The League of Women Voters and its Tunisian partners—Association des Responsables de Formation et de Gestion Humaine dans les Entreprises (ARFORGHE) and the Tunisian American Chamber of Commerce—welcome civil society representatives from the broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) to Washington, DC, to draft a declaration on issues that are currently impacting civil society, particularly in the areas of women’s empowerment, freedom of expression, and economic governance and entreprenurship. 

On October 31, close to 100 government representatives from countries in the broader BMENA region and representatives from the G8 countries (France, United Kingdom, the Russian Federation, Italy, Japan, Germany, Canada, United States) will arrive in Washington, DC to attend the 9th Forum for the Future Sub-ministerial Meeting to be held at the Loy Henderson Auditorium at the U.S. Department of State.  The sub-ministers of foreign affairs will be joined by 30 participants representing different nongovernmental organizations from around the BMENA region.  These participants have been chosen from the 200 participants that attended the First and Second Preparatory Meetings in El Jadida, Morocco, and Amman, Jordan, respectively. 

The goal of this process is to ultimately harness the cooperation of civil society, private sector, and government representatives to generate concrete reform commitments that could be worked on jointly.  This is the preparatory meeting for the Forum for the Future Ministerial Meeting that is scheduled to be held in Tunis, Tunisia, on December 11-13, 2012.  US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will join her Republic of Tunisia counterpart Mr. Hedi Ben Abbes.