News & events

Building dialogue in the Broader Middle East and North Africa

18 October 2013

This December Saferworld will be helping to organise the Broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) Initiative – an annual dialogue that aims to improve the quality of engagement between civil society and governments.

The role of youth will be a particular focus of this year’s dialogue, cutting across a series of civil society workshops exploring economic development, women’s empowerment, and freedom of expression. Youth is an area in which Saferworld has important experience. For instance, Saferworld has been working with youth in Yemen since 2011 to amplify the voices of young men and women during the country's critical transition phase. We have also undertaken research on youth grievances and empowerment.

The BMENA Initiative is an annual dialogue established in 2004 between G8 and BMENA governments and civil society representatives. In 2013 it is being co-chaired by the UK and Egypt. It is the primary means through which G8 and regional governments together can engage with civil society to support reform.

The 2013 BMENA initiative begins with a series of civil society workshops organised by Chatham House in partnership with a consortium of organisations including Saferworld. Following the workshops, an annual conference referred to as the ‘Forum for the Future’ will take place in Cairo bringing together ministers from BMENA and G8 governments along with representatives from civil society and the private sector to reflect on the outcomes of the workshops, strengthen the BMENA initiative network and agree recommendations for further progress.

The countries of the Broader Middle East and North Africa region include Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, and Yemen.  Saferworld works in Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. In 2012, the BMENA Initiative was co-chaired by the United States and Tunisia.

If you are interested in participating in this workshop you can apply here.

Watch a documentary about our work with youth in Yemen.

Follow @BMENA2013 on twitter.