Gulf Cooperation Council: Security and Economic Agreements

The Gulf Cooperation Council comprises six countries with a total area of 2,672,700 square meters. The six countries are the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain.

The GCC was formed on 25th May 1981 in Riyadh. All member countries have the same objective, beliefs, political system, and geographical proximity. The official language of GCC is Arabic.

The GCC members are also the Greater Arab Free Trade Area members. Recently, the GCC has also received the request from Morocco and Jordan, which is still under process.

Organizational Structure

The Supreme Council

The highest authority of the GCC is the Supreme Council. It consists of heads from each member state. The supreme council holds meetings once a year, but it can arrange meetings upon request from the members.

The valid meeting should contain two-thirds of the member states. It makes decisions based on the majority of votes by the member states.

The Supreme Council consists of

  • The Consultative Commission – The consultative commission receives the matter from the GCC for the resolution. It comprises a total of thirty members – six members from each state. The consultative commission elects the member for three years based on their skills and expertise.
  • Dispute Settlement Commission – It resolves the dispute that arises due to interpretation of the terms of the charter.

The Ministerial Council

The Ministerial Council includes the foreign ministers or other ministers from each state. The meeting is held once every three months. Two-thirds of the member states should attend the meeting.

The functions of the Ministerial Council are:

  • Formulating of policies
  • It provides recommendations to maintain the corporation among the members.
  • It also undertakes to prepare for the meetings of the supreme council.
  • It prepares the agenda for the meeting.
  • The Ministerial Council has to submit its decision to the Supreme Council for approval.

The Secretariat General

The supreme council elects the secretariat general for the three-year term. Though, the period is eligible for renewal after three years. It also includes the head of the GCC delegation of the United Nations and the European Union.

The secretariat general has eight assistants that are responsible for the following functions:

  • Political and economic affairs
  • Security and humanitarian
  • Economic and cultural affairs
  • Military and legal matters
  • Environmental issues
  • Finance and administration

The core functions of the secretariat general are:

  • It conducts a unique analysis relating to corporation and coordination.
  • It plans for everyday actions.
  • It prepares periodic reports related to what work is done by the GCC.
  • It implements the decision.
  • Preparing for the meeting of various organs, deciding the plan, and preparing the drafts.

Objectives of GCC

  • The primary objective is to achieve unity between the members by making stringent policies related to integration and coordination.
  • It works to strengthen and maintain relations with the GCC’s people.
  • The GC C has worked in the following fields:
  • Education and culture
  • Social and health affairs
  • Legislative and administrative affairs
  • Information and tourism
  • Economic and financial affairs
  • Customs and communications
  • Commerce
  • It has made the provisions for technical progress in various fields like mining, water, animal resources, industry, and agriculture.
  • It also undertakes to establish joint ventures.

Major Security Agreement

  • In 1984, the GCC established the Peninsular Shield Force to protect the six member states. The force consists of armor, infantry, and support elements from each state. It has also prohibited the use of illegal weapons and arms trading.
  • In 2000, the GCC signed the Joint Defense Agreement to promote arms manufacturing.
  • The GCC has also worked to curb terrorism. In 2004, it countered the terrorism agreement and later took the provisions to permanent the contract.

Economic benefits

The GCC has faced challenges like water scarcity, high unemployment rate, poor governance, lack of energy efficiency, high restriction on women, and many others. But according to the World Bank analysis, it could overcome these problems by:

  • Setting the rigorous standard for regional integration.
  • It can also increase foreign direct investment by regulating investment rules and regulations.
  • The GCC can increase jobs by removing the restrictions on trade and investment.
  • The GCC needs to continuously work on the reforms that lead to job creation and enhance economic diversification to meet the challenges.

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