Jasem Al Budaiwi, Kuwait’s Ambassador to the US, has been appointed as the new Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), succeeding Dr. Nayef Al Hajraf whose term ended on 31 January 2023.
Dr. Al Hajraf, who took office on February 1 last year, was previously Kuwait’s Minister of Finance. He congratulated Al Budaiwi on his appointment, wishing him success in performing his duties starting today.
He also wished him success in carrying out the responsibilities entrusted to him at the General Secretariat to strengthen the process of joint Gulf action to achieve its lofty goals towards more cooperation and integration among the GCC member states in a way that delivers the directives and visions of Their Majesties and Highnesses, the Leaders of the GCC states.
The Secretary General praised the rich diplomatic career of Al Budaiwi, which will contribute to strengthening the regional and international status of the council, protecting its gains and striving towards accomplishing more achievements to serve its member states and the people of the GCC.
Mr. Al Budaiwi was born on February 22, 1968, and obtained a Diploma in Diplomatic Studies from University of Oxford, in 1993, and a B.S. in Mass Communications from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A, in 1991.
Mr. Al Budaiwi began his diplomatic career with Kuwait’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1992 as Diplomatic Attaché in the office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
He was posted to Kuwait’s US Embassy in June 2001, where he was promoted to First Secretary in 2004, Counsellor in 2007 and Deputy Chief of Mission in October 2011.
He was appointed Ambassador to Korea in 2013 and served in the post until 2016.
He then served as Kuwait’s Ambassador to Belgium and Head of Mission to NATO until last year, when he was appointed Ambassador to the US.
In December, leaders of the GCC agreed that Kuwait should retain the position of Secretary General of the Council for a second consecutive term during their annual summit in Riyadh.
Mr. Al Budaiwi will be the GCC’s third Secretary General from Kuwait after Mr. Al Hajraf and Abdullah Yaqoub Bishara, who was the first person to hold the post after the Council was established. Mr. Bishara’s tenure was to last 11 years, making him the longest-serving chief among the six to have held the position.
Dr. Al Hajraf has been making farewell visits to GCC states in recent weeks and meeting their Leaders and Foreign Ministers.
The GCC was established in 1981 to promote economic, security, cultural and social cooperation between its six member states, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The countries hold a summit every year.
The GCC’s Supreme Council is made up of the Heads of the member states.
UAE Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, hosted the Council’s first meeting in Abu Dhabi on May 25 and 26, 1981. (The National; Saudi Gazette; Photo © Kuwait Embassy to the US)