Model Arab League
Model Arab League (MAL) is a multi-regional model competition in which high school and university students from across the world learn about and compete as representatives from Member States of the Arab League. Participants are encouraged to use the experience to hone their skills in public speaking and diplomacy, in addition to the primary goal of learning about the politics and history of the Arab world. In the United States, the competitions are administered by The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations (NCUSAR). Outside the United States, the American University in Cairo hosts the Cairo International Model Arab League (CIMAL). The 2010 National Championship was held at Georgetown University, and Northeastern University won the award for Outstanding Delegation.
Councils and Topics
Model Arab League conferences are divided into councils that each focus on a specific area of Arab League policy. While the councils at CIMAL and other international MAL simulations tend to fluctuate, the central organization of the NCUSAR in the United States assures that most simulations within the US share common councils from year to year.
The NCUSAR-sponsored council list consists of eight councils, though not all of the councils are simulated at all models.
- Joint Defense Council (JDC)
- Council on Palestinian Affairs
- The Council on Palestinian Affairs is charged with evaluating and responding to the plethora of issues involving the Palestinian people and their interaction with their neighbors. As Palestine is a fully recognized Member State of the Arab League, the representative from Palestine has considerable influence in this council.
- Council of Arab Social Affairs Ministers
- This council deals primarily with social matters relating to the Arab world, such as human rights, refugees, etc.
- Council on Political Affairs
- The Council on Political Affairs focuses on matters related to political interactions between Member States of the Arab League and between the Arab League or certain Member States and states outside of the Arab League.
- Council of Arab Environmental Affairs Ministers
- This council is concerned with environmental conditions within and related to Member States of the Arab League. Issues such as water rights, agricultural chemicals, and long-term environmental sustainability are often discussed in this council.
- Council of Arab Economics Affairs Ministers
- The Council of Arab Economics Affairs Ministers focuses its efforts on ensuring the economic success of the Arab world. This council has historically focused on topics such as long-term economic stability, diversification away from primarily oil-based economies, and ensuring adequate employment opportunities for persons living in the Arab world.
- Special Summit of Arab Heads of State
- The Special Summit was available in certain regional competitions, as well as the national competition in Washington, D.C., for the 2008 competition. This simulation is unique from the others in that instead of simply role-playing a diplomat from a Member State, individuals working in this Special Summit are actually asked to role-play a Head of state of a specific Arab League Member State. This leads to a unique experience for everyone involved in the Special Summit as they are the final authority on all policy matters for their respective state, and therefore must be careful of their announced decisions and negotiations in this body as they may impact all of the delegates from the same Member State assigned to the other councils.
- Special Summit of Arab Ministers of Justice
- This Special Summit will replace the Special Summit of Arab Heads of State in certain regional competitions and the national competition in Washington, D.C., for the 2009 competition. This simulation would be more accurately called "Special Summit of Arab Ministers of Social Justice;" delegates representing member nations are asked to debate policies as diverse as human rights, freedom of information, intellectual property rights, the International Criminal Court, etc.
- Arab Court of Justice (ACJ)
- The Arab Court of Justice is an idealized body that does not actually have a counterpart in the Arab League. The ACJ is simulated at Model Arab League conferences in order to demonstrate the potential effectiveness of such an entity to the Arab League. The ACJ typically deals with controversial matters within the Arab world and attempts to provide solutions for these problems. Court cases have historically ranged from refugee and employment disputes to questions of resource allocation and territorial disputes, particularly with regard to Western Sahara. Much of how the ACJ functions is modeled after the International Court of Justice.
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