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Cablegate: Bmena Forum for the Future Planning Meeting In

VZCZCXRO3647
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHKO #1207/01 1230520
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 020520Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3937
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI 0224
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS 0214
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 0359
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 0268
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 0293
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 0292
RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN 1814
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 0308
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS 0514
RUEHDO/AMEMBASSY DOHA 0262
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 2064
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0561
RUEHKU/AMEMBASSY KUWAIT 0366
RUEHMK/AMEMBASSY MANAMA 0180
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2265
RUEHMS/AMEMBASSY MUSCAT 0104
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 9643
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT 0328
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 0573
RUEHYN/AMEMBASSY SANAA 0130
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 0752
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 0283
RUEHCL/AMCONSUL CASABLANCA 0035
RUEHDE/AMCONSUL DUBAI 0085
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH 0086
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 0371
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 TOKYO 001207

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

NEA FOR DAS PATTON, DRL/NESCA FOR PALMIERI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KDEM KMPI PHUM XF JA
SUBJECT: BMENA FORUM FOR THE FUTURE PLANNING MEETING IN
TOKYO, APRIL 24-25


TOKYO 00001207 001.2 OF 003


1. SUMMARY. At the Forum for the Future planning meeting in
Tokyo on April 24-25, participants discussed political reform
and sustainable development as the two thematic pillars for
the 2008 Forum. The Forum subministerial will be held on
June 9 in Dubai, followed by a senior officials planning
meeting on June 10. The Forum for the Future will be held in
Abu Dhabi on October 18-19, with the Parallel Civil Society
Forum occurring a few days earlier. The U.S. delegation
stressed that civil society participation should be at the
same as or increased levels from previous years. Japan and
the UAE agreed to support the creation of a BMENA interactive
website, and Morocco called on the G8 leaders to endorse the
Forum at their July summit in Hokkaido Toyako. END SUMMARY.

---------------------------
Forum for the Future Themes
---------------------------

2. NEA DAS Kent Patton led the U.S. delegation to the first
2008 G8-Broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) Forum
for the Future planning meeting in Tokyo on April 24-25.
DRL/NESCA Office Director Francisco Palmieri, NEA/PI Foreign
Affairs Officer Blake Thorkelson, and Embassy Tokyo poloff
Evan Reade also participated. The meeting was co-chaired by
Japanese MOFA Bureau of Middle Eastern and African Affairs
Deputy Director General Shinsuke Sugiyama and Emirati
Assistant Under Secretary Tareq Ahmed Al-Haidan. Japan, as
G8 president, and the UAE will host the Forum for the Future
in Abu Dhabi on October 18-19, 2008.

3. Japan and the UAE circulated four proposed themes and
several sub-themes for the Forum ministerial. Delegates from
Egypt, Bahrain, Morocco, Yemen, Canada, Germany, and Jordan
suggested that there were too many themes for foreign
ministers to discuss in one day, and that this year's topics
should avoid overlap with those of other BMENA ministerials.
DAS Patton recommended that representatives from the finance
and education ministerials should report outcomes to the
Forum for the Future. Yemeni Prime Deputy Foreign Minister
Mohy Al-Dhabbi and Bahraini Director of Bilateral Relations
Dhafer Alumran emphasized the need for continuity from
previous Forum themes. Egyptian Assistant Foreign Minister
Raouf Saad said that the theme of "political reform" should
be changed to "political issues," but Italian representative
Antonella Uneddu reminded all participants that political
reform, public participation, and civil society are the core
themes of BMENA, a point that several other participants
seconded.

4. By the end of the discussion, participants agreed to
develop further two thematic pillars with several sub-themes:

(1) Political reform

(a) The progress in democratic reforms and processes
including the expansion of public participation

(b) Women's empowerment (political, economic and social
participation)

TOKYO 00001207 002.2 OF 003

(2) Sustainable development

(a) Youth and unemployment, educational reform, vocational
and technical training and labor market

(b) Cooperation among governments and private sectors
including civil society organizations

--Environment
--Food crises
--Humanitarian and development aid

(3) Review of G8-BMENA initiatives

-----------------------
2008 Schedule of Events
-----------------------

5. Japan and the United Arab Emirates proposed the following
2008 schedule of events, to which the other delegations
agreed:

June 9 -- Subministerial (Dubai)
June 10 -- Senior officials' preparatory meeting (Dubai)
October TBD -- Parallel Civil Society Forum (Dubai)
October 18 -- Senior officials' preparatory meeting (Abu
Dhabi)
October 18 -- Ministerial dinner on political issues (Abu
Dhabi)
October 19 -- Forum for the Future ministerial (Abu Dhabi)

---------------------------
Civil Society Participation
---------------------------

6. DAS Patton said that as the schedule and themes have been
agreed upon, the co-hosts should invite civil society
participants through the Democracy Assistance Dialogue (DAD)
NGO partners from Yemen, Turkey, and Italy. The invitation
should state the themes for this year so that civil society
groups can take them into account at their planning meeting
in Istanbul on May 10. (Note: The invitations and themes
were distributed to the DAD on April 30.) The UAE called for
more G8 NGOs to participate, but Moroccan Bilateral Relations
Director General Yousuf Amrani cautioned that BMENA
governments need to enhance the dialogue with their own NGOs
first. Alumran of Bahrain said that the president of the
Foundation for the Future should be invited to the
subministerial to provide an update on its programs.

7. In a side meeting with the UAE's Al-Haidan, DAS Patton
stressed the importance of maintaining at least the same
number of civil society participants as in prior years, i.e.,
25 in the subministerial and 56-60 in the Forum ministerial.
He also informally discussed with several delegations ways to
ensure that civil society initiatives prepared for the Sanaa
Forum, such as the BMENA NGO Principles, could be
incorporated into this year's events.

TOKYO 00001207 003.2 OF 003

--------------------
Follow-up Mechanisms
--------------------

8. Egypt's Saad recommended a new mechanism consisting of an
end-of-year report by the co-chairs, including a summary of
the year's activities and recommendations for the next year's
co-chairs. Alumran of Bahrain said that the Forum Chair's
Summary is sufficient and suggested an interactive BMENA
website based in a G8 country. The website would serve as a
central clearing-house on all the BMENA initiatives and
points of contact. The German representative thought that
email communication was sufficient, but the Italian
representative thought the website proposal was useful and
proposed that the DAD NGOs assist in maintaining it.
Sugiyama agreed that Japan and the UAE could launch a website
together and promised to discuss the proposal again at the
June 9 subministerial. Amrani of Morocco also asked Japan as
the co-host to explore a G8 leaders' endorsement of the Forum
in the July 7-9 Hokkaido Toyako Summit documents. (Note: In
a side conversation, Sugiyama asked DAS Patton for U.S.
assistance in garnering G8 support for the inclusion of such
language.)

9. DAS Patton has cleared this message.
DONOVAN

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