Middle East Newsline
Despite more than two years of U.S. efforts, Arab states have failed to take significant measures toward reform.A report sponsored by the United Nations asserted that Arab regimes, often with the help of the United States, have refused to take significant advances since October 2003. The Arab Human Development Report termed reform measures announced by Arab regimes "embryonic and fragmentary" and failed to address the need to end government repression."Overall, there has been no significant easing of the human development crisis in the Arab region," the report, released on Tuesday, said. "There is a near-complete consensus that there is a serious failing in the Arab world, and that this is located specifically in the political sphere."The report, citing improvements in women's rights and education, said the U.S.-led war against Al Qaida has reduced freedom in the Arab world. Arab intellectuals complained of increased harassment and detention of Arabs in the West, saying this has provided a pretext for Arab regimes to ignore calls for reform.
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