The first effort by the United Nations to define the Middle East
was made in 1947, when the General Assembly resolved to create an
Economic Commission for the Middle East. As a result of tensions
produced in the region by the creation of the state of Israel, the
commission was never created. But before the project collapsed,
a Subcommittee on the Geographical Delimitation of the Area recommended
a list of nations to be included in the commission. Any non-self-governing
territory in the Arabian Peninsula, Eastern Mediterranean, and North
East Africa could apply for membership as well. Some representatives
had felt that Transjordan, Pakistan, and Libya should be included,
but those nations did not appear in the final recommendation.
Source: “Report of
the Ad Hoc Committee for the Middle East,” Official Records
of the Economic and Social Council, Ninth Session, Supplement
no. 4, 20.