Surrounded by heightened security, 300 civil society and government official have arrived in Tunis, Tunisia to attend the 9th Forum for the Future. Under spectacular winter skies, the League of Women Voters is ready to open the plenary session of the civil society and private sector preparatory meeting. Participants from 25 countries are ready and eager to discuss and find solutions to the current challenges faced by the Broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) countries.

The Forum for the Future is composed of three separate but interlocked meetings:  a civil and private sector, a Subministerial meeting, and a Ministerial meeting. The discussions. although different in content and tone, seek to reach agreement on issues that need to be urgently addressed in the region.

The League team, which includes LWVUS President Elisabeth MacNamara and Executive Director, Nancy Tate, will bring down the gavel with the attendance of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tunisia, Mr.  Hedy Ben Abbes.

As of this writing a strike on labor issues is expected on December in downtown Tunis, and therefore for security reasons, the government of Tunisia decided to hold the meetings in two different hotels, about 10 minutes from each other, but both facing the Mediterranean Sea. The separate sites allow the government to provide better security for high level officials, including U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton.