching additional sites for the international Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) trials, which can expedite investigation of promising new vaccines and therapeutics, while at the same time supporting countries in the region to improve their capacity to undertake scientifically sound clinical research. We will support the call for a “global pandemic radar” and will improve our viral genomic surveillance, including by working together to strengthen and expand the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS).