|League of Arab States
|-||Arab League Secretariat||Nabil el-Araby|
|-||Arab Parliament||Ali Al-Daqbaashi|
|-||Alexandria Protocol||22 March 1945|
|-||Total area||13,333,296 km2
5,148,048 sq mi
|GDP (PPP)||2011 estimate|
|GDP (nominal)||2011 estimate|
|-||Per capita||citation needed][|
|Time zone||(UTC+0 to +4)|
|a.||From 1979 to 1989, Tunis, Tunisia.|
|b.||Suspended. The Syrian National Coalition currently represents Syria.|
The League of Arab States (Arabic: جامعة الدول العربية Jāmiʻat ad-Duwal al-ʻArabiyya), commonly called the Arab League (Arabic: الجامعة العربية al-Jāmiʻa al-ʻArabiyya), is a regional organization of Arab countries in and around North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and Southwest Asia. It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan (renamed Jordan in 1949), Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Syria. Yemen joined as a member on 5 May 1945. Currently, the League has 22 members, although Syria's participation has been suspended since November 2011 as a consequence of government repression during the ongoing uprising and civil war.
The League's main goal is to "draw closer the relations between member States and co-ordinate collaboration between them, to safeguard their independence and sovereignty, and to consider in a general way the affairs and interests of the Arab countries".
Through institutions such as the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) and the Economic and Social Council of the Arab League's Council of Arab Economic Unity (CAEU), the Arab League facilitates political, economic, cultural, scientific and social programs designed to promote the interests of the Arab world. It has served as a forum for the member states to coordinate their policy positions, to deliberate on matters of common concern, to settle some Arab disputes, and to limit conflicts such as the 1958 Lebanon crisis. The League has served as a platform for the drafting and conclusion of many landmark documents promoting economic integration. One example is the Joint Arab Economic Action Charter which sets out the principles for economic activities in the region.
Each member state has only one vote in the League Council, while decisions are binding only for those states that have voted for them. The aims of the league in 1945 were to strengthen and coordinate the political, cultural, economic, and social programs of its members, and to mediate disputes among them or between them and third parties. Furthermore, the signing of an agreement on Joint Defense and Economic Cooperation on 13 April 1950 committed the signatories to coordination of military defense measures. In the early 1970s, the Economic Council of the League of Arab States put forward a proposal to create the Joint Arab Chambers of Commerce across the European states. This led, under the decree of the League of Arab States no. K1175/D52/G, to the decision by the Arab governments to set up the Arab British Chamber of Commerce which was mandated to: “promote, encourage and facilitate bilateral trade” between the Arab world and its major trading partner, the United Kingdom.
The Arab League has also played a role in shaping school curricula, advancing the role of women in the Arab societies, promoting child welfare, encouraging youth and sports programs, preserving Arab cultural heritage, and fostering cultural exchanges between the member states. Literacy campaigns have been launched, intellectual works reproduced, and modern technical terminology is translated for the use within member states. The league encourages measures against crime and drug abuse, and deals with labour issues — particularly among the emigrant Arab workforce.
Following adoption of the Alexandria Protocol in 1944, the Arab League was founded on 22 March 1945. It aimed to be a regional organisation of Arab states with a focus to developing the economy, resolving disputes, and coordinating political aims. Other countries joined the league at later dates. Each country was given one vote in the council. The first major action was the joint intervention, allegedly on behalf of the majority Arab population that was being uprooted as the State of Israel emerged in 1948 (and in response to popular outcry in the Arab world), although in fact a main participant in this intervention, Transjordan, had agreed with the Israelis to divide up the Arab Palestinian state proposed by the UN General Assembly, while Egypt intervened primarily to prevent its rival in Amman from accomplishing its objective. This was followed by the creation of a mutual defense treaty two years later. A common market was established in 1965. (Robert W. MacDonald, The League of Arab States: A Study in Regional Organization. Princeton, New Jersey, USA, Princeton University Press, 1965.)
The area of members of the Arab League covers over 13,000,000 km2 (5,000,000 sq mi) and straddles two continents: Africa and Asia. The area consists of large arid deserts, namely the Sahara. Nevertheless, it also contains several very fertile lands, such as the Nile Valley, the Jubba and Shebelle valley of Somalia, the High Atlas Mountains, and the Fertile Crescent which stretches over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine. The area comprises deep forests in southern Arabia, as well as parts of the world's longest river, the Nile.
The Arab League was founded in Cairo in 1945 by seven countries, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Transjordan (Jordan from 1946), and Yemen. There was a continual increase in membership during the second half of the 20th century, with additional 15 Arab States being admitted, with a current total of 21 member States due to Syria's suspension following the 2011 uprising.
