Voluntary Organizations and Civil Society

Country Reports: Middle East and North Africa

The International Journal
of Not-for-Profit Law

Volume 1, Issue 2, December 1998


1. Model Law for the Arab World

The Board of Directors of the Arab Network for NGOs met in Beirut, Lebanon in December 1998 to discuss various regional activities. One of the projects adopted is the development of a new model law for NGOs for the Arab region. This project will be accomplished over the course of the next year, with the expected presentation of a draft at the October meeting of the Network in October 1999 in Cairo. Participants in the process will include Arab lawyers, policy makers, NGO leaders, etc. For further information on this process, please contact Dr. Amani Kandil, Executive Director of the Network, (202 340 8011 (tel) and 202 340 8013 (fax)).

2. World Bank Handbook on Good Practices for Laws Relating to Nongovernmental Organizations

The World Bank Handbook is now available in Arabic and can be obtained by contacting Lee Irish of the NGO Unit; Lirish@worldbank.org.


The draft law on the Registration of Associations and Community Organizations is being translated into English and will be available on ICNL’s web site soon. Further comments on the draft legislation will be made in the next issue of the Journal.


The drafting of new legislation on associations and foundations for Jordan has commenced and is expected to continue over the course of the next several months. For further information on the drafting process, please contact Dr. Abdullah El-Khatib al-mall@go.com.jo or [tel] (962 6) 634 001 and [fax] (962 6) 659 973.


In September 1998 a conference was held in Marrakech under the auspices of the World Bank and the Minister of Justice for Morocco, Mr. Omar Azzimane, to discuss NGO relations in Morocco and more broadly in the Arab World. The conference considered questions about the regulation of NGOs and the need for a comprehensive look at the laws in the region with a view to enhancing the legal enabling environment for NGOs in the region. Efforts are underway to coordinate the outcomes of this conference with the regional efforts described in the Regional Report.