24.6.2021 : 17:43 : +0200

General Information | Point of Contact | PoA initiatives & activites | Instruments & documents | Members


League of Arab States (LAS)


Cairo, Egypt

Web site

Short description

LAS promotes closer ties among members and coordinates economic, cultural, and security policies and plans. It strives to develop cooperation, protect national security, and maintain the independence and sovereignty of its members.


Members finance LAS through assessed contributions. Budgets are approved annually, at which time the share of the expenses or dues to be paid by each member state is fixed. Mainly Germany, but also Switzerland, has sponsored PoArelated activities.

Seven countries formed LAS in March 1945 with another 15 members joining in the years that followed. The Gulf countries of Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and the UAE all joined in 1971, and the Palestinian Territories in 1976. Comoros was the last member to join in 1993. LAS requires members to have Arabic as a main language. Three organizations are observers: the UN, AU, and OIC, and 30 states are accredited to LAS (attending only opening sessions). Syria’s participation in LAS meetings was suspended in November 2011.


22 members (21 are UN member states)

  • Current members*: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UAE, Yemen (Bold: founding member, Grey: suspended member)
  • Former members: None
  • Membership pending: None

Overlapping memberships with other ROs

LAS members represent:

  • 9 of 54 AU members (Algeria, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Somalia, Sudan, and Tunisia are AU members)
  • 6 of 6 GCC members
  • 5 of 5 UMA members

* Information accurate as of 18 April 2012

PoA Point of Contact

  • Fadi Achaia
  • Head of Conventional Arms Section, Department of Multilateral Relations


PoA-related activities

LAS has been an active participant at PoA meetings. Even before the PoA was established, LAS addressed information-sharing concerns on transfers of small arms as they related to terrorist activities in its 1998 Arab Convention on Terrorism. In January 2002 LAS developed the Arab Model Law on Weapons, Ammunition, Explosives and Hazardous Materials to assist its members in preparing new legislation or to update and close loopholes in existing laws. The LAS Regional Focal Point was established in 2004 with the financial support of Germany. As part of this assistance, Germany also supported the capacity building of NFPs. LAS also encouraged and assisted its members in establishing NFPs and all except for one in Somalia have been established. LAS held the first meeting of small arms NFPs, at which 17 states were represented, in December 2005 with financial support from Germany and Switzerland. This meeting has subsequently been held annually. Germany funded three-day seminars for officers of member states in 2008–10 on small arms issues. No such meeting took place in 2011, but Germany has agreed to continue funding the seminars if there is a wish to do so. LAS is in the process of co-organizing with UNODA a seminar that will take place following RevCon2.

PoA-related programmes and initiatives

PoA-relevant cooperation with other ROs

LAS has observer status at the AU and the two organizations hold regular inter-Secretariat meetings on general cooperation. LAS has observed several ASEAN summits. It also exchanges invitations to related small arms meetings with the EU. Upon a LAS request, the OSCE translated into Arabic the OSCE Handbook of Best Practices on Small Arms and Light Weapons.

Legally binding regional instruments

  • Arab Convention on Terrorism (1998)

Other official documents of interest

  • LAS Ministerial Council Resolution 6625 on Arab Coordination for Combating the Illicit Trade in SALW (unofficial translation) (4 March 2006)
  • Arab Model Law on Weapons, Ammunitions, Explosives and Hazardous Materials (2002)


This profile is also available in other languages:


Share this content
Share this content: