Press Release - The Gulf Cooperation Council and the Association of Caribbean States Establish Ties

The Gulf Cooperation Council and Association of Caribbean States met at the Ministerial level on 18 September, 2023 in New York to establish a partnership between the two regional entities. The GCC delegation was led by HE Sayyid Bader bin Hamad Al Busaidi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman and Chair of the GCC Ministerial Council with the participation of Their Highnesses and Excellencies GCC Foreign Ministers and HE Mr. Jassem Mohammed Albudaiwi, GCC Secretary-General. The ACS delegation was led by HE Albert Ramdin, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Business and International Cooperation of Suriname and Chairman of the ACS ministerial council, with the participation of Their Excellencies ACS Foreign Ministers and HE Mr Rodolofo Sabonge, ACS Secretary General.

During the meeting, the GCC Ministers congratulated the ACS on its 29th anniversary and stressed the importance of promoting a strong inter-regional GCC-ACS partnership in all areas of mutual interest, including political dialogue and cooperation in areas such as trade, blue economy, investment and sustainable tourism. They reaffirmed the importance of multilateral efforts to achieve global peace, security, stability and prosperity. They underscored the need to adhere to the principles of international law, including the Charter of the United Nations, and the importance of promoting good neighbourliness and preserving the international system based on respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of States; non-interference in their internal affairs; resolution of disputes through dialogue; and refraining from the use of force or threat. They also stressed the importance of addressing the dangers of terrorism and extremism, as they pose serious threats to global peace and security.

The GCC outlined the outcomes of the GCC-ACS meetings held on June 24-25, 2023 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, and welcomed today's signing of a GCC-ACS Memorandum of Understanding to establish the parameters of their partnership.

In addition, the Ministers endorsed the Joint GCC-ACS Action Plan (2023-2027), which sets out key objectives and mechanisms for political dialogue, trade facilitation, investment promotion and tourism cooperation. While underlining the importance of GCC-ACS cooperation in international fora and organizations to coordinate their efforts in addressing the challenges facing the global economy, they commended the GCC and ACS for the important role they play in addressing the challenges of climate change, highlighting the particular vulnerability of developing countries, congratulated the UAE for hosting COP28 and expressed support for the COP28 Chair's agenda to accelerate a just and orderly transition, fix climate finance, focus on lives and livelihoods, and underpin all with full inclusiveness.

As developing nations, the GCC and Caribbean Ministers stressed the importance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference and the Paris Convention, especially as regards to upholding the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities, while taking into consideration the different national circumstances and priorities.

The Ministers also expressed their readiness to strengthen cooperation in the field of environmental protection, taking into account the importance of climate change, the protection of water resources and the maintenance of environmental security; especially in the blue economy, the preservation of the marine environment, the promotion of sustainable development and the preservation of the environment of the Caribbean Sea and the Arabian Gulf. They stressed the importance of the GCC-ACS Joint Action Plan to enhance trade and investment flows between the two regions by providing a framework for dialogue between officials from both sides and engagement with the business community and regional and international organizations, on investment needs and business opportunities through public-private partnerships to address, inter alia, transport and logistics, in accordance with the mechanisms set out in the Joint Action Plan approved.

They noted the growing influence of the GCC and ACS regions on the global economy and recognized the potential of their partnership to contribute to this trend, and welcomed the convening of the International Horticulture Expo in the State of Qatar between October 2, 2023 and March 28, 2024, to promote creative solutions to sustainability, environmental awareness and desertification.
They also proposed to hold the first GCC-ACS summit of heads of state and government in Saudi Arabia in the near future to strengthen the partnership and open new horizons of cooperation between the two sister organizations.


Issued in the city of New York, the United States of America, on Monday, September 18, 2023. 

About the ACS

The Association of Caribbean States is the organization for consultation, cooperation and concerted action in trade, transport, sustainable tourism and natural disasters in the Greater Caribbean. Its Member States are Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela. Its Associate Members are Aruba, Curacao, (France on behalf of French Guiana, Saint Barthelemy and Saint Martin ), Guadeloupe, Martinique, Sint Maarten, (The Netherlands on behalf of Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius ), Turks and Caicos.