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The LAS General Secretariat is the executive body of the LAS. Located in Cairo, the General Secretariat is headed by the Secretary General with support from the Deputy Secretary General. The Secretary General is appointed by the League Council and serves five years with the possibility of serving one additional term. The General Secretariat has several bodies that serve administrative functions within different sectors, including the Legal Affairs Sector and Social Affairs Sector.
The General Secretariat is responsible for:
- Providing administration and technical support to the bodies of the LAS
- Organising the sessions and related activities of the bodies within the LAS. This includes the work of the Arab Permanent Committee on Human Rights, Arab ECOSOC and the ministerial councils
- Holding meetings and consultations on its own behalf to study specific areas of concern and interest, to which CSOs and other independent experts can be invited
How does it help tackle violence against women?
Although the General Secretariat is primarily an administrative body, in the past it has taken a leadership role on important human rights issues related to the status of women. For example, the General Secretariat was instrumental in producing the Arab Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women to the year 2005, which was referred to and adopted by the Council of Arab Ministers of Social Affairs. Within the Plan of Action, there were provisions directly addressing violence against women. The Secretary General was also responsible for creating the committee of experts who examined the potential for an Arab Court of Human Rights.
Anyone can access the General Secretariat – there are no restrictions with regard to observer status. Often, interaction with the various bodies within the General Secretariat can be a route to further engagement with the LAS. See our pages on the Human Rights Department and the Women’s Affairs Directorate for specific examples.