The league was strongly influenced in its origins by Arab nationalism. As such, it was always designed as a loose representative organization, never as a first step toward any sort of trans-Arab federation or union on the European Union's model. Still, unanimous decisions of the Arab league's council (the league's principal organ) are binding on all member states. Majority decisions are binding only on those states in the majority.
The league's committees focus on politics, culture, communications, oil, health, human rights, women, climate and youth welfare, among other issues. But the league's effectiveness has historically been limited by the disparity of its members' agendas, by difficulties in reaching consensus, by frequent feuds and boycotts between member states, and by the general sense that League decisions or pronouncements rarely carry much weight.
The league's members are: