Risk Management Report: Gulf Co-operation Council

The Co-operation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) was set up on 25 May 1981 in Abu Dhabi, when the leaders of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates agreed to establish a council whose aims were to “achieve unity”, formulate “similar regulations” in fields including economics, customs, commerce, communications, education and culture, and to stimulate scientific and technological progress. In part founded as a reaction to the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the Iran-Iraq war, divisions and power imbalances within the council have led to the GCC being largely unproductive over the first three-and-a-half decades of its existence, despite high hopes and rhetoric. The Riyadh-based secretariat comprises a supreme council, a ministerial council and a secretariat general. Each state has one vote on the supreme council, and “substantive matters” require unanimous approval. Its presidency is rotatory, based on alphabetical order.

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