RIYADH: The Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) issued a final communique after its 43rd session in Riyadh on Friday
Excerpts from the full text of the communique follows:
The Supreme Council expressed its deep appreciation and gratitude for the great and sincere efforts exerted by King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, and his esteemed government, during the presidency of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the 42nd session, and the important steps and achievements that were achieved. The Council congratulated His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik of the Sultanate of Oman, on the Sultanate of Oman’s assumption of the presidency of the 43rd session, wishing them success in strengthening the GCC march in all fields.
The Supreme Council welcomed the convening of Riyadh Gulf-China Summit for Cooperation and Development and Riyadh Arab-China Summit for Cooperation and Development on December 9 and looked forward to their contribution to strengthening cooperation and strategic partnership relations with the Chinese side in a way that achieves common interests between them.
The Supreme Council commended the Sultanate of Oman’s announcement of adopting the year 2050 as the date for achieving carbon neutrality, and stressed the pioneering importance it attaches to the gradual transition to renewable energy in the member states, in a way that contributes to improving environmental performance and mitigating the effects of climate change.
The Supreme Council expressed its welcome and support for the State of Qatar’s hosting of the meetings of the second part of the Fifth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5), from March 5 to 9, 2023, at the level of heads of state and government.
The Supreme Council praised the success of the State of Qatar in hosting the Fifa World Cup 2022, its good organisation, and its positive effects on human heritage and the civilisational, cultural and intellectual rapprochement among the peoples of the world. It also expressed its condemnation of the malicious media campaigns directed against the State of Qatar.
The Supreme Council commended the State of Kuwait’s announcement of adopting the year 2050 as the date for achieving carbon neutrality in the oil and gas sectors, and the year 2060 as the date for achieving carbon neutrality at the level of the country as a whole.
The Supreme Council affirmed its support for the decisions of the Opec+ group aimed at achieving balance in the oil markets, promoting prosperity for the peoples of the region and the world, and supporting global economic growth.
The Joint GCC action:
The Supreme Council was briefed on the results of the consultations regarding the implementation of the decision of the Supreme Council at its 32nd session regarding the proposal of late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud, to move from the cooperation phase to the union phase, and his directives to the Supreme Council to continue efforts to move from the cooperation phase to the union phase, as well as assigning the Ministerial Council and the head of the specialised body to complete taking the necessary measures for that, and to submit what is reached to the Supreme Council in its next session.
The Supreme Council reviewed the developments of the joint GCC action and the action programme of the Economic and Development Affairs Authority, and directed to expedite the achievement of economic unity among the GCC countries, and complete the requirements of the customs union, the GCC joint market, and the railway project, in accordance with previous resolutions of the Council.
The Supreme Council approved the Unified Industrial Regulatory Law of the GCC countries, the Unified Law for International Land Transport between the GCC Countries, and the Unified Law for Management of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture of the GCC Countries, and that the member states should complete their internal procedures to apply them. The Supreme Council praised the Future Factories Initiative (Siri), which was approved as a guide by the member states.
The Supreme Council approved the general framework of the strategic plan for joint media cooperation for the GCC countries 2023-2030, the charter for the preservation of urban heritage in the GCC countries, and the general framework of the GCC strategy for tourism 2023-2030.
The Supreme Council directed the speedy completion of the ongoing free trade agreement negotiations, and the start of free trade negotiations in accordance with the priorities of the GCC countries, in order to strengthen the economic relations of the GCC Council with other countries and international blocs, in order to achieve the common trade and investment interests.
The Supreme Council approved the decisions of the Joint Defense Council at its 19th session, regarding the military cooperation between the GCC countries, and stressed the importance of strengthening the joint military action to achieve collective security for the GCC countries, and expressed its satisfaction with the steps taken in activating the Gulf Academy for Strategic and Security Studies.
The Supreme Council reiterated its firm stances and resolutions towards terrorism and extremism, whatever its source, rejecting all its forms, motives and justifications, drying up its funding sources, and supporting international efforts to combat terrorism. The Council affirmed that tolerance and coexistence among nations and peoples are among the most important principles and values upon which the communities of the GCC states were built.
The Supreme Council affirmed its firm positions on the centrality of the Palestinian cause, its support for the sovereignty of the Palestinian people over all the Palestinian territories occupied since June 1967, the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and guaranteeing the rights of refugees, in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative and the resolutions of international legitimacy, stressing the need to activate the efforts of the international community to resolve the conflict, in a way that fulfils all the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people according to those principles.
The Supreme Council commended the outcomes of the comprehensive Yemeni-Yemeni consultations held under the auspices of the GCC between March 29 and April 7, 2022, which reached an agreement among the Yemeni brothers on a roadmap and effective mechanisms towards strengthening their unity, restoring security and stability in Yemen and alleviating the suffering of the brotherly Yemeni people.
The Supreme Council reiterated that the stance of the GCC on the Russian-Ukrainian crisis is based on the principles of international law and the Charter of the United Nations, the preservation of the international order based on respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of states, non-interference in their internal affairs, and non-use or threat of force.
The Supreme Council welcomed Qatar’s presidency of the Council’s upcoming 44th session.