The Arab League has decided to take a lesson from the current revolts in the Middle East and transform itself into something more than a group that always bends to the will of world leaders. The members within the Arab League want to reform the organisation into a unified voice that stands for the Arab public.
This 21-member group has no intention of becoming a group like the European Union. Unlike European Union, where members of the group have no significant powers and all the rules from immigration to monetary policy are enforced by the commission in Brussels, the Arab League has decided to take steps that will be shaped upon the Arab awakening.
The league has already taken major steps that show its independence and ability to take quick decisions. Actions that would have been almost unimaginable have already begun. The League has been forceful in its support to the rebel groups and spoken out against the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad. It even suspended the membership of Damascus to propagate diplomatic solutions to remove Assad’s regime. Even though the League has many world leaders who are friends of Assad’s regime, the league had the approval of these leaders in its actions against the Syrian civil war.
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Similarly, the Arab League expressed its support to the rebels fighting against Moammar Gadhafi in Libya last year, pushing for the Security Council to impose a no-flight zone over the North African Nation. This move had a major impact in paving the way for NATO’s air victory against Gadhafi’s regime.
The League is also investigating human rights in all member states by forming commissions to improve the role of civil society groups in these member countries and to give voice to the millions of people who have been ignored till now.
Efforts like these will not come easy as stated by the head of the League affairs, Ali Jaroush, especially as the Arab world could probably perceive this as meddling and may show resistance. The biggest hurdle of all will be that the nations should be willing to surrender some of their sovereignty, as most Arab nations are very political in nature.
However, the Arab League has been undergoing notable changes in the last two years and will continue to do so till a ‘new and reformed’ Arab League emerges. They have already begun making significant impacts in areas, such as education and culture. The league will take on more meaningful transformations, as the nations that make up its members diversify from the traditional autocratic political structure.
For all the challenges, the Arab league still is one its kind in that it is the only regional organisation, which brings all the Arab states together and will continue to hold ties with the United Nations to resolve all diplomacy issues.