Democratic Transition and Human Rights in the Gulf States Geneva Declaration 21 March 2017

On 20 Monday and 21 Tuesday March 2017, human rights defenders, lawyers and issue experts from the Gulf region conducted a workshop during the 34th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. The workshop endeavored to review the history and origin of each Gulf State and to confirm the establishment of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).  The protection and inclusion of human rights and democracy in said countries is among the most problematic issue for citizens. Pervasive disruptive effects of terrorist organizations, fear of Iran’s nuclear program and increasing corruption violate the human rights of the citizens of the GCC states.

The inability of the GCC States to ensure social and economic aid is largely responsible for the turmoil in these states. While public revenue is decreasing and citizens are feeling insecure in their own countries, important measures should be taken into action:

Proactive actions to counter these issues include the following

Invite leaders from every Gulf State to a National Conference to engage in a forum to discuss the challenges facing the region and work in congress to create solutions.

Facilitate reconciliation among differing people groups, including the opposition and the loyalists for an effective coalition

Release prisoners of conscience to allow for full democratic political participation, including participation in the National Conference

Foster the development of National Committees to mutually build an inclusive constitution and to build constitutional properties

These constitutional properties include:

  1. Ensure the opportunity for ruling families to name their kings and involve citizens in office administration and management
  2. Establish parliaments of one or two houses by free and direct election
  3. Implement laws against racial discrimination in all forms
  4. Ensure the rights of minorities within national and social components
  5. Create legal regulations for political parties to promote accountability and transparency
  6. Establish a supreme commission for elections and enact  new electoral laws
  7. Establish high independent bureau for human rights in each constitutional Gulf kingdom
  8. Implement review bodies of sovereign funds, and management of public resources and make the necessary reforms
  9. Enact laws to ensure the independency of the judiciary and balances against judicial infighting
  10. Review all laws which are relevant to investment bodies, public tenders, censorship and anti-corruption , and make all necessary recommendations and ensure implementation
  11. Affirm treaties and declarations relevant to human rights protection and security between allied countries, and participate in sustainable development agenda within the framework of SDGs to improve state  institutions and ensure common interests

Accordingly, the participants of the workshop affirm the following actions to achieve this goal: 

  1. Urge the coalition to continue their efforts to hold conferences and media campaign to support the contents of this declaration.
  1. Promote inclusion of human rights defenders and civil society in international fora

3. Address the United Nations Bodies and their member states to request help

4. Request support from the American Congress, the British House of Commons, the European Parliament and other Parliaments in which human rights are respected.

5. Negotiate with relevant stakeholders in the Gulf region for support.