An Arab World Perspective

An Arab World Perspective

11 January 2011

In Annales de l'Institut Méditerranéen des Transports Maritimes, 2010, Ibrahim considers the Arab World's persective on the Rotterdam Rules.

"The Arab League decided to help its members in taking a position towards the 2008 Rotterdam Rules (RR). Members of the Arab League are: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen. Early position of the Arab League was hostile; this was changed after its RR Workshop Recommendations, attended by 15 member-countries in Alexandria, Egypt, February 2-3, 2010 leading to 'The 2010 Alexandria Declaration'.

Following an analytical and comparative law methodologies, the author concludes to the fact that the members of the Arab League are overwhelmingly 'cargo interests' countries; however this is not reflected in their implementation of related international Conventions and domestic Maritime Codes. The paper highlights the fact that few members of the Arab League are parties to the current international Conventions and that most of them adopt outdated Maritime Codes based on early such Conventions, namely the 1924 Hague Rules, the less cargo friendly.

In search for a proposal, the author explored the salient features of the RR and aligned with the opinion that supports a 'win-win' analytical approach against the 'us versus them' approach, concluding to the fact that the RR present a useful modernization option for the members of the Arab League.

Against his conclusion the author evaluates 'The 2010 Alexandria Declaration'; he lights its helpful aspects but draw attention to the fact of its informal status and constrains. According to the author the declaration is particularly criticisable for: first, though recommending signature it delays ratification; second it reduces chances of uniformity when it supported 'The 2008 Port Said Convention' and suggested regional Arab unimodal Conventions; the first addresses Pan-Arab Multimodal Transport and under the second category an Arab CMR duplicate is in process.

The author highlights that though the Council of the Arab Ministers of Transport did not literally adopt the Declaration, it however shifted the position of the Arab League from that of hostility to that of RR neutrality, i.e., adopting a 'wait and see' strategy, though comparatively a progress still criticisable for its conservatism"

The complete article is available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1737712 or by clicking on below link.