GCC Summit sees landmark decisions
Manama, December 26, 2012
Landmark decisions were yesterday issued under the "Sakhir Declaration" as the 33rd GCC Summit ended in Bahrain, a report said.
GCC leaders have agreed to develop and activate the co-operation council, which underlined their support for the strengthening of defence, economic and social relations, according to the report published in our sister newspaper, the Gulf Daily News.
They also agreed to move forward with establishing a union, which is being looked into. They agreed to formulate 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.
Steps were also taken to achieve a common Gulf market and joint developments. They included 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.
Apart from sharpening the tone against Iran, the leaders expressed "deep sadness over the continued shedding of blood by regime in Syria and the destruction of cities and infrastructure, making political transition a demand which must be rapidly implemented".
They also urged the international community "to make a quick and serious move to end massacres in Syria and provide humanitarian assistance to the people.
On Monday, the Amir of Kuwait, Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah announced a donor conference on behalf of civilians caught up in the conflict to be held on January 30 at the request of the UN.
The leaders also welcomed a decision by Yemeni President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi to restructure the army and the defence ministry.
The summit praised the visit of the Amir of Qatar, Shaikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, to the Gaza Strip last October, praising his role in removing the siege, and delivering humanitarian relief assistance as well as opening a serious of economic development projects.
The Sakhir Declaration states:
1. Leaders' 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 Co-operation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf and its secretary-general.
3. The need to promote the spirit of citizenship among the nationals of the GCC, through: (a) Ongoing familiarisation with the council's activities; (b) Achieving full Gulf citizenship and facilitating economic activity for GCC citizens to broaden co-operation, 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 the countries; (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 country concerned.
4. To have a joint collective security through the development of military capabilities and the commitment to promote the development of the Common Defence System.
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.
6. Request the general-secretariat to follow up and implement what has been agreed and submit a detailed report to the next meeting of the Supreme Council.
On the sidelines of the summit, leaders also held bilateral meetings to discuss progress on summit agenda as well as ways of strengthening relations. – TradeArabia News Service