On 22 February 2011, following the start of the Libyan civil war and the use of military force against civilians, the Arab League Secretary-General, Amr Moussa, stated that Libya's membership in the Arab League had been suspended: "the organisation has decided to halt the participation of the Libyan delegations from all Arab League sessions". This makes Libya the second country in the League's history to have a frozen membership. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi declared that the League was illegitimate, saying: "The Arab League is finished. There is no such thing as the Arab League." On 25 August 2011, Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby announced it was "about time" Libya's full member status was restored. The National Transitional Council, the partially recognised interim government of Libya, will send a representative to be seated at the Arab League meeting on 17 August to participate in a discussion as to whether to readmit Libya to the organisation.
The Arab Parliament recommended the suspension of member states Syria and Yemen on 20 September 2011, over persistent reports of disproportionate violence against regime opponents and activists during the Arab Spring. A vote on 12 November agreed to formally suspend Syria four days after the vote, giving Assad a last chance to avoid suspension. Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen voted against the motion, while Iraq abstained. A wave of criticism rose as the Arab League sent in December 2011 a commission "monitoring" violence on people protesting against the regime. The commission was headed by Mohammad Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi, who served as head of Omar al-Bashir's military intelligence, while war crimes including genocide were allegedly committed on his watch. On 6 March 2013, the Arab League granted the Syrian National Coalition Syria's seat in the Arab League.
Political policy and administration
The Charter of the Arab League endorsed the principle of an Arab homeland while respecting the sovereignty of the individual member states. The internal regulations of the Council of the League and the committees were agreed in October 1951. Those of the Secretariat-General were agreed in May 1953.
Since then, governance of the Arab League has been based on the duality of supra-national institutions and the sovereignty of the member states. Preservation of individual statehood derived its strengths from the natural preference of ruling elites to maintain their power and independence in decision making. Moreover, the fear of the richer that the poorer may share their wealth in the name of Arab nationalism, the feuds among Arab rulers, and the influence of external powers that might oppose Arab unity can be seen as obstacles towards a deeper integration of the league.
Mindful of their previous announcements in support of the Arabs of Palestine the framers of the Pact were determined to include them within the League from its inauguration. This was done by means of an annex that declared:
|“||Even though Palestine was not able to control her own destiny, it was on the basis of the recognition of her independence that the Covenant of the League of Nations determined a system of government for her. Her existence and her independence among the nations can, therefore, no more be questioned de jure than the independence of any of the other Arab States. [...] Therefore, the States signatory to the Pact of the Arab League consider that in view of Palestine's special circumstances, the Council of the League should designate an Arab delegate from Palestine to participate in its work until this country enjoys actual independence||”|
At the Cairo Summit of 1964, the Arab League initiated the creation of an organisation representing the Palestinian people. The first Palestinian National Council convened in East Jerusalem on 29 May 1964. The Palestinian Liberation Organization was founded during this meeting on 2 June 1964. Today, Palestine is a full member of the Arab League and is represented by the Palestine Liberation Organization.
At the Beirut Summit on 28 March 2002, the league adopted the Arab Peace Initiative, a Saudi-inspired peace plan for the Arab–Israeli conflict. The initiative offered full normalisation of the relations with Israel. In exchange, Israel was required to withdraw from all occupied territories, including the Golan Heights, to recognise Palestinian independence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital, as well as a "just solution" for the Palestinian refugees. The Peace Initiative was again endorsed at 2007 in the Riyadh Summit. In July 2007, the Arab League sent a mission, consisting of the Jordanian and Egyptian foreign ministers, to Israel to promote the initiative. Following Venezuela's move to expel Israeli diplomats amid the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict, Kuwaiti member of parliament Waleed al-Tabtabai proposed moving Arab League headquarters to Caracas, Venezuela. On 13 June 2010, Amr Mohammed Moussa, Secretary-General of the Arab League, visited the Gaza Strip, the first visit by an official of the Arab League since Hamas' armed takeover in 2007.
- Cairo: 13–17 January 1964.
- Alexandria: 5–11 September 1964.
- Casablanca: 13–17 September 1965.
- Khartoum: 29 August 1967.
- Rabat: 21–23 December 1969.
- Cairo (first emergency summit): 21–27 September 1970.
- Algiers: 26–28 November.1973.
- Rabat: 29 October 1974.
- Riyadh (2nd emergency summit): 17–28 October 1976.
- Cairo: 25–26 October 1976.
- Baghdad: 2–5 November.1978.
- Tunis: 20–22 November 1979.
- Amman: 21–22 November 1980.
