Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC)

Reference work entry
Part of the The Statesman's Yearbook book series (SYBK)

Origin. Also referred to as the Co-operation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (CCASG), the Council was established on 25 May 1981 on signature of the Charter by Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Aims. To assure security and stability of the region through economic and political co-operation; promote, expand and enhance economic ties on solid foundations, in the best interests of the people; co-ordinate and unify economic, financial and monetary policies, as well as commercial and industrial legislation and customs regulations; achieve self-sufficiency in basic foodstuffs.

Organization. The Supreme Council formed by the heads of member states is the highest authority. Its presidency rotates, based on the alphabetical order of the names of the member states. It holds one regular annual session in addition to a mid-year consultation session. Attached to the Supreme Council are the Commission for the Settlement of Disputes and the Consultative Commission. The Ministerial Council is formed of the Foreign Ministers of the member states or other delegated ministers and meets quarterly. The Secretariat consists of the following sectors: Political Affairs, Military Affairs, Legal Affairs, Human and Environment Affairs, Information Centre, Media Department, Gulf Standardization Organization (GSO), GCC Patent Office, Secretary-General’s Office, GCC Delegation in Brussels, Technical Telecommunications Bureau in Bahrain. In Jan. 2003 it launched a customs union, introducing a 5% duty on foreign imports across the trade bloc.

Finance. The annual budget of the GCC Secretariat is shared equally by the six member states.

  • Headquarters: PO Box 7153, Riyadh-11462, Saudi Arabia.

  • Website (Arabic only):

  • Secretary-General: Abdul Latif bin Rashid al-Zayani (Bahrain).

Further Reading

  1. Twinam, J. W., The Gulf, Co-operation and the Council: an American Perspective. 1992Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019

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