Pact of the Arab League of States (1)
His Excellency the President
of the Syrian Republic,
His Royal Highness the Emir of Transjordan,
His Majesty the King of Iraq,
His Majesty the King of Saudi-Arabia,
His Excellency the President of the Lebanese Republic,
His Majesty the King of Egypt, the King of Yemen,
With a view to
strengthen[ing] the close relations and numerous ties which bind the Arab
And out of concern for the
cementing and reinforcing of these bonds on the basis of respect for the independence
and sovereignty of theme Stated,
And in order to direct their
efforts toward[s] the goal of the welfare of all the Arab States, their common
weal, the guarantee of their future and the realization of their aspirations
And in response to Arab public
opinion in all the Arab countries,
Have agreed to conclude a
pact to this effect and have delegated as their plenipotentiaries those whose
names are given below:
Who, after the exchange of
the credentials granting them full authority, which were found valid and in
proper form, have agreed upon the following:
The League of Arab States
shall be composed of the: independent Arab States that have signed this Pact.
Every independent Arab State
shall have the right to adhere to the League. Should it desire to adhere, it
shall present an application to this effect which shall be filed with the
permanent General Secretariat and submitted to the Council at its first meeting
following the presentation of the application.
The purpose of the League is
to draw closer the relations between member States and co-ordinate their
political activities with the aim of realizing a close collaboration between
them, to safeguard their independence and sovereignty, and to consider in a
general way the affairs and interests of the Arab countries.
It also has among its
purposes a close co-operation of the member States with due regard to the
structure of each of these States and the conditions prevailing therein, in the
(a) Economic and financial
matters, including trade, customs, currency, agriculture and industry;
including railways, roads, aviation, navigation, and posts and telegraphs;
(c) Cultural matters;
(d) Matters connected with
nationality, passports, visas, execution of judgments and extradition;
(e) Social welfare matters;
(f) Health matters.
The League shall have a
Council composed of the representatives of the member States. Each State shall
have one vote, regardless of the number of its representatives.
The Council shall be
entrusted with the function of realizing the purpose of the League and of
supervising the execution of the agreements concluded between the member States
on matters referred to in the preceding article or on other matters.
It shall also have the
function of determining the means whereby the League will collaborate with the
international organizations which may be created in the future to guarantee
peace and security and organize economic and social relations.
A special Committee shall be
formed for each of the categories enumerated in article
2, on which the member States shall be represented. These Committees
shall be entrusted with establishing the basis and scope of co-operation in the
form of draft agreements which shall be submitted to the Council for its
consideration preparatory to their being submitted to the States referred to.
Delegates representing the
other Arab countries may participate in these Committees as members. The
Council shall determine the circumstances in which the participation of these
representatives shall be allowed as well as the basis of the representation.
The recourse to force for the
settlement of disputes between two or more member States shall not be allowed.
Should there arise among them a dispute that does not involve the independence
of a State, its sovereignty or its territorial integrity, and should the two
contending parties apply to the Council for the settlement of this dispute, the
decision of the Council shall then be effective and obligatory.
In this case, the States
among whom the dispute has arisen shall not participate in the deliberations
and decisions of the Council.
The Council shall mediate in
a dispute which may lead to war between two member States or between a member
State and another State in order to conciliate them
The decisions relating to
arbitration and mediation shall be taken by a majority vote.
In case of aggression or
threat of aggression by a State against a member State, the State attacked or
threatened with attack may request an immediate meeting of the Council.
The Council shall determine
the necessary measures to repel this aggression. Its decision shall be taken
unanimously. If the aggression is committed by a member State the vote of that
State will not be counted in determining unanimity.
If the aggression is
committed in such a way as to render the Government of the State attacked
unable to communicate with the Council, the representative of that State in the
Council may request the Council to convene for the purpose set forth in the
preceding paragraph. If the representative is unable to communicate with the
Council, it shall be the right of any member State to request a meeting of the
The decisions of the Council
taken by a unanimous vote shall be binding on all the member States of the
League; those that are reached by a majority vote shall bind only those that
In both cases the decisions
of the Council shall be executed in each State in accordance with the
fundamental structure of that State.
Every member State of the
League shall respect the form of government obtaining in the other States of
the League, and shall recognize the form of government obtaining as one of the
rights of those States, and shall pledge itself not to take any action tending
to change that form.
The States of the Arab League
that are desirous of establishing among themselves closer collaboration and
stronger bonds than those provided for in the present Pact, may conclude among
themselves whatever agreements they wish for this purpose.
The treaties and agreements
already concluded or that may be concluded in the future between a member State
and any other State shall not be binding on the other members.
The permanent seat of the
League of Arab States shall be Cairo. The Council of the League may meet at any
other place it designates.
The Council of the League
shall meet in ordinary session twice a year, during the months of March and
October. It shall meet in extraordinary session at the request of two member
States whenever the need arises.
The League shall have a
permanent General Secretariat, composed of a Secretary-General, Assistant
Secretaries and an adequate number of officials.
