Remarks by President Biden, Prime Minister Morrison, Prime Minister Modi, and Prime Minister Suga at Quad Leaders Summit
SEPTEMBER 24, 2021
2:09 P.M. EDT
PRESIDENT BIDEN: Well, let me begin by saying I’m honored to welcome Prime Minister Morrison, Prime Minister Modi, and Prime Minister Suga and — to the White House for the first in-person meeting of the Quad we’ve had.
This group meeting of democratic partners who share a world view and have a common vision for the future, coming together to take on key challenges of our age, from COVID to climate to emerging technologies. It embodies an approach I spoke of at the U.N. earlier this week.
When we met six months ago, we made concrete commitments to advance our shared and positive agenda for a free and open Indo-Pacific. Today, I’m proud to say that we’re making excellent progress.
Our vaccine initiative is on track to produce an additional 1 billion doses of vaccine in India to boost global supply. We’re taking action on climate change, with new partnership toward a zero-emissions shipping.
And today, we’re also launching a new Quad fellowship for students from each of our Quad countries to pursue advanced degrees leading — in leading STEM programs here in the United States. It represents an investment in the leaders, innovators, and pioneers of tomorrow.
In sum, we are four major democracies with a long history of cooperation. We know how to get things done, and we are up to the challenge. And I’m looking forward to our discussion today, and I thank you.
And now I yield to my friend from India.
PRIME MINISTER MODI: (As interpreted.) President Biden, Prime Minister Morrison, Prime Minister Suga: I thank President Biden for his initiative to organize this historic, first-ever in-person Quad Summit. Our four countries came together for the first time in 2004 to extend support to the Indo-Pacific region post the tsunami.
Today, when the world is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are meeting once again, as Quad, and working in the interest of humanity, based — our Quad vaccine initiative will greatly help countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
Based on shared democratic values, Quad has decided to move forward with positive thinking and a positive approach. It gives me great pleasure to discuss with my friends wide-ranging topics from supply chains to global security, from climate action to COVID response, to cooperation in the field of technology.
I am — our Quad, in a sense, will play the role of a force for global good. I’m confident that our cooperation under Quad will ensure prosperity and peace in the Indo-Pacific and in the world. Thank you.
PRIME MINISTER MORRISON: Thank you very much, Prime Minister. Thank you, Mr. President. It is a great honor to be here with you, here in this magnificent place. And I thank you for your leadership and bringing us together, in person this time, and to join our great friends, Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Suga. And, Secretary Blinken, it’s good to be here with you also.
We are liberal democracies that believe in a world order that favors freedom. And we believe in a free and open Indo-Pacific because we know that’s what delivers a strong, stable, and prosperous region so our citizens, our peoples can realize their hopes and dreams for their futures in a liberal and free society.
The Quad is about demonstrating how democracies such as ours, as you said, Mr. President, can get things done that can deal with the big challenges that we face in a very complex and changing world. And there is no part of the world that is more dynamic than the Indo-Pacific at this time — a region that has extraordinary opportunity, wide diversity, great wealth, but many challenges that must be overcome.
And we see the role of our nations. We see our home in the Indo-Pacific as the place that we wish to focus on to ensure that our peoples can realize everything they would have for themselves.
So, as we gather here together again as a Quad, in person for the first time, in just six months from our last meeting, so much has already been accomplished. And we come together with great hope for what’s ahead.
Six hundred and seventy million, at least, safe and effective doses of vaccines already out there. A billion is our goal, Mr. President, and we will add more to that today, using our national strengths collectively to manufacture and distribute these vaccines, to have the doses but also to ensure they go that last mile to ensure they are administered in all parts of the region.
We’re working together on low-emissions technologies that will indeed change the world and take the world to a net-zero economy — a new energy economy.
We’re working to make cyberspace and emerging and critical technologies trusted and secure in open societies, solving problems, and addressing the supply chain challenges that in many ways hold the keys to our security and our prosperity and our environment in the 21st century.
So we stand here together in the Indo-Pacific region, a region that we wish to be always free from coercion, where the sovereign rights of all nations are respected and where disputes are settled peacefully in accordance with international law.
We come together in collective strength with mutual respect, transparently, and, importantly, as one.
So thank you again, Mr. President, for joining us together as Quad leaders at this meeting. On behalf of the Australian people, can I thank all of the leaders of the Quad, who share this great forum, for their leadership in our region.
I’m in no doubt that together our four nations multiply many times over the forces of hope for a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific. And with that, I’m delighted to hand over to my dear friend, the Prime Minister of Japan, Prime Minister Suga.
PRIME MINISTER SUGA: (As interpreted.) Joe, Prime Minister Modi, Scott, it’s a great pleasure to see you again.
Under Joe’s leadership, as promised in March, we are here for the first-ever in-person Quad Summit. This event demonstrates the strong solidarity between our four nations and our unwavering commitment to the common vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
The Quad is an extremely significant initiative by four countries who share fundamental values, cooperating for the cause of realizing a free and open international order based on the rule of law in the Indo-Pacific.
To date, the Quad, has been promoting practical cooperation in extensive areas to deal with regional challenges, including COVID-19.
At this summit, I hope we can take stock of concrete progress achieved so far and discuss ways to further expand the Quad cooperation in new areas, such as infrastructure and clean energy, and to promote people-to-people exchange in science and technology.
I’m sure that we would be able to have an extremely fruitful meeting.
Further, the lifting of import restrictions by the United States against Japanese food products — including rice, vegetable, and other produces — from Fukushima Prefecture, which was a request I made to Joe, in April, is a major step in supporting the recovery from the earthquake and tsunami. And we are most appreciative.
PRESIDENT BIDEN: Thank you.
2:20 P.M. EDT