I would like to recall the proposal of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz in December 2011 to convert the GCC into a union. It was said that the union project would be announced and discussed at the right time. The proposal was reasonable enough, and logical, especially in the light of harmony between the member countries.
Back then, Qatar announced its support for the proposal, and the rest of the council members had a similar stance.
A Gulf union was a popular wish before it became a government proposal.
During celebrations of the birth of the GCC on May 25, 1981, sources said that a special 18-member committee had been formed of, which setup the concept of the union and its statute that supposed to be discussed by members of the council, and seem to me that there is general agreement on the technical aspects.
Over the past 33 years, the GCC has functioned with the hope of cooperation and integration, and made a number of achievements, thanks to the commitment shown by the member countries.
The idea of converting the council into a union is a positive one in the light of the significant events the council experienced until it became an example of regional cooperation.
As far as I know, there are no unions in the world except the European Union that have been able to reach an advanced level of integration among the members states. In the Gulf Cooperation Council, there is a high level of interdependence among its member states.
The case that I present today needs concerted efforts in order for the union to become a reality.
The committee should announce the results of its meeting soon, because we know that when we want to postpone something, we form a committee for it, then the committee forms a team, then the team forms a task force, and we find ourselves going around in circles.
I want this committee to be replaced by dedicated bodies to implement decisions. We should not count on a committee that meets only once a year for no more than three hours to present an imperfect report.
Converting the Council into a union in accordance with the aspirations of the citizens of GCC countries will boost Gulf unity. A Gulf union will involve the establishment of a unified political entity that is able to face interior, international and regional challenges, to replace the GCC, which has managed to keep these countries together over the past several years.
The GCC has proved to be an essential pillar of security and stability in the region. It is a strong edifice that was able to face various developments and safeguard the interests of the six countries in many situations.
The developments the Council has been through made analysts believe in the possibility of converting it into a powerful and effective union. However, this needs a decision to be issued by a common Gulf institution with enough authority.
The GCC states have benefited from cooperation for a long time, and if they want to achieve more they should proceed to establish a union that provides them and their citizens security.