Beirut Declaration

  • Category
    World Affairs
  • Published
    24th Jan, 2019
  • Beirut Declaration was issued at the conclusion of Arab Economic and Social Development Summit in the Lebanese capital.
  • The Summit held at the heads-of-state level to address issues of economic and social development among member states, is a prelude to the Arab League summit scheduled for March 2019 in Tunisia.

Context

  • Beirut Declaration was issued at the conclusion of Arab Economic and Social Development Summit in the Lebanese capital.
  • The Summit held at the heads-of-state level to address issues of economic and social development among member states, is a prelude to the Arab League summit scheduled for March 2019 in Tunisia.
  • The declaration calls on the international community to support Arab countries hosting Syrian refugees and take steps to stop the economic repercussion of the refugee crisis.

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  • According to the declaration, refugee crisis in Arab countries is the worst humanitarian problem since World War II.
  • The crisis has lead to an economic slowdown, increased the expenditure and deficit, imposes burdens on public sectors and infrastructure and poses risks to the society.
  • The Declaration called upon the world to shoulder its responsibilities to minimize the impact of the refugee crisis and double efforts to encourage and facilitate the return of refugees to their homeland.
  • This is the first time Arab countries have reached a consensus on encouraging Syrian refugees to return to their country.
  • Arab states also called upon through the declaration, donor nations to fulfill their promises to offer financial support to nations hosting refugees.

Arab League

  • The Arab League is an intergovernmental organization (IGO), a voluntary association of independent African and Middle East countries whose peoples are mainly Arabic speaking.
  • The stated purposes of the Arab League are to strengthen ties among the member states, coordinate their policies, and promote their common interests.
  • The league was founded in Cairo in 1945 by Egypt, Iraq, Jordan (originally Transjordan, Jordan, as of 1950), and Yemen.
  • In its early years the Arab League concentrated mainly on economic, cultural, and social programs.
  • In 1959, it held the first Arab petroleum congress and established the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) in 1964.
  • In 1964, despite objections by Jordan, the league granted the PLO observer status as the representative of all Palestinians. This was upgraded to full membership in 1976.

Council and its functioning

  • The highest body of the league is the Council, composed of representatives of member states, usually foreign ministers, their representatives or permanent delegates. Each member state has one vote, irrespective of its size. The council meets twice in a year and may convene a special session at the request of two members.
  • The league is run by the General Secretariat, headed by a secretary-general. It is the administrative body of the league and the executive body of the council and the specialised ministerial councils.

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