Indo-Pacific Minilateralism: Did AUKUS Overshadow QUAD? (Roshan Khaniejo, The United Service Institution of India)

The emergence of AUKUS is being widely speculated as a moment of alliance power-shift in the Indo-pacific region. Theorizing whether or not Quad may be blocked out by AUKUS when the former’s first-ever in-person summit is about to be conducted on the sidelines of a UN summit is futile without examining the objectives of the two groupings. The United States geo-strategic lead to the East is the axis on which the new tripartite- Australia, the United Kingdom and United States (AUKUS) treaty rests. Signed and sanctioned on 15 September 2021, the Indo-Pacific based pact includes cooperation on artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, undersea capabilities and cyber capacities.  The trilateral defence pact launched to counter China, vis-à-vis Indo-pacific partnership rubs off on India as ‘two sides of the same coin’, namely QUAD and AUKUS. The newborn AUKUS pact now appears set to serve as the military lynchpin of the US’s anxiety towards Chinese dominance. While the four-nation grouping of QUAD assimilates similar fears and strengths, the proclivity amongst member nations to change the contours alliance has been ever-present since its inception.

Indo-Pacific Minilateralism: Did AUKUS Overshadow QUAD? – USI – Blog (


Japan shall have a new Prime Minister in Fumio Kishida (Rajaram Panda, Vivekananda International Foundation)

Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) picked its new leader in a poll on 29 September who shall be sworn in as Japan’s 100th Prime Minister when Parliament convenes on 4 October. Since the LDP has a majority in both the Lower and Upper Houses, going through the Diet process is all but a formality. The winning candidate is the former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida. When Kishida is officially sworn in on 4 October, he shall lead the party into a general election that must be called by November as the four-year terms of the current members of the Lower House are due to expire on 21 October.

Japan shall have a new Prime Minister in Fumio Kishida | Vivekananda International Foundation (


Profound Transformation in China in the “NEW ERA” (Lt Gen (Dr) Rakesh Sharma (Retd.), Vivelìkananda International Foundation)

In a surprising statement, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman on 22 September 2021 stated that the “…Galwan incident took place because India violated all signed agreements and treaties and encroached upon Chinese territory and illegally crossed the Line,” an allegation suitably responded to by MEA Spokesman. The entire schema in 2020 was Chinese deliberate, well-planned, premeditated belligerence. It included mobilisation of two divisions in Aksai Chin and retaining them, the multiple points on intrusions in Eastern Ladakh, and refusal to return to status quo positions. The PLA offensive in 1962 too China had termed the War as “Counterattack in Self Defense on the China-India Border!” In the backdrop of such confrontational attitude and aggression, China calling India as violating all agreements is pot calling the kettle black! Nothing that happens or is said in China is impromptu, extemporaneous or unpremeditated! The statement was timed to coincide with the QUAD Summit in Washington DC, exhibiting grave anxiety and concern.

Profound Transformation in China in the “NEW ERA” | Vivekananda International Foundation (


Using AUKUS to Brazen it Out (Sarosh Bana, Vivekananda International Foundation)

The United States’ and the United Kingdom’s overtures to Australia to help it acquire a fleet of nuclear-powered general-purpose attack submarines (SSNs) infuse a perilous complexity into the strategic Indo-Pacific environment, rendering it more difficult to denuclearise the region.

Announcing the new trilateral security alliance for the Indo-Pacific on 15 September that they termed AUKUS (an acronym of the three partner countries), US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison jointly pledged to embark on a “next generation partnership” clearly aimed at checking China’s influence in the region. As the first initiative to be pursued over the next 18 months, the US and the UK would collaborate on enabling Australia to build at least eight SSNs for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). They will be constructed in Adelaide, with the first expected to be built by 2040.

Using AUKUS to Brazen it Out | Vivekananda International Foundation (

Climate Change

Climate-induced migration and modern slavery: a toolkit for policymakers (IIED)

Bharadwaj, R., Bishop, D., Hazra, S., Pufaa, E., Kofi Annan, J. (2021). Climate-induced migration and modern slavery: a toolkit for policymakers.

IIED, London

Anti-Slavery International, London –

Climate and development policymakers and planners urgently need to recognise that millions of people displaced by climate change are being, and will be, exposed to slavery in the coming decades.

Recognising slavery as a mainstream policy issue alongside poverty and climate change will help to:

  • Develop understanding of the underlying drivers that push disadvantaged communities into slavery
  • Identify risky migration pathways that lead to exploitative work situations, and
  • Identify gaps in existing climate and development policies that leave communities facing climate crises exposed to slavery.

A clearer understanding of these drivers, pathways and gaps can strengthen existing development and climate policies and programmes to support anti-slavery efforts.

Climate-induced migration and modern slavery: a toolkit for policymakers | Publications Library (

Internally Displaced Persons

The case for treating long-term urban IDPs as city residents (Lucy Earle, Christopher Ward, IIED)

A significant percentage of internally displaced persons (IDPs) who seek safety in towns and cities will not return home. Yet this is a reality that international actors consistently fail to adapt to and as a result, the complex needs of urban IDPs and their host communities remain unmet. Solving these issues requires a fundamental rethinking of humanitarian and development programming. Agencies and donors must view long-term IDPs as city residents, not just a humanitarian caseload . By engaging with municipal authorities, they could find ‘win-win’ solutions that both align with local government priorities and address the needs of IDPs. Donors must also consider providing direct financing to municipalities, while creating the flexible programming demanded in complex urban protracted crises. The UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement concludes in Autumn 2021 and should result in increased attention to IDP policies. It remains vital to re-evaluate responses to protracted urban internal displacement, discarding outdated practices and scaling-up promising new approaches.

The case for treating long-term urban IDPs as city residents | Publications Library (

Climate Change

Locally-led nature-based solutions can deliver global leaders’ pledge (Xiaoting Hou Jones, IIED)

One year on from the launch of the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature – when political leaders committed to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 – Xiaoting Hou Jones, drawing on examples from the Least Developed Countries, sets out why locally-led nature-based solutions are indispensable for turning the pledge into action and delivering a green COVID-19 recovery.

Locally-led nature-based solutions can deliver global leaders’ pledge | International Institute for Environment and Development (

Sustainable Markets

Mining cobalt better (Abbi Buxton, IIED)

While the post-COVID-19 world looks at ‘building back better’, little has changed for artisanal cobalt miners in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Over the last 12 months, IIED’s research in partnership with Afrewatch DRC has found nascent efforts to improve the sector to be at risk of creating “islands of responsibility” while failing to drive the broad based societal and environmental change envisaged by the ‘building back better’ agenda.

Mining cobalt better | International Institute for Environment and Development (

Food Systems

Food Systems Summit: implications for global food governance (Lorenzo Cotula, IIED)

Last week’s Food Systems Summit raised questions about global governance models in a policy area fundamental to everyone’s lives. Lorenzo Cotula argues that, without clear decision-making rules and effective structures to manage power differentials, bringing diverse actors together produces ‘capture’ rather than inclusion.

Food Systems Summit: implications for global food governance | International Institute for Environment and Development (

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