A New Start for GCC in Abu Dhabi

  • 7 December 2010

The UAE capital of Abu Dhabi was the place where the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was launched in May 1981. The Council subsequently became a framework for achieving integration and creating solidarity among member countries in all fields. The idea was to strengthen the relationship between these countries so that their voices are heard on the regional and international arenas, their interests are protected and mutual relationships are built on solid foundations. On Monday, it was Abu Dhabi once again that marked a new beginning for the GCC when the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan opened the 31st GCC Summit. The Summit heralded a new environment of change and a hope that it will open new vistas for mutual cooperation in the region in a manner that will give further impetus to its boundless achievements.

The optimism in the Summit agenda and their confidence in the chairmanship of the UAE featured prominently in the statements of Gulf leaders, senior officials as well as in comments made by analysts and observers. This stems from the UAE’s track record of support for collective Gulf efforts at all levels and to the historic efforts made by its leader the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who played a primary and essential role in the formation of the Council. GCC Secretary General Abdul Rahman bin Hamad Al Attiya very eloquently mentioned that the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has left no stone unturned in support of the Council’s march of wisdom and righteousness. He said that the Council would not have been formed and would not have played such an active role if it did not receive the support of the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his fellow brotherly leaders.

Several issues – including political, economic and those regarding security – were on the agenda during the Summit, which is scheduled to end today. Even though some of the issues on the table are sensitive in nature, the wisdom of the Council’s leaders will ensure that appropriate decisions are taken to effectively deal with them. GCC is an important region for the whole world where different sources of tensions and instability prevail. Hence it is important that the wisdom of its leaders directs matters to the right path as has been the case in the past whenever the region witnessed difficult times. When the GCC Summit comes to Abu Dhabi, it comes to the fort of wisdom, moderation and insight, features that are acknowledged and admired by those in the region and outside.