The organisation is a regional grouping of six countries surrounding the Persian Gulf. Its headquarters is located at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Origin and Development
The Kuwait government formulated a proposal for an organisation to link the six Arabian Gulf States which have special cultural and historical ties. Accordingly, the Riyadh Agreement was issued which proposed cooperative efforts in cultural, social, economic, and financial affairs. A Constitution was initiated in March 1981 and was signed by the Gulf Heads of State (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE) on May 25-26, 1981 at Abu Dhabi, the UAE. Consequently, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) came into existence.
The GCC consists of the Supreme Council, the Ministerial Council, the Cooperation Council, the General-Secretariat, and various Committees on economic, social, industrial, and trade and political affairs.
The highest authority is the Supreme Council, consisting of heads of the member-states. It meets annually and determines the policies of the organisation. The Ministerial Council comprises foreign ministers of the member-states. It meets every three months to prepare for the meetings of the Supreme Council and draw up policies, recommendations, studies, and projects aimed at developing cooperation and coordination among member-states. The Cooperation Council has a commission, the Commission for the Settlement of Disputes, which is attached to the Supreme Council. The Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General, appointed by the Supreme Council for a renewable three-year term. The Secretariat, consisting of several specialized sectors, implements the recommendations given by the Supreme Council and the Ministerial Council.
Objectives Of GCC
The aims of the GCC are “to achieve coordination, integration, and cooperation among the member-states in all fields to bring about their unity; to deepen and strengthen the bonds of cooperation existing among their peoples in all fields; to draw up similar systems in all fields… and to promote scientific and technical progress in the fields of industry, minerals, agriculture, sea wealth and animal wealth for the good of the peoples of the member-states”.