With the cancellation of the scheduled labor strike at the 11th hour, and without the attendance of U.S. Secretary Hillary Clinton due to illness, the 9th Forum for the Future was called to order by Dr. Rafik Abdessalem, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tunisia.
The opening session was co-chaired by Michael Posner, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, and by the tripartite nongovernmental organizations the League of Women Voters, ARFORGHE - the Association of Professionals for Human Resources, and the Tunisian American Chamber of Commerce.
Thirty three countries plus international organizations such as OECD, the World Bank and the Arab League, among others, convened to celebrate the conclusion of the 9th Forum co-chaired by the United States of America and the Republic of Tunisia.
During their intervention Foreign Ministers from different G8 and regional countries stressed time and time again the importance to continue to advance the role of women, economic governance, and small and medium-size Enterprises. LWVUS President Elisabeth MacNamara co-chaired the session on economic governance and entrepreneurship. The League's executive director Zaida Arguedas, co-chaired the session on Women's Empowerment. Sustained long-term support for women was strongly stressed by the representative from Italy.
Forty five representatives from civil society and the private sector were invited at the table as full participants in the dialogue that stresses the importance of working together to achieve success in the region.