Fanack Home / International Affairs / The League of Arab States / Challenges


Joint UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan and Syrian President al-Assad met on 10 March 2012 in Damascus

The Arab League of has been criticized for its irrelevance, disunity, and poor governance. Critics also say that Arab citizens do not recognize the League as a representative body, but rather as a representative of its various autocratic regimes which are primarily focused on looking after their own interests.

Indeed the League has failed to create a consistent policy towards issues that matter to the region. For instance, it failed to coordinate its policy during the Civil War in Lebanon, both the 1990-1991 Gulf War and the 2003 War on Iraq, and the bid for Palestinian statehood at the United Nations in 2011.

Arab League meeting in December 2011

The Arab Spring, which started in 2011, has offered the League a new opportunity for reform. Some critics see positive developments in the League’s actions in Libya, where it supported a no-fly zone that led to the ouster of Muammar al-Qaddafi, and in Syria, where it called for President Bashar al-Assad to step down. In November 2011, the Arab League suspended Syria’s membership, calling it to end the violence against protestors and to open negotiations with opposition groups.

Further Reading

In-depth Special file concerning the international affairs of the Middle East and North Africa.
The League of Arab States was founded in Cairo on 22 March 1945 by Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Leban...
If The Arab League is to undergo a transformation for the better, it can only happen under two conditions. The Arab Leag...

We would like to ask you something …

Fanack is an independent media organisation, not funded by any state or any interest group, that distributes in the Middle East and the wider world unbiased analysis and background information, based on facts, about the Middle East and North Africa.

The website grew rapidly in breadth and depth and today forms a rich and valuable source of information on 21 countries, from Morocco to Oman and from Iran to Yemen, both in Arabic and English. We currently reach six million readers annually and growing fast.

In order to guarantee the impartiality of information on the Chronicle, articles are published without by-lines. This also allows correspondents to write more freely about sensitive or controversial issues in their country. All articles are fact-checked before publication to ensure that content is accurate, current and unbiased.

To run such a website is very expensive. With a small donation, you can make a huge impact. And it only takes a minute. Thank you.