Key Global Events to Watch in November

At the start of every month, the Global Observatory posts a list of key upcoming meetings and events that have implications for global affairs.

November 1: New European Commission assumes office, Brussels

November 1 marks the beginning of the new term of the European Union’s executive body, the European Commission. The new 28-member body (one commissioner per member state) will be headed by former Luxembourgish Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, and will see the arrival of some new commissioners and the reassignment of some from the former Commission. November 1 will also mark the first day in office of former Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini as the new EU foreign policy chief and Commission vice president, replacing Catherine Ashton after five years in office.

November 2: Pro-Russia separatists hold parliamentary elections, Donetsk and Luhansk, Ukraine

Pro-Russia rebels in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk are scheduled to hold parliamentary elections on November 2, adding further strain on a tenuous September 5 truce between the rebels and the Ukrainian government. The vote follows a round of parliamentary elections held on October 26 in the rest of Ukraine, in which pro-Europe parties triumphed. The October vote was largely boycotted by the separatists who have insisted on electing their own legislature. The Ukrainian government opposes the vote and deems it illegal, while Russia has so far supported it and has promised to recognize the results.

November 2: Intergovernmental panel releases final report on climate change ahead of major UN convention, Copenhagen

On November 2, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release its final Synthesis Report on the risks of climate change at a press conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. The report summarizes three previous IPCC reports published over the past year and is expected to set the stage for a major UN climate change convention to take place in Paris in 2015. The previous report, published in April this year, found that world temperature could be decreased by two degrees Celsius with the right technological measures, but that despite efforts in that direction, greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise.

November 2-4: French president to visit Canada for first time since 1987, Canada

French President François Hollande will pay his first official state visit to Canada—and the first by a French president in 27 years—from November 2-4. The visit is expected to focus on greater cooperation between France and Canada in addressing international security threats, promoting open trade, and supporting more economic development, among other issues.

November 4: Congressional elections, United States

The US will hold its midterm Congressional elections on November 4, during which all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 33 of the Senate will be contested. The votes will most likely be contested by the country’s two main parties, the Democrats and the Republicans. Democrats and Republicans currently control the Senate and the House, respectively. A Senate majority for the Republicans would shift the balance between the two parties, with the Democrats controlling the White House and the Republicans both houses of Congress.

November 5-7: Dutch prime minister visits Malaysia, Australia over flight MH17 victims, Kuala Lumpur/Canberra

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is scheduled to meet with his Malaysian and Australian counterparts as he visits the two countries from November 5-7. The purpose of the visit is to discuss the ongoing probe into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in July. The plane, whose 298 passengers were all killed, was allegedly shot down by pro-Russia rebels in the midst of fighting with Ukraine government forces. Of the victims, 193 were Dutch, 43 were Malaysians, and 27 were from Australia, according to Agence France-Presse.

November 9: Bahrain hosts conference on combating terrorist financing, Manama

The Gulf Kingdom of Bahrain will host an international conference on November 9 aimed at curbing international financing for terrorist organizations and individuals. The main purpose of the conference is to coordinate international measures that can bar terrorist groups from raising funds through financial institutions and charitable organizations across both the Middle East and North Africa. The event is expected to culminate in a roadmap/action plan that clarifies how to target the activities of extremist groups across the Middle East, including the so-called Islamic State, al-Qaeda, and its regional affiliates.

November 9: Catalonia holds “unofficial” poll in lieu of illegal independence vote, Catalonia

Catalans will head to the polls on November 9 for a consultation regarding Catalonian independence from Spain. The date had been initially set for a formal independence vote, but the consultation plan was adopted instead after the Spanish government barred the region from carrying out a vote it called “illegal.” Although it won’t carry legal authority, the November 9 consultation is likely to extend the long-standing debate on the region’s secessionist aspirations.

November 10: Albanian premier visits Serbia for first time in 68 years, Belgrade

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama is scheduled to visit the Serbian capital on November 10, the first such trip by an Albanian leader since 1946. The visit was first set to take place on October 22, but was postponed a few days earlier after political tensions led to a brawl during a soccer match between the two countries. Albania and Serbia fought a long ethnic war over Kosovo in the 1990s, and the visit is expected to send a message of regional reconciliation.

