Monday، 24 March 2014 - 12:00 AM
The Arab League (formally, the League of Arab States) 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.
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 labor issues — particularly among the emigrant Arab workforce.