Key Global Events to Watch in September

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

      • September 5–6: G20 Leaders’ Summit, St. Petersburg, Russia
        The Russian presidency of this year’s G20 summit will focus on three drivers of growth: effective regulation, jobs and investment, and trust and transparency.  Within these broad themes, the summit will discuss several issues indirectly related to security, such as structural unemployment, employment of vulnerable groups, food security, infrastructure, and the fight against corruption. Syria is likely to be discussed only on the margins of the meeting, despite some calls to prioritize it in the meeting’s agenda.
      • September 10–13: Meeting on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Lusaka, Zambia
        The fourth meeting of states parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions will address implementation and universalization of the convention; stockpile destruction; clearance of affected regions; and victim assistance, among other items. “A large number of States Parties and States not Parties have condemned or otherwise expressed concern with the use of cluster munitions in Syria in 2012 and 2013,” a report released in advance of the meeting said. The summit will focus on obstacles and best practices to move forward. 
      • September 10–27: 24th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, Geneva
        Over 17 days in Geneva, the 24th Session of the UN Human Rights Council will evaluate periodic reviews on states from Cambodia to Colombia. Updates on human rights situations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Sudan, Egypt, Syria, and Sri Lanka are likely to be of particular interest. In addition to reports on individual states, the Council will discuss many thematic topics, such as the protection of human rights defenders and the safety of journalists.
      • September 16: Conference on the New Deal for Somalia, Brussels
        This conference co-hosted by Somalia and the EU will endorse the “New Deal Compact” that will commit the Somali people and their international partners to a set of key priorities and provide new support for the reconstruction of Somalia over the next three years.
      • September 24: Opening of the General Debate of the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly, New York
        This year’s general debate will run from September 24 to October 2. Ambassador John W. Ashe of Antigua and Barbuda will preside over the debate as the new president of the General Assembly. In addition to their annual speeches in the Assembly, heads of state and ministers from the 193 member states will participate in the usual flurry of side events and bilateral meetings.
      • September 24 & 25: General Assembly Meetings on Post-2015 Development Agenda, New York
        Following a high-level meeting on disability and development on September 23, the post-2015 development agenda is likely to dominate many of the General Assembly discussions this year. On September 24, the Office of the President of the General Assembly convenes the first meeting of the high-level political forum on sustainable development, titled “Building the future we want: from Rio+20 to the post-2015 development agenda.” On September 25, a special event will follow up on efforts made toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals, which will also look forward to post-2015.
      • September 26: General Assembly Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament, New York
        This one-day event will be the UN General Assembly’s first high-level meeting on nuclear disarmament. The meeting follows the Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, which took place in Oslo in March 2013. The General Assembly meeting seems to have received little publicity, despite the Secretary-General’s strong support for this cause, perhaps because member states themselves are divided over the idea of nuclear-weapon-free world.
      • September (Date TBD): UN Security Council Meeting on Small Arms, New York
        Small arms have not been discussed as an official agenda item for the Security Council since 2008, but a high-level meeting on the topic is now expected in September, at the initiative of Australia, as president of the Council. On the tails of the Arms Trade Treaty passed on April 30 of this year, “Australia is seeking to revive Council focus on the issue, as it has significant impact on the country-specific and thematic issues on the agenda of the Council, such as protection of civilians,” according to the Security Council Report’s monthly forecast. The UN Secretary-General may brief the council.
      • Also of Interest:

        • September: The Security Council is expected to renew the mandate of UNMIL before it expires on September 30.


      • September 7: Maldives holds first round presidential election
        Nineteen months to the day after resigning after threats of violence, ex-president Mohamed Nasheed, and others, will challenge incumbent president Mohammed Waheed (who was Mr. Nasheed’s vice president) for the next five-year term. Mr. Nasheed was the first democratically elected president following the ouster of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the dictator who ruled the country for three decades, and the drafting of a new constitution in 2008.

        According to The Economist, Mr. Nasheed was painted by the opposing three candidates as immoral and “India’s stooge” because he has promised to promote so-called “booze-and-bikini” tourism and make a deal with an Indian firm to rebuild the main international airport. Nonetheless, as a favorite among young voters in a country where the median age is 26, Nasheed is projected to win the election.  If no candidate wins with more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round, the Election Commission will hold a run-off poll between the top two candidates on September 28.

      • September 16–18: Parliamentary Elections, Rwanda
        In August, tensions between Rwanda and neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) heightened, as the conflict in DRC spilled across the Rwandan border. President Kagame’s administration criticized the DRC for not containing the violence, while “several governments have suspended part of their assistance to Rwanda in response to Rwandan military support for the M23 rebel group in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” according to Human Rights Watch.

        Against this regional backdrop, the parliamentary elections will be held over the course of three days. On September 16, voters will elect the 53 MPs standing on political party or individual tickets. On September 17, voters will elect the representatives for the youth and the disabled. Finally, on September 18, voters will elect the seats reserved for female candidates.

      • September 21: Parliamentary Elections, Kurdistan Region, Iraq
        Though the presidential elections were postponed, after much controversial debate, with President Banzani’s term being extended an additional two years, the parliamentary and provincial elections will be held as planned on September 21. Attempts were made by some to delay these polls as well.
      • Also of Interest:

        • September 7: Parliamentary Elections, Australia

        • September 9: Parliamentary Elections, Norway

        • September 22: Parliamentary Elections, Germany


      • September 19: Trial of Gaddafi’s son and Intelligence Chief
        The trial is set to begin on September 19th. According to the Guardian, “Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, Abdullah al-Senoussi and 26 other regime members will be tried on various charges ranging from murder, forming armed groups in violation of the law, inciting rape and kidnappings during Gaddafi’s 42-year rule and the eight-month civil war that deposed him.” Over 280 additional warrants have been issued for other members of the former dictator’s regime, who are wanted on similar charges.
      • Also of Interest:

        • September 3-6: The 44th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting is focused on the theme “Marshalling the Pacific Response to the Climate Challenge,” Marshall Islands.