- Fes: 6–9 September 1982.
- Casablanca (3rd emergency summit): 7–9 September 1985.
- Amman (4th emergency summit): 8–12 November 1987.
- Algiers (5th emergency summit): 7–9 June 1988.
- Casablanca (6th emergency summit): 23–26 June 1989.
- Baghdad (7th emergency summit): 28–30 March 1990.
- Cairo (8th emergency summit): 9–10 August 1990.
- Cairo (9th emergency summit): 22–23 June 1996.
- Cairo (10th emergency summit): 21–22 October 2000.
- Amman: 27–28 March 2001.
- Beirut: 27–28 March 2002.
- Sharm el-Sheikh: 1 March 2003.
- Tunis: 22–23 May 2004.
- Algiers: 22–23 March 2005.
- Khartoum: 28–30 March 2006.
- Riyadh: 27–28 March 2007.
- Damascus: 29–30 March 2008.
- Doha: 28–30 March 2009.
- Sirte: 27–28 March 2010.
- Baghdad: 27–29 March 2012.
- Doha: 21–27 March 2013.
- Two summits are not added to the system of Arab League summits:
- Anshas, Egypt: 28–29 May 1946.
- Beirut, Lebanon: 13 – 15 November 1958.
- Summit 14 in Fes, Morocco, occurred in two stages:
- On 25 November 1981: the 5-hour meeting ended without an agreed on document.
- On 6–9 September 1982.
The Arab League is rich in resources, with enormous oil and natural gas resources in certain member states. Another industry that is growing steadily in the Arab League is telecommunications. Within less than a decade, local companies such as Orascom and Etisalat have managed to compete internationally.
Economic achievements initiated by the League amongst member states have been less impressive than those achieved by smaller Arab organisations such as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Among them is the Arab Gas Pipeline, that will transport Egyptian and Iraqi gas to Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey. As of 2013, a significant difference in economic conditions exist between the developed oil states of Algeria, Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE, and developing countries like Comoros, Djibouti, Mauritania, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
Literacy in Arab league countries
In collecting literacy data, many countries estimate the number of literate people based on self-reported data. Some use educational attainment data as a proxy, but measures of school attendance or grade completion may differ. Because definitions and data collection methods vary across countries, literacy estimates should be used with caution. United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report 2010.
|6||United Arab Emirates||90.0|
Demographics of Arab League countries
The Arab League is a culturally and ethnically one association of 22 member states, although the overwhelming majority of the League's population identifies as Arab (either on a cultural basis, or on an ethno-racial basis). As of July 1, 2013, about 359,000,000 people live in the states of the Arab League. Its population grows faster than in most other global regions. The most populous member state is Egypt, with a population of about 91 million. The least populated is the Comoros, with over 0.6 million inhabitants.
|Rank||Country||Population||Density (/km2)||Density (sq mi)||Notes|
|11||United Arab Emirates||8,264,070||99||256|||
The vast majority of the Arab League's citizens adhere to Islam, with Christianity being the second largest religion. Over 20 million Christians live in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Sudan and Syria.
|Rank||Country||Area (km2)[Note 1]||Area (sq mi)||% of Total||Notes|
|1||Algeria||2,381,741||919,595||18.1%||Largest country in Africa and in the Arab League.|
|2||Saudi Arabia||2,149,690||830,000||16.3%||Largest country in the Middle East.|
|6||Egypt||1,022,600||394,800||7.8%||Excluding the Hala'ib Triangle (20,580 km2/7,950 sq mi).|
|9||Morocco||446,550||172,410||7.8%||Does not include Western Sahara (266,000 km2/103,000 sq mi).|
|12||Syria||185,180||71,500||1.4%||Including the part of the Golan Heights (1,200 km2/460 sq mi) currently administered by Israel.|
|15||United Arab Emirates||83,600||32,300||0.6%|
|20||Palestine||6,020||2,320||0.05%||Occupied Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem.|
- Arab Charter on Human Rights
- Arab Cold War
- Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD)
- Arab Inter-parliamentary Union
- Arab League and the Arab–Israeli conflict
- Arab League boycott of Israel
- Arab Maghreb Union (UMA)
- AIDA - International Association of Arabic Dialectology
- Arab Monetary Fund
- Arab Organization for Industrialization
- Bloudan Conference (1937)
- Council of Arab Economic Unity (CAEU)
- General Arab Insurance Federation
- General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for Arab Countries
- International Confederation of Arab Trade Unions
- List of conflicts in the Arab League
- List of largest cities of the Arab League
- Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC)
- Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
- Pan Arab Games
- Pan Arabism
- Summit of South American-Arab Countries
- United Arab Command
- Orange card system - motor insurance scheme of the Arab League
- Source, unless otherwise specified: Demographic Yearbook—Table 3: Population by sex, rate of population increase, surface area and density (pdf). United Nations Statistics Division. 2008. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
Entries in this table giving figures other than the figures given in this source are bracketed by asterisks () in the Notes field, and the rationale for the figure used are explained in the associated Note.
