High commissioner explains Australia’s perspective of Indo-Pacific challenge & opportunities

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Zubair Qureshi

High Commissioner of Australia Dr Geoffrey Shaw has said that the world was experiencing a strategic realignment with increasing geostrategic competition among the major powers and pressures on international rules, norms and institutions and tensions over territorial claims.

He was giving a public talk on ‘Australia’s Perspective on the Indo-Pacific: Challenges and Opportunities’ at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) organized by the Centre for Strategic Perspectives (CSP).

The high commissioner candidly spoke on a number of matters of geo-strategic importance and set out Australia’s vision for an Indo-Pacific region as a region that is “open, inclusive and resilient, underpinned by rules, norms, and respect for sovereignty…where disputes are resolved through dialogue in accordance with international law”.

Dr Shaw discussed trans-boundary challenges impacting human security such as climate change. He underlined the need for states to work together, through the UN, regional and bilateral mechanisms to tackle them and the role of innovative forms of cooperation.

The High Commissioner underlined the need for predictable regulatory environments that enable innovation and trade, and the fundamental importance of respect for human rights and gender equality – which underpin peace and prosperity.

Finally, he touched on Australia’s participation in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD).

He explained that the QUAD was a diplomatic network of democracies with a positive agenda, working together to address challenges of the day.

The QUAD complements existing regional and multilateral architecture, particularly the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum, in promoting peace, security and prosperity in the region.

Earlier, in his welcome remarks, Director General (DG) ISSI Ambassador Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry said Pakistan and Australia shared important diplomatic relations since the creation of Pakistan and which are based on mutual respect.

He said the formation of QUAD had been the new development in the Indo-Pacific region.