The Broader Middle East and North Africa nations include Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, West Bank/Gaza and Yemen.
The BMENA initiative is a multilateral effort to promote cooperation between the G-8* and BMENA** governments and civil society to advance reform efforts throughout the region.
For the first time since 2004, the United States has assumed the G-8 Presidency for 2012 and, in that role, has co-chair responsibilities for the Broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) initiative. The United States has invited Tunisia to serve as BMENA co-chair, marking the first time that two democracies have led the initiative.
To assist the government co-chairs in developing themes, agendas, and concrete efforts to promote reform in the MENA region, each country selects an NGO partner. The NGO partners coordinate closely with each other and with the co-chair governments in support of BMENA activities, culminating in the ministerial-level Forum for the Future, which will be held in Tunisia in December.
The League of Women Voters accepted the invitation to partner with the United States as its 2012 BMENA Initiative NGO partner. The role of the League was to organize 10 preparatory meetings that have taken place in 8 different countries from April to October, efforts which will culminate with the ministerial meeting in December. The League’s efforts are led by a team of three, headed by Zaida Arguedas, Deputy Director and Director, Global Democracy Programs: Africa, Brazil, and Paraguay.
*G-8 Countries: The United Kingdom, France, Russia, Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada, United States (8 Industrialized Nations)
**BMENA Countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Bahrain, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Sudan, Tunisia, Yemen