The first Quad Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) meeting and TableTop Exercise was inaugurated by Quad Sherpas and senior officials in the national capital on December 13, according to the External Affairs Ministry.
The Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi in a tweet stated that multiagency teams from India, Japan, the United States and Australia discussed how they can deliver a coordinated and effective response to future HADR events in the Indo-Pacific region.
US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Australia’s Quad Sherpa Scott Dewar virtually participated in the meeting.
In response to Arindam Bagchi’s tweet, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a tweet said, “Following the first biannual meeting, a Table-top exercise for Quad HADR Partnership was held under India’s chair in New Delhi.”
On September 23, the foreign ministers of Australia, India and Japan and the Secretary of State of the United States held a meeting in New York. The leaders from four nations signed into operation the guidelines for the ‘Quad Partnership on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) in the Indo-Pacific.’ The HADR mechanism was announced by Quad leaders in Tokyo in May.
The partnership has been announced as part of a shared vision for a “free and open Indo-Pacific that is inclusive and resilient,” the US State Department said in a press release. The signing of these guidelines demonstrates a significant moment in Quad’s cooperation.
The partnership has been created to respond to the vulnerabilities of the Indo-Pacific region and serve as a dedicated framework for Quad partners to coordinate disaster response operations in the region. The mechanism will augment the capacity, capability, interoperability and operational synergy to conduct operations under HADR.
Under the partnership, Quad partners will promote inclusion by advancing gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment, ensuring people with disabilities are agents and beneficiaries of humanitarian action, and ensuring indigenous people, minority groups and persons in vulnerable situations are not left behind.
According to the US State Department press release, the partnership will coordinate HADR operations with the UN and other international agencies, regional and local governments, public and private organizations and non-government organizations.