Opening remarks of the Quad Leaders' meeting

24 May 2022
Tokyo, Japan
Quad Leaders’ meeting.

ANTHONY ALBANESE, PRIME MINISTER: Firstly, can I thank you for your sincere congratulations on my election as Australia's 31st Prime Minister. It is an honour that this is my first act as Prime Minister, to attend this important Quad Leaders' meeting here in Japan.

And as we gather today, I acknowledge all that the Quad has achieved. Standing together for a free, open, and resilient Indo-Pacific region. And working together to tackle the biggest challenges of our time, including climate change and the security of our region.

My Government is committed to working with your countries. And we are committed to the Quad. The new Australian Government's priorities align with the Quad agenda—taking action on climate change and building a stronger and more resilient Indo-Pacific region, through better economic security, better cybersecurity, better energy security and better environmental and health security. Our cooperation is built on the values that we share. A commitment to representative democracy, the rule of law and the right to live in peace.

Today, we look ahead to the work we're yet to do. As the Indo-Pacific is reshaped, our Quad partnership is needed now more than ever to meet the challenges and threats of a less certain world, to shape that world for the better, and build a stronger, more cooperative Indo-Pacific region that respects sovereignty.

The region is looking to us to work with them and to lead by example. That's why my Government will take ambitious action on climate change and increase our support to partners in the region as they work to address it, including with new finance. We will act in recognition that climate change is the main economic and security challenge for the island countries of the Pacific. Under my Government, Australia will set a new target to reduce emissions by 43 per cent by 2030, putting us on track for net zero by 2050.

We have had a change of government in Australia, but Australia's commitment to the Quad has not changed and will not change. And our commitment to ASEAN and its centrality has not changed. My Government has already committed to a greater focus on South-East Asia, including the appointment of a Special Envoy for the region and $470 million in additional foreign aid over the next four years. This is in addition to our increasing assistance to the Pacific by over half a billion dollars, deepening our defence and maritime cooperation and using the power of proximity to strengthen our partnerships.

We will bring more energy and resources to securing our region as we enter a new and more complex phase in the Pacific's strategic environment. And we will continue to stand with you, our like-minded friends. And collectively, we will continue to stand up for each other. We will stand firm on our values and our beliefs, on what we know will enhance the prosperity and stability of our region, and what is firmly in the interests of all those who call the Indo-Pacific home.

I'm honoured to be among such close friends of Australia, to take these next steps with you to pursue positive and practical ways to support a free, open and resilient Indo-Pacific. I look forward to strengthening our Quad partnership starting with a productive meeting today. And I'm delighted to handover to Prime Minister Modi.