33rd GCC Summit issues Sakhir Declaration

WAM MANAMA: The 33rd Summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), hosted by the kingdom of Bahrain under the Chairmanship of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, in the presence of GCC leaders, concluded here today and issued the Sakhir Declaration.

Following is the full text of the Sakhir Declaration read out by GCC Secretary-General Abullatif Rashid Al-Zayani.


The Sakhir Declaration.

Their Majesties and Highnesses the leaders of The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) holding their 33rd Supreme Council Session in Manama, Bahrain, on December 24 and 25, 2012, recalling the Riyadh Declaration issued on 25 Muharram 1433 AH, December 20, 2011, which included the adoption of the initiative Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to move from the stage of cooperation to one of union, transforming the Gulf Cooperation Council into a single entity that achieves righteous deeds and integration in response to the aspirations of the GCC citizens and to meet the challenges they face; Building on the initiatives of their Majesties and Highnesses the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council to develop and activate the Cooperation Council, which underlined their support for the strengthening of defence, economic and social relations between its States, and in line with the objective set out in the first paragraph of Article IV of the GCC Statute, which provides for “coordination, complementarity and coherence between the Member States in all fields in order to achieve unity”; Believing in a common destiny and purpose between their peoples, emphasizing that an attack on any State from the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf is an attack on them all, and that any threat on one of the Council’s States is considered as a threat on all States; Convinced that coordination, cooperation and integration among the Gulf States supports GCC joint action and serves the ultimate goals of the Arab nation; To preserve and pursue further achievements and gains to meet the aspirations and hopes of the leaders and peoples of the GCC, through the formulation of an integrated and unified system able to interact with political, economic, social and security changes and challenges, and in pursuance of the desired Gulf citizenship and unity emphasized by their Majesties and Highnesses the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council; Highly appreciative of the steps that have been taken to implement the decision of the Supreme Council on the timetable for achieving the common Gulf market and joint developments with regard to the areas stipulated in Article III of the Economic Agreement, especially in the areas of movement and residence for GCC nationals, the practice of trades and professions, movement of capital, tax measures, equality of treatment between nationals of the GCC in receiving education, health, social services, employment in government and private sectors, and social insurance and retirement; Welcoming the actions and activities undertaken by the Secretariat, at various levels, to educate citizens on the GCC common market and market opportunities and benefits provided; Their Majesties and Highnesses stress: 1. Their commitment to implementing all the decisions of the Supreme Council on GCC integration in all areas, in particular compliance with the timetable for the establishment of the Gulf common market and working to remove impediments to the application of the Customs Union; 2. The importance of strengthening the powers and role of the Secretariat of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf and its Secretary-General to follow up the implementation of decisions of the Supreme Council; 3. The need to promote the spirit of citizenship among the nationals of the Gulf Cooperation Council, in various fields, through: (a) Ongoing familiarisation with the Council’s activities and its relationship to the lives of individuals and peoples of the GCC countries, their well-being and stability as a result of the conscious use of resources and focus on sustainable development and sustainable comprehensive security; (b) Achieving full Gulf citizenship, to strengthen the social and family fabric and ties of kinship and cohesion, facilitating economic activity for GCC citizens, to broaden cooperation, exchange, economic and social integration; (c) Intensifying communication between the Shura and National Councils in the Member States; (d) Implementing decisions on facilitating and promoting the transfer of national manpower among Member States; (e) Supporting national training centres, institutes and universities and to make them open to GCC nationals under the same conditions applicable to citizens of the concerned country.

4. The principle of joint collective security through the development of military capabilities and self-development of each of the GCC States, and the commitment to promote the development of the Common Defense System to defend the achievements of the States and peoples of the GCC, as a symbol of solidarity, destiny and purpose and the embodiment of common defence.

5. The GCC’s achievements and great strides in the area of human rights, reflecting its response to global developments and the aspirations of their people, to maintain stability and security, and to reflect their culture and national heritage in accordance with the noble and authentic Arabian values, and all international charters and covenants and their proper global representation.

Request the Secretariat to follow-up and implement what has been agreed and submit a detailed report on this matter to the next meeting of the Supreme Council.

Their Majesties and Highnesses the leaders of the GCC States look forward to achieving what has been set out in this Declaration, in a manner that will live up to the aspirations of the GCC citizens and meet their hopes for a more prosperous and brighter future.

May Allah Almighty shower his blessing on the GCC Countries and guide their steps to the right path ,, Issued at Sakhir Palace on Tuesday (12 Safar 1434 AH / December 25, 2012).