Arab League: The challenges encountered in the light of the multiple crises in the region

Hasnaa Tammam Kamal

More than 75 years after the founding of Arab League, the role of international organizations has increased, especially the role of the Arab League. While commending the United Nations initiative to resolve the crisis in Sudan, calling on the parties in Libya to hold elections as soon as possible, welcoming the results of the Iraqi elections, and calling on the parties in Somalia to end their crisis, many questions arise as why the Arab league does not note emerge any initiatives to resolve these crises.

In this article, we are trying to determine the nature of the role of the Arab League in the current Arab spectrum.


First: The Most Outstanding Aspect of the Arab League Challenges

Many files are assigned to the Arab league for review and action, including those relating to the fundamental, situations of conflict between the States, situations of specific political systems, or even the position on a contentious issue between the Arab States. The nature and sensitivity, as well as the diversity of views of these issues, impede rapid and decisive interaction. The league, operates in a troubled world and faces unprecedented challenges.

The absence of the Arab will for joint Arab action: This is the main objective for which the Arab League established. However, the challenge that has been mentioned above has resulted in weakening this desire. The recent period has seen unilateral actions by the States on a number of regional issues relating to the security of Arab States that threatens the cohesion of the Arab countries.

The league receives half of the members’ contributions each year: On the other hand, the financial aspect of its work, which is highly reliable in enabling it to take the necessary actions to support its policies. Funding the , as other organizations , on the members contributions and it receives only half of the contributions annually, therefore , it is considered a part the challenges added, in the absence of a reliable special economic environment to cover the lack of funding resulting from non-payment of annual contributions.

Exceeding the policy of statements: In view of the actual presence of the League in political issues, the League has recently been present in a number of Arab files, yet limited to statements, It reaches its maximum extent for humanitarian aid, and is absent due to the fruitful economic presence, or the present political interaction by presenting viable initiatives or leading mediations.


Second: Can the non-political aspects operative as an effective tool for the League?

In a statement to the Secretary-General of the League in December, he added before the Council of Arab Ministers of Housing and Reconstruction, held in Jordan, that the convening of this meeting achieves the desired goal, which is to provide information to the Arab citizen, as the Arab League is actively participating in several areas related to daily life issues directly away from the political ones. Here, the question arises itself about the effectiveness of these roles and the extent of their impact on the role of the League in general.

There is no doubt that the role of the League is not only a political one, but it is as diverse as the affiliated organizations and bodies, and therefore the empowerment of these other tools is the basis on which to strengthen the political positions of the League.


Third: The Charter adjustment and timing.

With regard to the Charter of the Arab League, several proposals have been made to adjust the Charter of the League, including the following: The definition of the concept of aggression and the necessity of unanimous decision-making means that each Sate has the right to veto. In addition to the absence of the idea of compulsory arbitration from the competence to resolve disputes that may arise between the member States, the unanimous voting mechanism provided for in the Charter, and the need for actions and decisions of the member States of a mandatory character.

Certainly, the charters governing the establishment of international and regional organizations are subject to amendment, in a way that allows its articles to be formulated to achieve its goals. With regard to the League, a number of the determinants of the amendment must be mentioned:

Adjustment timing: The amendment requires that the league and its  member States, be in a political stability that will enable them to take decisions and reformulate the articles, so as to ensure that their content is appropriate for the present vision, and for the long term, and that these amendments add up to the solid ground, which cannot be mentioned in the light of the current volatility.

The extent to which the required modifications affect the formation of the League’s position: The proposed amendments are important, but they are not address the main problem in the League’s policy.

However, they are not the main problem with the League’s political position, which is the main determinant of its decisions and its effectiveness as well as the policy to interact with the different issues.

Detailing and generalization: the charter, which has been criticized for the existence of certain general concepts are not elaborated, cannot be regarded as restricted to performance, but can be interpreted as, like constitutions, include only the main articles of the State’s approach.


To conclude, it can be said that the continuing crises and the conflict affecting the Arab region, increase the expected role from the League, put greater responsibility, make any challenges more urgent to resolve.

The greatest effort is being made to give effect to the role of the Arab League to the Arab regimes in general. Moreover, the regional organizations, such as the Gulf Cooperation Council, African Union and sub-regional groupings such as ICAS, COMESA, or EAK, may be able to support the nature of the League’s economic activities.

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