At the start of every month, the Global Observatory posts a list of key upcoming meetings and events that have implications for global affairs.
- February 5: International Meeting on Mali in Brussels
As France continues its military intervention in Mali, representatives from international organizations and about 45 countries will meet in Brussels to coordinate efforts to stabilize the crisis. The meeting will be hosted by the European Union in Brussels and is co-organized by the United Nations, the African Union, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). As 2,500 French troops advance to regain control of Mali’s northern areas from Islamic militants, the meeting will also assess the deployment of African troops; the humanitarian situation; ways to unite the country’s different ethnic, religious, and political groups; and the country’s return to constitutional rule.
- February 6: Security Council Meeting on Mali
The situation in Mali will be a key issue on the Security Council’s agenda for the month of February. Assistant Secretary-General Tayé-Brook Zerihoun will brief the council on recent developments on the ground and on the progress made by the African-led International Support Mission to Mali.
- February 6: Presidents of Serbia and Kosovo Meet for the First Time
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic and his Kosovar counterpart Atifete Jahjaga have agreed to hold talks in Brussels for the first time, marking the latest sign of progress in the EU-mediated dialogue to reconcile the two sides since Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. The meeting, which comes before the main talks between the prime ministers of the two sides to be held later in February, is largely seen as a symbolic move towards peaceful negotiations.
Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and Kosovo’s Hashim Thaçi have already held talks four times in Brussels since October, which have led to the opening of four crossing points on the border of northern Kosovo. With continued dialogue, the EU has promised to bring both sides closer to EU membership.
- February 13: IAEA and Iran in Next Round of Nuclear Talks
Following the UN’s stalled inquiry last month into Iran’s suspected atomic bomb research, a new round of talks between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran is set for this month. For a year, the IAEA has been trying to negotiate a framework agreement with Iran to allow its inspectors to access the country’s nuclear research facilities.
The six major powers, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia, have called for Iranian transparency towards the IAEA and peaceful guarantees on Iran’s nuclear enrichment programs, while Iran asserts it only has peaceful uses for nuclear energy. Last year, sanctions against Iran were expanded to include blocking its oil exports, dealing a major economic blow to the country.
- February 26: New Round of Nuclear Talks for Iran and Six World Powers
A spokesman for the EU’s foreign policy chief said on Tuesday that the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany will hold a new round of nuclear talks with Iran, to be held in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
- Also of Interest:
• Feb. 1-3: 49th Munich International Security Conference in Germany (more info)
• February 12: Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict
• February 13: Security Council Meeting on BNUB: The Security Council is likely to renew the mandate of the UN Office in Burundi, which is set to expire in the middle of the month.
• February 14: Security Council Meeting on Somalia
- February 18: Presidential Election in Armenia
Armenia’s presidential elections began on January 21st and are scheduled to end on February 16th. However, on January 31st, opposition presidential candidate Paruyr Hayrikian was shot near his house, raising the possibility that the elections could be postponed. Hayrikian, who is a former Soviet dissident and leader of the National Self-Determination Union, survived the shooting, although the motive for the attack is still not clear. Hayrikian did not have any known personal enemies and some suggest the attack was aimed at creating fear and disrupt the campaign. Under Article 52 of Armenia’s constitution, a presidential election can be delayed for two weeks should a candidate face “insurmountable obstacles.” And if the candidate does not sufficiently recover during that time, the vote would take place 40 days after the two-week period ends. Incumbent President Serzh Sargsyan, leader of the ruling Republican Party, is the favorite to win.
- Also of Interest:
• February 3: Parliamentary Elections in Cuba
• February 24: Parliamentary Elections in Italy
• February 17: Presidential Election in Cyprus
Other Multilateral Meetings
- February 6-7: 12th Islamic Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Cairo
In the midst of Cairo’s turbulent situation, about 26 heads of state will attend the OIC’s Islamic Summit, which will be held under the banner “Muslim World: New Challenges and Expanding Opportunities.” At the summit, Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi will assume the OIC’s rotating presidency for the next three years. Different themes will be discussed, including strengthening economic cooperation and political dialogue between the 57 member states and the situation in Palestine. The day before the summit, the OIC will also convene a special ministerial meeting with all stakeholders to solve the crisis in Mali.
- February 27-28: 5th UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) Global Forum
Convening decision makers, experts, and various stakeholders in the field of intercultural and interreligious dialogue from around the world, the 5th UNAOC Global Forum will focus on responsible leadership, tackling three major issues: religious freedom in the context of religious pluralism, media pluralism and diversity of media content, and migration and integration.
- February 28-March 1: OECD Global Forum on Competition in Paris
This 12th meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on the subject of competition will address poverty reduction and consider research findings on international enforcement co-operation (more info).
- Also of Interest:
• Feb. 14: G20 Finance Ministers meet in Moscow (more info)
• Feb. 25-March 22: Human Rights Council opens its 22nd regular session (more info)
• February 13: EU-China Summit in Beijing
• February 18-22: 1st universal session of the UN Environment Programme’s Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum in Nairobi, Kenya