DUBAI - Jasem Mohamed AlBudaiwi, Secretary-General of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), praised the UAE's commitment, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to boost cooperation between the GCC countries and drive the pioneering development process towards further progress and prosperity.

In an interview with the Emirates News Agency (WAM) on the sidelines of the World Governments Summit (WGS) 2024 in Dubai, AlBudaiwi commended the UAE's historical support for GCC progress and joint action since the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, emphasising its importance for the region's stability, security, and economic prosperity.

He also noted the UAE's active contribution to fostering commercial, industrial, and investment integration among GCC nations, aligned with their shared vision for economic diversification and innovation-driven growth.

AlBudaiwi reiterated the UAE's crucial role in promoting commercial, industrial, and investment integration, along with fostering the growth of non-oil sector through innovation.

He noted the substantial progress made by Gulf economies, motivating efforts towards achieving economic unity within the GCC, noting the outstanding role that the General Secretariat is playing in this regard to overcome any obstacles that hinder the achievement of these lofty goals.

The GCC General Secretariat is implementing a set of goals via the Economic and Development Affairs Authority, focusing on completing the Customs Union and establishing the GCC Common Market and Economic Nationality.

The Secretary-General emphasised the significant opportunities presented by the GCC's economic strength and strategic location, noting the bloc's central position between East and West. He underlined the GCC's pursuit of balanced policies with international powers and its investment in sustainable development to achieve stability and prosperity.

This approach, he said, enhances the GCC countries' ability to address current and future changes in the global economy and supply chains and tackle various challenges with a unified vision and well-considered decisions.

AlBudaiwi stressed the significance of GCC economic integration and highlighted the progress made in joint Gulf projects to promote sustainable development in 2024.

He emphasised the UAE's steadfast commitment as a reliable partner to nations and international bodies in tackling pressing global issues and fostering peace, stability, and development. This commitment was evident during recent crises like the COVID-19 pandemic, where the UAE played a proactive role in assisting affected countries with relief materials, vaccines, and medical supplies. These efforts earned acclaim from the international community and humanitarian organisations, including the World Health Organisation.

Additionally, he mentioned the UAE's proactive response to the global energy crisis following events in Ukraine, highlighting its role in stabilising global energy markets through regulating prices of global energy markets.

AlBudaiwi also lauded the UAE's hosting of significant international events, including Expo 2020 Dubai and the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28), while reiterating the solid outcomes of these events in addressing climate change and promoting global cooperation.

Highlighting the significance of the World Governments Summit (WGS), AlBudaiwi underscored its importance as a global knowledge platform launched to address various global challenges and promote cooperation among governments, civil society, and the private sector.

He stated that the 11th edition of the WGS addresses urgent global challenges such as political, economic, and social issues and climate, food, water, and energy security. There are also many new challenges that cannot be solved by traditional methods, coupled with the increasing role of technology and artificial intelligence in guiding economies and the work of governments, organisations, and institutions.