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Arab League

Founded in March 1945, the League of Arab States (or Arab League) is a loose confederation of twenty-two Arab nations whose broad mission is to improve coordination among its members on matters of common interest. The league was chartered in response to concerns about postwar colonial divisions of territory as well as strong opposition to the emergence of a Jewish state on Palestinian territory, but it has long been criticized for disunity and poor governance. Critics also say it has traditionally been more representative of its various autocratic regimes than of Arab citizens.

arab league

Tensions between Sunni and Shiite Muslims widened fissures among Arab states, which worsened following the emergence of the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Iraq. Although the Arab League condemned the Islamic State, and Sunni powers such as Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) launched air strikes against the militant organization, the league as a whole did little to assist the Shiite-led Iraqi government. Iraq in turn only grew closer to its Shiite partner Iran, welcoming advisors from the Iranian military and Iran-backed groups such as Hezbollah.

The idea of the Arab League was mooted in 1942 by the British, who wanted to rally Arab countries against the Axis powers. However, the league did not take off until March 1945, just before the end of World War II.

The highest body of the league is the Council, composed of representatives of member states, usually foreign ministers, their representatives or permanent delegates. Each member state has one vote, irrespective of its size. The council meets twice a year, in March and September, and may convene a special session at the request of two members.

Day-to-day, the league is run by the general secretariat. Headed by a secretary-general, it is the administrative body of the league and the executive body of the council and the specialised ministerial councils.

Thus it failed to coordinate foreign, defence or economic policies, rendering core league documents such as the Treaty of Joint Defence and Economic Cooperation and key bodies such as the Joint Defence Council completely ineffectual.

The Model Arab League and Model UN League offer students the ability to research deeply into the politics of the Middle East, to meet with like-minded students, to hear from diplomats and scholars, hone their professional and leadership skills, and travel to the region. In addition, the league is focused on competing on behalf of Roanoke College and making the school proud.

Model Arab League is a student debate competition run by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations. The student league at Miami was established in 1983 to develop leadership skills such as public speaking, parliamentary procedure, and diplomacy.

27th Arab League Summit: Short on tangible results (August 2016)The final communiqué of the 27th Arab League Summit, which wrapped up in Mauritanian capital Nouakchott on Monday evening, largely reiterated positions on which Arab states agree while studiously ignoring issues of contention. The league communiqué began by congratulating Ahmed Abul-Gheit, a former Egyptian foreign minister, on his recent appointment as league secretary-general. The league did not, however, adopt an explicit position regarding the fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with a view to avoiding disputes between Arab states that demand his immediate departure and those that have adopted a softer line.

In 2009, Marco Pinfari, who is now an assistant professor of political science at the American University in Cairo, analyzed Arab League mediation attempts in the Middle East since 1945. His findings are sobering. Although the Arab League mediated 12 out of 20 minor regional conflicts in that time frame, it was involved in only seven of 36 major interstate wars. Also, the league intervened in only five of 22 major civil wars. Most notably, the organization failed to come up with a unified response to the 1990 Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, the ensuing Gulf War, and the 2003 Iraq War. More recently, the league voted to impose a no-fly zone over Libya, but its attempts to broker a cease-fire in Syria failed to have any impact. In short, regular summits have mostly made headlines not because they led to collective action but because they led to collective inaction.

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune urged league members to reaffirm their support for the Palestinians in their conflict with Israel as the Arab and international communities' attention shifts to other conflicts and crises. 041b061a72


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