I am sure many of you are wondering what does it mean to be the G8-BMENA NGO partner of the United States. Since the announcement of the selection of the League as the US NGO partner, I have been leading a team of three (myself included) in discussions about what our role should be.

I thought that there should be a lot of information since after all, these G8-BMENA efforts were initiated in 2004 at the G8 meeting of foreign ministers in Sea Island, Georgia. Initially, the research for concrete information was hard to find, with the exception of the final report issued by the France/Kuwait NGO partners France Expertise Internationale (FEI) and Kuwait Transparency Society (KTS) in 2011 as part of the 8th Forum for the Future which took place in Kuwait. Further research has unveiled other documents from previous meetings.

So what do we know today?  We know that the League and a Tunisian NGO partner (to be announced soon) will be organizing three sets of different meetings between May and December 2012.

The first set of meetings will be three regional meetings for civil society organizations from the 18 BMENA countries (The Broader Middle East and North Africa – BMENA – 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 second set of meetings will be up to five national dialogues in up to five different countries for civil society organizations in those countries. The third set of meetings will be two distinct meetings:  a sub-ministerial meeting of G8 countries and the final G8 meeting of foreign ministers.