At the start of every month, the Global Observatory posts a list of key upcoming meetings and events that have implications for global affairs.
Peace & Security
- November 1: Iraqi Prime Minister Visits Washington to Talk Security in the Region
As the conflict in Syria spills over surrounding borders, the threat from al-Qaeda-linked militias is increasing in western Iraq. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki will meet with President Obama on November 1 to discuss the issue.
Officials from the Obama administration have said the US will sell military machinery, including Apache helicopters, and share information to assist with the growing threat. The meeting of heads of state prompted a letter to Mr. Obama from a number of US senators that claims Prime Minister Maliki’s “mismanagement” of affairs directly contributed to the increasing violence.
- November 1: Demolition of Chemical Weapons in Syria Enters Final Phase
The 100-member team charged with monitoring and destroying Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons enters into the third stage of its work this month. Now that the deadline for destroying production facilities has been met, the next charge is to begin retrieval and destruction of the weapons. The Syrian government and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons must agree on a detailed plan of destruction by November 15. The work is scheduled to conclude in June next year. President Assad’s administration has seemingly cooperated thus far, but the next phase is likely to be a lot more challenging. Meanwhile, peace talks slated for November 23-24 look tentative at best (see below).
- November 6-8: Meeting of the Working Group on Trafficking in Persons, Vienna
As part of the Conference of the Parties of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, this is the fifth session of the working group on trafficking in persons will cover topics such as how to reduce demand by fostering public-private partnerships and identifying factors that drive trafficking in persons, and forms of exploitation not normally associated with human trafficking.
- November 7-8: Meeting on Iran’s Nuclear Program with P5+1 and Iran, Geneva
Diplomacy between the foreign ministers of P5+1 countries and Iran in the last weeks may foreshadow the end to a decade-long dispute over Iran’s nuclear program. However, recent reports indicate Iran as yet continues its most controversial activity: uranium enrichment to a level close to that needed for bombs. Diplomats in Geneva will try to get Iran to cease its uranium enrichment program in exchange for a slackening of sanctions on Tehran.
- November 11-13: Meeting of the Working Group on the Smuggling of Migrants, Vienna
Supplementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the Protocol Against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air is the basis of this working group’s second session. As recent tragedies underline the need to address this issue, this working group is focused on how to investigate the factors unique to smuggling of migrants while maintaining rights of the migrants themselves. Meeting topics include multilateral, cross-border information sharing, investigative techniques, and the establishment of multi-agency centers.
- November 23 (tentative): Geneva II Peace Talks, Geneva
Conflicts between Washington and Moscow over Syrian opposition representation could delay the start of peace negotiations for up to a month, according to Arab and Western officials. The talks were slated to begin in Geneva on November 23, aiming to resolve two and a half years of civil war that has claimed 100,000 lives and displaced millions. President Assad has said that no political solution would be possible as long as international powers continue to support rebel fighters. In the meantime, Amnesty International reports that hundreds fleeing the violence are being turned back at the borders of surrounding countries.
- November 20- 28: Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC, The Hague
This regular meeting of states parties to the Rome Statute will cover many issues related to the International Criminal Court, not least state cooperation and the court’s relationship with Africa following Kenya’s threat to withdraw in September. (The ICC recently pushed Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s trial back to February, 2014). At the meeting, a by-election will also be held for one of the eighteen regular judges of the court, to replace Anthony Carmona, who was elected president of Trinidad and Tobago last March.
- Also of Interest:
• November 25: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women