Last week some of the Arab leaders gathered in Syria in the latest round of meetings held by the Arab League, an organisation of Arab nations found to forge unity between the member states. Even before the event started, it was marred with news of boycotts by various key players. The meeting of the remaining leaders therefore created little hype in media and other circles.
After the formation of United Nation and the successful partnership of European nations in the European Union, many other alliances were formed with great ambitions. Some of these alliances were born out of a strong desire to counter opposing political blocks, some with genuinely honest and sincere commitment to develop meaningful inter-state partnership to break new grounds. Today however, barely any of these institutions of Nations other than the European Union plays any meaningful part in the affairs of the lives of those living within the geo-political arena of those organisations. Yet at the present climate, given the wars, environment and many other important issues, should have been the perfect one for many of the international organisations to play vital role on shaping the future of our world.
The Arab league from the perspective of the global peace and stability should have had an important role to play. If the league was able to work and managed to get the member states to take the organisation seriously, it could have played the most influential rule with potential to become the dominant voice at the international level. The question is though why, despite the similarity in language and culture unique to the Arab states only, it has failed to realise its dream to unite the nations under the umbrella? Here I shall seek to find some answers.
Perhaps the most successful institution of the modern nation states is the European Union. Despite many centuries old hostilities between prominent states and huge differences in language and even culture EU managed to function in manners unique in world history. Today EU is one of the largest economic blocks which speak as one voice on issues of vital importance to the advancement of national interest. Despite political and social challenges, EU has successfully brought her leaders to unite on one platform for the interest and benefit of their collective nations. Some may argue that this success has been made possible due to EU’s financial and technological sophistic which makes the membership of the organisation worthwhile. But such argument sounds unconvincing as it fails to explain the coming together of nations previously being involved in destroying one another. The fundamental reason has been that in the post world war error and with decreasing power of the monarchs, Europe managed to define itself with a common philosophy. Call it secularism or democracy or both, the reality are that the EU member states share a common political ideology which unites the states to act as one voice at the world stage.
The Arab states that formed the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Arab League and other inter-state organisations may have had a moment goodwill that sprung the desire of coming together to work as one group of nations; they neither had the political unity nor common interest. It may even be argued that neither of these states had been able to define their political identity therefore unable to come up with long term strategies. The inability of these states to define their political identity and the subsequent failure in identifying their national objectives made them vulnerable to outside influence. As a result, although these nations gained independence, they remained largely influential by various old colonial masters.
The reason behind analysing the issues at play which made it impossible for these organisations to function is to come up with a remedy. The Arab states are located at a strategically important part of our planet blessed with significant reserve of natural resources. In fact it may be argued that the life line of global energy supply is offered by some of these states. Moreover, these states also represent the greatest challenge to the survival of human race as a peaceful civilisation. For political and religious reasons, Arab states occupy perhaps the central position in global politics and are therefore capable of defining future world. A united platform of Arab nations is the need of our time to challenge the status quo that exists. For the sake of global security and stability we need the Arab nations to be able to have common social, political and cultural goals. The leading nations of our world need to understand and work towards those objectives.
At present the divided Arab states may be offering some relief to the global powers as it allows them to influence as they will, but it is costing our world far too much in lives and other aspects unsustainable for long. To prevent further spread of civil unrest, political instability and the end of global peace, the entire globe should act to facilitate understanding between the Arab states. Such activism will result in a stable, secure and prosperous world whose future would not be almost predictable.