Arab League to be revamped
Manama, March 6, 2014
The Arab League is to undergo a major revamp as part of attempts to improve its credibility and become more accountable to ordinary people.
A blueprint is being drawn up and will be presented to top officials at the Arab Leaders Summit in Kuwait later this month, it has been confirmed, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
The Arab League needs to be modified to reflect the major changes that have taken place across the region in the last few years, said its deputy secretary-general ambassador Dr Wajih Hanafi.
"Presently, the Arab Parliament just directs countries and governments without being able to force change, but that will change," he said.
"We, in the general-secretariat, advise countries and governments about problems, whether related to terrorism, the economy or politics, but mostly it doesn't get implemented.
"But we will soon have powers like the United Nations to allow us to move in when needed.
"The Arab League is working without a strategy or proper doctrine and this is why we need the Arab Parliament to help us move forward.
"If approved, the Arab Parliament will have the right to veto or approve international agreements, conventions and memorandum of understandings (MoUs), as well as propose legislation that could be implemented across member countries."
Dr Hanafi was speaking during a session of the Arab Parliament being held in Bahrain for the first time.
Eighty MPs from across the Arab world are attending the two-day event, which concludes at the National Assembly in Gudaibiya today.
The meeting heard plans were underway to revive a joint security strategy that was suspended in the wake of the Arab Spring.
However, it was also at times tempestuous as several MPs criticised secretary-general Dr Nabil El Araby for failing to attend Arab Parliament sessions.
Some refused to direct questions to Dr Hanafi, claiming that he did not possess the same powers as the secretary-general, who has been summoned to the next meeting in Kuwait that will coincide with the Arab Leaders Summit.
"Dr El Araby is not showing disrespect, he is occupied with other international meetings, which unfortunately coincide with that of the Arab Parliament, but I am here with the same powers to speak on his behalf," insisted Dr Hanafi. - TradeArabia News Service