The Secretary-General shall
be appointed by the Council upon the vote of two-thirds of the States of the
League. The Assistant Secretaries and the principal officials shall be
appointed by the Secretary-General with the approval of the Council.
The Council shall establish
an internal organization for the General Secretariat as well as the conditions
of service of the officials.
The Secretary-General shall
have the rank of Ambassador; and the Assistant Secretaries the rank of
The first Secretary-General
of the League is designated in an annex to the present Pact.
The Secretary-General shall
prepare the draft of the budget of the League and submit it for approval to the
Council before the beginning of each fiscal year.
The Council shall determine
the share of each of the States of the League in the expenses. It shall be
allowed to revise the share if necessary.
The members of the Council of
the League, the members of its Committees and such of its officials as shall be
designated in the internal organization, shall enjoy, in the exercise of their
duties, diplomatic privileges and immunities.
The premises occupied by the
institutions of the League shall be inviolable.
The council shall meet the
first time at the invitation of the Head of the Egyptian Government. Later
meetings shall be convoked by the Secretary-General.
In each ordinary session the
representatives of the States of the League shall assume the chairmanship of
the Council in rotation.
Except for the cases provided
for in the present Pact, a majority shall suffice for decisions by the Council
effective in the following matters:
(a) Matters concerning the
(b) The approval of the
budget of the League.
(c) The internal organization
of the Council, the Committees and the General Secretariat. .
(d) The termination of the
The member States of the
League shall file with the General Secretariat copies of all treaties and
agreements which they have concluded or will conclude with any other State,
whether a member of the League or otherwise.
If one of the member States
intends to withdraw from the League, the Council shall be informed of its
intention one year before the withdrawal takes effect
The Council of the League may
consider any State that is not fulfilling the obligations resulting from this
Pact as excluded from the League, by a decision taken by a unanimous vote of
all the States except the State referred to.
The present Pact may be
amended with the approval of two-thirds of the members of the League in
particular for the purpose of strengthening the ties between them, of creating
an Arab Court of Justice, and of regulating the relations of the League with
the international organizations that may be created in the future to guarantee
security and peace
No decision shall be taken as
regards an amendment except in the session following that in which it is
Any State that does not
approve an amendment may withdraw from the League when the amendment becomes
effective, without being bound by the provisions of the preceding article.
The present Pact and its
annexes shall be ratified in accordance with the fundamental form of government
in each of the contracting States.
The instruments of
ratification shall be filed with the General Secretariat and the present Pact
shall become binding on the States that ratify in fifteen days after the
Secretary-General receives instruments of ratification from four States.
The present Pact has been
drawn up in the Arabic language in Cairo and dated 8 Rabi al Thani 1364 (March
22, 1945), in a single text which shall be deposited with the General
A certified copy shall be
sent to each of the States of the League.
ANNEX ON PALESTINE
At the end of the last Great
War, Palestine, together with the other Arab States, was separated from the
Ottoman Empire. She became independent, not belonging to any other State.
The Treaty of Lausanne
proclaimed that her fate should be decided by the parties concerned in
Even though Palestine was not
able to control her own destiny, it was on the basis of the recognition of her
independence that the Covenant of the League of Nations
determined a system of government for her.
Her existence and her
independence among the nations can, therefore, no more be questioned de jure
than the independence of any of the other Arab States.
Even though the outward signs
of this independence have remained veiled as a result of force majeure, it is
not fitting that this should be an obstacle to the participation of Palestine
in the work of the League.
Therefore, the States
signatory to the Pact of the Arab League consider that in view of Palestine's
special circumstances, the Council of the League should designate an Arab
delegate from Palestine to participate in its work until this country enjoys
CO-OPERATION WITH ARAB COUNTRIES NOT MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL OF THE LEAGUE
Whereas the member States of
the League will have to deal either in the Council or in the Committees with
questions affecting the interests of the entire Arab world
And whereas the Council
cannot fail to take into account the aspirations of the Arab countries not
members of the Council and to work toward their realization, the States
signatory to the Pact of the Arab League strongly urge that the Council of the
League should cooperate with them as far as possible in having them participate
in the Committees referred to in the Pact, and in other matters should not
spare any effort to learn their needs and understand their aspirations and
should moreover work for their common weal and the guarantee of their future by
whatever political means available.
ANNEX ON THE
APPOINTMENT OF SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE LEAGUE
The States signatory to the
present Pact have agreed to appoint Abd Al Rahman Azzam Bey Secretary-General
of the League of Arab States.
His appointment shall be for
a term of two years. The Council of the League shall later determine the future
organization of the General Secretariat.
(1) U.N. doc. A/C. 6/L.111 (also in U.N. Treaty Series, vol. LXX,
(2) Libya adhered to the
pact, Mar. 28, 1953.
(3) The Pact was signed on Mar. 22, 1945, with the exception of
Yemen, which signed on May 5, 1945.
(4) Treaty of July 24, 1923; League of Nations Treaty Series,
(5) Article 22 of the Covenant.