- MENAFN (28 December 2009). "Qatar, UAE, wealthiest Arab states". Retrieved 26 July 2010.
- Sly, Liz (November 12, 2011). "Syria suspended from Arab League". Washington Post.
- Head of states of the founding members (1998). "Pact of the League of Arab States, 22 March 1945". The Avalon Project. Yale Law School. Archived from the original on 25 July 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
- "The Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALESCO)".
- Ashish K. Vaidya, Globalization (ABC-CLIO: 2006), p. 525.
- Avi Shlaim, Collusion Across the Jordan: King Abdullah, the Zionist Movement, and the Partition of Palestine. Oxford, U.K., Clarendon Press, 1988; Uri Bar-Joseph, Uri, The Best of Enemies: Israel and Transjordan in the War of 1948. London, Frank Cass, 1987; Joseph Nevo , King Abdullah and Palestine: A Territorial Ambition (London: Macmillan Press; New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996.
- Souhail Karam - Tom Heneghan - Michael Roddy (16 March 2011). "Gaddafi taunts critics, dares them to get him". Reuters Africa. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
- Kat Higgins (16 March 2011). "Libya: Clashes Continue As World Powers Stall". Sky News. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
- "Arab League Recognizes Libyan Rebel Council". RTT News. 25 August 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
- "Arab League parliament urges Syria suspension". Al Jazeera English. 20 September 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
- "Arab League Votes to Suspend Syria Over Crackdown". New York Times. 12 November 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- D. Kenner, "The World's Worst Human Rights Observer". Foreign Policy, 27 December 2011. As Arab League monitors work to expose President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown, the head of the mission is a Sudanese general accused of creating the fearsome "janjaweed," which was responsible for the worst atrocities during the Darfur genocide. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/12/27/the_worlds_worst_human_rights_observer
- "Syrian activists slam Arab League mission head", CNN, 28 December 2011, http://articles.cnn.com/2011-12-28/middleeast/world_meast_syria-opposition-al-dabi_1_ali-kushayb-local-coordinating-committees-syrian-opposition?_s=PM:MIDDLEEAST
- "Violence in second Syrian city ahead of Arab League monitors' visit", The Guardian, 28 December 2011, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/28/syria-egypt
- "Internal Regulations of the Council of the League of Arab States". Model League of Arab States. Ed Haynes, Winthrop University. 6 April 1998. Archived from the original on 6 April 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2008.
- "Internal Regulations of the Committees of the League of Arab States". Model League of Arab States. Ed Haynes, Winthrop University. 6 April 1998. Archived from the original on 6 April 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2008.
- "Internal Regulations of the Secretariat-General of the League". Model League of Arab States. Ed Haynes, Winthrop University. 6 April 1998. Archived from the original on 6 April 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2008.
- Geddes, 1991, p. 208.
- Council of Arab States (1 October 2005). "The Arab Peace Initiative, 2002". www.al-bab.com. Retrieved 9 July 2008.
- "Kuwaiti MP calls to move Arab league to Venezuela". AFP, via CaribbeanNetNews. 15 January 2009. Retrieved 16 January 2009.
- "Central Agency for Public Mobilization And Statistics".
- http://www.msrintranet.capmas.gov.eg/pls/fdl/tst12e?action=1&lname=%201 Official Egyptian Population clock
- World Population Prospects, Table A.1 (PDF). 2008 revision. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. 2009. p. 17. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
- http://www.hcp.ma Official Moroccan Population clock
- http://www.cbs.gov.sd 2008 Sudanese census
- http://www.ins.nat.tn/indexen.php National Statistics Institute of Tunisia
- "المركز الوطني للإحصاء: المواطنون 947.9 ألفاً - جريدة الاتحاد". Alittihad.ae. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
- CIA World Factbook. July 2012 population estimate for Libya. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ly.html
- PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES GAZA STRIP AND WEST BANK
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- The Arab League at Council on Foreign Relations.
- Profile: Arab League, BBC News, updated 9 August 2011.
- Arab League at Jewish Virtual Library.
- Arab League at WorldStatesmen.org.
- Arab League collected news and commentary at Bloomberg News
- Arab League collected news and commentary at The Jerusalem Post
- Arab League collected news and commentary at The New York Times