Letter dated 2 December 1999 from the Permanent Representative
of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
I have the honour to transmit to you herewith the texts of the final communiqué and Riyadh Declaration adopted by the Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council at its twentieth session, held in Riyadh from 27 to 29 November 1999 (see annexes).
I should be grateful if you would have this letter and its annexes circulated as a document of the General Assembly under agenda items 40, 43, 44, 56, 73, 79, 91, 100, 103, 115 and 160, and of the Security Council.
(Signed) Fawzi A. SHOBOKSHI
Final communiqué adopted by the Supreme Council of the Gulf
Cooperation Council at its twentieth session, held in Riyadh
from 27 to 29 November 1999
At the invitation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Fahd Bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, the Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) held its twentieth session in Riyadh from 27 to 29 November 1999 under the chairmanship of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Fahd Bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia. The meeting was attended by:
His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai;
His Highness Sheikh Isa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, Amir of Bahrain;
His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, Sultan of Oman;
His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Amir of Qatar; and
His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of Kuwait.
His Excellency Sheikh Jamil Ibrahim Al-Hujeilan, GCC Secretary-General, also participated in the meeting.
The Council reviewed the outcome of two decades of joint action in the economic, social, information, military and security fields. It expressed its satisfaction at the progress made and affirmed its genuine desire to enhance the functioning of the GCC in order to keep pace with changes at the regional and international levels and realize the worthy aspirations and objectives for which the GCC had been established. The Council conducted an exhaustive evaluation of new developments with respect to economic, political and security issues at the pan-Arab, regional and international levels, and it affirmed the importance of continuing the endeavour to strengthen the security, stability and development of the GCC States and their peoples.
The Middle East peace process
The Supreme Council considered developments in the Middle East peace process. It welcomed the agreement reached by the Palestinian National Authority and the Israeli Government on 4 September 1999 at the Sharm al-Shaykh resort as a positive step in the right direction if followed by a return to the principles established by the Madrid Peace Conference, by the resumption of negotiations on all tracks for the restoration of legitimate Arab rights in accordance with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978) and the principle of land for peace and by the Palestinian people's attainment of all its legitimate national rights, including the right to establish an independent State on its national soil with Jerusalem as its capital. The Council reaffirmed its unequivocal rejection of any attempt on the part of the Israeli Government to alter the demographic composition of the City of Jerusalem in its belief that to do so would be a violation of international law and all the relevant resolutions.
The Council affirmed that a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East could only be achieved with the full withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Arab territory, including the occupied Syrian Arab Golan Heights, to the boundary lines of 4 June 1967 and from southern Lebanon and the Western Bekaa, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978), without restrictions or conditions.
The Council appreciates the pan-Arab and international efforts made to advance the peace process and urges the Israeli Government to implement in an expeditious and honest manner the agreements it has reached and the undertakings it has entered into with the Arab parties. It calls upon the co-sponsors of the peace process and the European Union and its member States to maintain and indeed to intensify their efforts and to endeavour to revive the negotiations on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks so as to return the peace process to its proper course. The Council commended the efforts made by President Clinton of the United States in this connection and the decision of 25 March 1999 by the European Union summit to reaffirm "the Palestinian right to self-determination, including the option of a State" (A/54/76-S/1999/348).
Elimination of weapons of mass destruction
The Supreme Council again called upon the international community to take action to transform the Middle East region, including the Gulf, into a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. The Council affirmed once more that Israel must accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and submit all its nuclear facilities to the International Atomic Energy Agency inspection regime.
The Riyadh Declaration, adopted by the Supreme Council of
the Gulf Cooperation Council at its twentieth session,
held in Riyadh from 27 to 29 November 1999
The Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council held its twentieth session in Riyadh from 27 to 29 November 1999. Guided by the Islamic religion and Islamic law, prompted by the purposes and principles of the Statute of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and sensing the importance of the present historic juncture, the Council conducted an analytical review of ongoing developments and world events. It is aware that history is not made by those who look on from afar and that events are not shaped by the timorous and withdrawn, and it takes account of the importance of the role and the responsibility of its member States as part of the Arab and Islamic communities that are also part and parcel of the larger world. They must thus be capable of keeping pace with rapid changes and must be responsive to new demands while losing nothing of their special character as derived from Islamic authenticity and Arab ethnicity.
The Council reviewed the economic developments under way in the international arena and reached two basic conclusions: that globalization is inexorably making its presence felt in the world and leaving its stamp on this historical era; and that this fact makes it imperative to establish strong economic entities that are able to cope with it and the developments it brings with it without falling prey to economic convulsions that are prejudicial to the prosperity of citizens. Proceeding from this basis, the Council noted that to cope adequately with such gigantic forces its member States must not remain mere onlookers in the developments taking place in the global economic arena, content with reactive policies, but must seize the initiative of participating in a proactive manner and playing a role in forming and directing the process through a unified Gulf economic entity alongside and complemented by an interlinked Arab economic entity, so as to safeguard the national interests of the GCC States. The Council noted the need to formulate a long-term strategy oriented towards promoting support for Arab economic integration in order to govern relations between GCC member States and regional blocs and international organizations.
With the convening of the present session of its Supreme Council, the Gulf Cooperation Council finds itself strengthened and equipped with two decades of experience. It is now incumbent upon it to pause and review the record of what has been achieved and the prospect of what remains to be done and to assess in an objective and scrupulous manner the progress made in economic cooperation among its members so that it may proceed onwards with a new determination, an emboldened spirit and a comprehensive vision that can give impetus to the market economy, strengthen the structures of production and expand the role of the private sector in the development process in such a way as to enable the economies of its member States to cope with global changes and achieve for their peoples the prosperity and affluence to which they aspire and which they deserve.
Aware of the importance of overall development in the advancement of peoples and individuals, the Council has accorded this vital matter its full attention, affirming that the human being must continue to be the focus, goal and substance of development. In this context, the Council reviewed the comprehensive development strategy it had adopted at its nineteenth session, held in Abu Dhabi. It instructed its Advisory Board to prepare a briefing dossier to promote the effective implementation of the strategy for the benefit of Gulf inhabitants by providing sources of new ideas and proposals for setting mechanisms in motion and freeing potential.
Conscious that oil is the mainstay of the national economy in the GCC States and the major source of energy in the world as a whole, the Council decided to proceed with the formulation of a unified stance with regard to oil-market conditions that will ensure a balance between supply and demand and will be able to cope with unanticipated events that upset the market and have an adverse impact on the interests of producers and consumers alike.
The Council considered the current global situation of the oil market and expressed satisfaction at ongoing developments there. It affirmed its standing commitment to making every effort to ensure stability in world oil markets so as to safeguard the interests of both consumers and producers.
As it races time to build an entity that will satisfy the aspirations of its people, the Council affirms that it has been the true nature of the GCC to be an embodiment of Arab fraternity and Islamic solidarity, never to withdraw from its larger Arab environment, never to isolate itself from its Islamic community and never to strive for unity other than as an expression of its faith that when the Arabian Gulf is strong the Arabs are strong and that when it is proud it is with the pride of Muslims. The Council reaffirms its resolve and determination to face the challenges and to overcome them with a deep sense of faith in God and an unshakeable confidence in the capability and potential of its people and of their union to achieve their hopes and aspirations for a resplendent future of comprehensive, sustainable development safeguarded by social justice and abounding in prosperity and growth.