1999 Public Statement

The 'Riyadh Declaration' at GCC's 20th Summit
The 20th Summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) issued the following statement, to be known as the 'Riyadh Declaration':

"Guided by the Islamic Shariah, and emanating from the objectives and goals of the statute of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and aware of the importance of the current point in history, the Supreme Council has reviewed in depth the developments that are currently crystallizing the future of the world. The Supreme Council is also aware that history cannot be made by those who stand aside, and that important developments cannot by made by those who are hesitant or isolated. The Council attaches great importance to the role and responsibility that should be shouldered by its member states in their capacity as part of the Arab and Muslim world, itself part of the entire globe; this necessitates that they should be able to cope with the accelerated changes and meet the new requirements without losing any privacy emanating from their Islamic identity and Arab traditions.
"Reviewing the economic developments currently being witnessed in the international arena, the Supreme Council draws two basic conclusions: that the trend of globalization is a reality for the whole world to deal with; and that this trend necessitates the emergence of strong economic entities which are able to contain its development without being subject to economic shocks that might scale down the prosperity of its citizens. Emanating from this, the Supreme Council noted that balanced dealing with these giant forces also necessitates that the GCC member states not be mere onlookers to the subsequent developments which overwhelm the world's economic field, and not remain content with passive policies; but should take the initiative to effectively contribute to, and play their role in, crystallizing the direction of its path through a unified economic entity in the Gulf that would comply and integrate with an associated Arab economic entity, in a way that guarantees the preservation of the national interests of its member states. The Supreme Council confirmed the importance of forging a long-term strategy oriented towards enhancing the steps of an Arab economic integration and controlling the relations between the GCC member states, and other regional blocs and international organizations.

"This declaration calls on the GCC member states, at this stage in the existence of the GCC, to reconsider the accomplishments of the past objectively, and carefully evaluate the progress of economic cooperation among them, reviewing their future plans so that the GCC can proceed with a new determination, a strong spirit, and a comprehensive vision that will enable it to effect the market economics, enhance the structures of production and contribute in increasing the growth of the private sector within the development process, in a way that ensures for its peoples the chance to realize their projected cooperation and enjoy the prosperity they deserve. The Supreme Council attaches special priority to the issue of comprehensive development to upgrade the standard of living of its peoples and individuals. The importance of this matter emanates from the fact that human beings remain the core, objective and essence of development. To this effect, the Supreme Council reviewed the comprehensive development strategy that was endorsed by the GCC's 19th Summit in Abu-Dhabi last year. The Council assigned the consultative commission, as a prestigious GCC think tank, to work out guidelines to increase the effectiveness of the implementation of the above-mentioned strategy, in a way that provides the GCC planners with a flow of new ideas and suggestions aimed at effecting the mechanisms for and release of all potential.
"Being aware that oil, the world's main source of energy, constitutes the backbone of the national economies of the GCC member states, the Supreme Council resolves to go ahead with crystallizing a unified position towards the oil market to guarantee the balance of supply and demand and cope with unexpected emergencies that might cause confusion in the market and negatively affect the interests of both oil producers and consumers. The council reviewed the current world situation in the oil market and expressed satisfaction at the developments currently witnessed, confirming its continuing and permanent concern to exert all possible efforts to guarantee the stability of the international oil market, in a way that preserves the interests of both parties.
"The Supreme Council also confirms that the GCC has from its origin been a materialization of Arab fraternity and Islamic solidarity, and recalls that the GCC has never been absent from playing a positive role in its Arab framework, and has never been isolated from the Islamic world; and that its endeavor to forge its regional unity is an expression of its belief that the strength of the Arab Gulf region could be endorsed as an asset to the Arab strength and that its realization of self-dignity is part of the dignity of all Muslims. The Supreme Council attests to deep and strong belief in God Almighty, and to confidence in the abilities of its people and its unified entity to realize the aspirations of the Gulf region for an ever brighter future, to be endowed with a sustainable comprehensive development and protected by social justice and the wealth of prosperity and development."