Since its founding in 1981, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has overcome the challenges of these past four decades in a region that is at the centre of so many strategic geopolitical developments.
Together, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman under the auspices of the common framework of the GCC have ensured that the prosperity and security in the Gulf has endured. That alone speaks of the success of the GCC and its ability to weather the political storms and differences.
On Tuesday, the GCC nations will come together in a very timely and welcome summit — a meeting that’s an expression of pan-Gulf unity and an opportunity for the GCC members to focus on immediate issues facing the region moving forward into the new decade.
One strength of the GCC as an organisation is its ability to weather the political storms that blow through the region. While the individual members may have their disagreements, the GCC still ensures that the members focus on the wider picture and how it may affect the pan-Gulf region.
Whether it be in the political sphere, culture, economics or on the fields of sports, whatever the differences of the individual nations, the GCC has always stood strong
For the past 30 months, an anti-terror Quartet — comprising Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE together with Egypt — has taken diplomatic and economic measures against Qatar to ensure it meets its anti-terror obligations and cease its support of extremist voices.
This episode has certainly brought challenges to the GCC nations as they pursued their policies. Throughout, however, the work of the GCC across its many forums has continued without interruption — a sign of maturity and resilience of the organisation.
Whether it be in the political sphere, culture, economics or on the fields of sports, whatever the differences of the individual nations, the GCC has always stood strong.
One needs look no further than the recent Gulf Cup as an example of healthy competition when it comes to football. As an aside, full congratulations are due to Bahrain for claiming their first Gulf Cup.
Let that determination and unity of purpose on the football pitch serve as a timely reminder to the GCC as a whole of what’s possible if teamwork is the watchword. When decisions are made quicker, the GCC will have the ability to impact real-time events.
So, too, when it comes to implementing decisions within a reasonable time frame and having a more meaningful impact on the people who live in the Gulf region.