Think Tank (4/2023)
Group photo of the conference
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The Quad: Opportunities to Advance Shared Goals at the Crossroads of the Indo-Pacific
10 Jul 2023

RSIS joined the Near East South Asia (NESA) Centre for Strategic Studies and Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies to host a conference titled “The Quad: Opportunities to Advance Shared Goals at the Crossroads of the Indo-Pacific.” Held from 10 to 12 July 2023, this event assembled more than thirty government scholars, policymakers, and security experts from fifteen different countries.

The event featured several plenary sessions, as well as breakout groups designed to diagnose policy effectiveness and to evaluate what role Australia, India, Japan, and the United States can have in this portion of the Indo-Pacific via their mini-lateral grouping referred to as “the Quad.” The Quad, a concept that has attracted much attention, was discussed in the context of the maritime pursuits and policies of regional littoral states.

Specific questions considered include:  i) What is the status of the Quad in Southeast Asia and around the Bay of Bengal; ii) What role does the Quad have in seeking to enhance maritime security in this region; iii) What Quad initiatives would be most welcome and effective; and iv) What Quad activities should be deemed as unhelpful or otherwise problematic.

Panel chairs and discussion leaders at the event included John Bradford, Senior Fellow, RSIS Maritime Security Programme; Jeffrey Payne, Research Fellow, NESA; Ralf Emmers, former Dean of RSIS; Fahad Malaika, Research Associate, NESA; Pardeep Chauhan, Director General of the National Maritime Foundation; Gilang Kembara, Reserache at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies; and Antoine Levesuques, Research Fellow, International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Mr Bradford also gave the final presentation where he solicited feedback from the group about his idea for an Indo-Pacific Maritime Governance Centre of Excellence.  Demonstrating the sort of connections that RSIS establishes between the research and practical communities, this idea has since been incorporated in the US government legislation that will require the Department of Defence to formally study the idea and submit a report to Congress.

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