At the start of every month, the Global Observatory posts a list of key upcoming meetings and events that have implications for global affairs.
- April 2: Prime Ministers of Kosovo and Serbia Meet for Conclusive Talks
In a final round of EU-mediated talks, Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci will meet to discuss remaining issues in an effort to normalize relations. On the table is how much autonomy Serbians communities in northern Kosovo should be granted, a situation that remains fragile after tensions peaked in 2011 when Serbs clashed with Kosovo police and NATO over blocked roads and barricades. Both sides have agreed to establish an association of Serbian municipalities but lack a consensus on its powers. The outcome of the talks could determine whether the neighboring countries can take the next steps towards EU membership, with Brussels setting concrete progress in the talks as a precondition.
- April 5-6: Expert meeting on Iran’s nuclear program in Kazakhstan
Iran and the P5+1 countries of Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States, and Germany, will resume talks over its nuclear enrichment program, in Almaty, Kazakhstan. After a month-long break and failed meetings in Istanbul, Baghdad, and Moscow, the sides met in late February in attempts to reinvigorate negotiations over the decade-long dispute. The P5+1 group offered to ease non-oil or financial sector-related sanctions in exchange suspensions of Iran’s underground enrichment site in Fardow and the surrender of 20 percent of enriched uranium. February’s meeting ended on a positive note but produced no breakthroughs.
- April 8-12: International Conference on Effective Nuclear Regulatory Systems in Ottawa
Co-hosted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the government of Canada through the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), the conference will convene the world’s senior regulators in the areas of nuclear and radiation safety and security in order to review and assess ways of improving nuclear regulatory systems. After the nuclear accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (NPP) in March 2011, the IAEA drafted an action plan on nuclear safety, which sets out to strengthen nuclear safety worldwide. The conference is organized in connection with the implementation of the action plan. [More info]
- Also of Interest: • April 30: Mandate for UN mission in the Western Sahara expires
• April 30: The 1572 Côte d’Ivoire sanctions committee and the mandate of the Group of Experts (GoE) expires
Elections and Other Domestic Events
- April 7: Egyptian Court Verdict on Appeals against the Suspension of Elections
The Supreme Administrative Court of Egypt will issue its verdict on an appeal filed by a body representing the state against the suspensions of parliamentary elections. In early March, the court decided to indefinitely postpone President Mohamed Morsi’s decision to hold a four-stage parliamentary vote beginning April 22, citing that the upper house of Parliament should have returned the amended election law to the Supreme Court for review and approval. Opponents to the ruling Muslim Brotherhood accused the Islamists of drafting the law to suit themselves, as the lower house elections are seen as the final stage of the transition following the removal of Hosni Mubarak two years ago. Last June, the lower house of Parliament, led by the Muslim Brotherhood, was dissolved after the Supreme Court found the election rules illegal.
- April 14: Presidential Election in Venezuela
Following the death of Hugo Chavez, Venezuela will proceed with a new election to find his successor. Two men currently lead the pack, Vice President Nicolas Maduro, the man picked by Chavez to carry on his Bolivarian legacy, and Henrique Capriles Radonski, the conservative who ran against Chavez back in the country’s October presidential election. Maduro, a former bus driver turned politician, rose up the political ranks to become part of Chavez’s trusted inner circle, and is favored to win the election. His opposition challenger, Henrique Capriles, is a member of the center-right Justice First Party, and has indicated he would reassess and change some of Chavez’s more controversial positions, such as Venezuela’s close ties with Iran, and welcome more market-friendly economic policies.
- Also of Interest:
• April 7: Presidential Election in Montenegro
• April 7: Presidential Election in Ecuador
• April 13: Egypt’s Mubarak faces a retrial following appeal against life sentence
• April 16: Kenyatta to be sworn in a Kenya’s president following disputed election (date subjected to change if Supreme Court’s chooses to accept Coalition of Reform and Democracy’s petition)
• April 20: Provincial Elections in Iraq
• April 21: Presidential Election in Paraguay
• April 23: Parliamentary Election in Bhutan
• April 27: Parliamentary Election in Iceland
Other Multilateral Meetings
- April 10-11: G8 Foreign Ministers Summit in London
This year’s G8 presidency is held by the United Kingdom, which will host the foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, and the United States in London as a lead up to the G8 Summit in June. The G8 foreign ministers will discuss pressing foreign and security policy issues facing the nations, with a focus on the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative and the G8’s Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition. [More info].
- April 24-25: ASEAN 22nd Summit in Brunei
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will hold its annual meeting in Brunei Darussalam under the theme “Our People, Our Future Together.” This year’s meeting will discuss the role of ASEAN member states in advancing cooperation in the areas of political security, and economic and cultural developments. Brunei assumed the rotating chair of ASEAN in 2013, and faces two particular challenging issues in steering ASEAN through the security concerns regarding China’s claims to most of the South China Sea and trade and economic issues within the region.
- Also of Interest:
• April 17-19: European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns, Geneva
• April 19: Third Global Meeting of the International Dialogue, Washington, D.C.
• April 18-19: G20 finance ministers to meet, Washington, D.C.
• April 19-21: IMF and World Bank Spring Meeting, Washington, D.C.
• April 23-25: World Economic Forum on Latin America, Lima, Peru