The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) turns 40 on May 25, 2021. After a three-and-a-half-year inner crisis with Qatar, the pledge to renewed cohesion that emerged from the Al-Ula Declaration early this year was a remarkably positive development, but lingering resentments remain and add to multiple near and long term challenges the GCC will have to cope with, ranging from the dual impact of COVID-19 and lower oil prices to the tense relations with Iran and the consequences of climate change. In order for these problems to be solved, deeper political unity and economic integration are needed. What are the main challenges the organisation will have to confront in the near future? Which are the GCC’s key strenghts and vulnerabilities and how should the Council adapt to new priorities?

Panel Discussion


Abdullah Baabood, Visiting Professor, Waseda University

Elham Fakhro, Senior Analyst, Gulf States, International Crisis Group

Karen Young, Senior Fellow and Director, Economics and Energy Program, Middle East Institute



Adel Hamaizia, Associate Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House


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