November 10-11: APEC Leaders’ Summit, Beijing

The Asia Pacific Economic Council (APEC), the major economic forum of the Asia-Pacific region, will gather Asian and world leaders for its annual economic leaders’ meeting. The forum, to take place on November 10-11, will identify policies aimed at improving regional trade and will also offer member states the opportunity to discuss bilateral trade ties with one another. The summit usually culminates in the publication of a unanimous Leaders’ Declaration summarizing the summit’s achievements.

November 12-13: 25th ASEAN Summit, Myanmar

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will hold its 25th summit in the capital city of Myanmar, Naypyidaw. The forum is an opportunity for regional leaders to convene and address existing challenges in Southeast Asia and devise ways to solve them peacefully. In addition to government heads from member-states, the forum will also see the participation of other world leaders, including US President Barack Obama.

November 15-16: G20 Summit, Brisbane

The Group of 20—the world’s 19 advanced and emerging economies plus the European Union—will convene in the Australian city of Brisbane on November 15-16. In addition to the G20 leaders, up to 4,000 delegates from the group are also expected to attend the summit. The program of the 2014 G20, developed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia—whose country holds the group’s chairmanship this year—focuses on two main themes: promoting stronger economic growth and employment outcomes, and increasing the global economy’s resilience.

November 17: Indian Prime Minister to visit Australia for first time in 28 years, Sydney

Newly elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Australia for the first time since 1986 on November 17, immediately after attending this year’s G20 summit in Brisbane. During the visit, Mr. Modi will meet with the Australian policymaking community and is also expected to make a stop at the Sydney Olympic Park where he will address a large crowd of an estimated 13,000 people—both Australians and members of the Indian diaspora there. Both the visit and the expected address come against a backdrop of recent efforts on the part of Mr. Modi to reinvigorate India’s role in the region as well as its international standing.

November 19-21: Pan-African meeting of civil society organizations, Accra

Africa 2.0—a Pan-African group of civil society organizations—will hold its annual meeting in the capital of Ghana, Accra from November 19-21. The meeting brings together young leaders from African governments, international organizations, NGOs, and the private sector to discuss how to improve Africa’s business plan for the future.

November 22: Bahrain to hold first parliamentary elections since 2011 uprisings, Bahrain

The small Gulf kingdom of Bahrain will hold parliamentary elections on November 22, the first since widespread unrest shook the country in early 2011.

November 23: Presidential elections, Tunisia

Tunisians will head to the polls on November 23 for the second time in less than a month to choose their next president. On October 26, voters cast their ballots in legislative elections that saw the triumph of secular parties over the moderate Islamist Ennahda Party. The election, the first presidential one since the 2011 revolution and the adoption of a new constitution in January 2014, will see 27 candidates contesting the votes of 5 million eligible Tunisian voters.

November 24: Iran and six world powers face final deadline for comprehensive nuclear deal, Vienna

November 24 marks the end of the extension for Iran and six world powers to reach a final comprehensive agreement over Iran’s nuclear program. The timeframe for a nuclear deal was extended last July after the parties failed to come to a compromise following the first six months of an interim deal reached in Vienna last year. Iran rejects allegations from Western powers that it is developing a nuclear weapon and insists on its right to enrich uranium under international law; the P5+1 seek reassurances that the program is entirely peaceful. Individuals close to the negotiations believe this deadline is firmer than previous ones and that pressure on Iran has increased due to falling oil prices. If reached, the agreement would see Iran curbing some of the most sensitive components of its program in exchange of gradual sanctions relief.

November 25-28: 14th edition of EURAFRIC Forum, Lyon

This year’s EURAFRIC Forum will convene in the French city of Lyon from November 25-28 for the fourteenth year. The forum is an opportunity for experts, international donors, private companies, and economic as well as political decision-makers to convene and discuss ways to improve Europe-Africa cooperation. Some of the key objectives of the forum include addressing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); promoting cooperation between the EU and Africa on water and energy production; improving the competitiveness of African businesses; and reducing poverty on the continent. This year, the event will gather nearly 1,000 participants from over 20 countries.

November 30: UNMISS mandate set to expire, South Sudan

The mandate of the UN Mission in South Sudan is set to expire on November 30 after being extended in May by Security Council Resolution 2155. When extending the mission, the Security Council decided that UNMISS would consist of a military component of up to 12,500 troops and of a police component of up to 1,323 personnel. The Council also authorized the mission to use “all necessary means” to protect civilians, monitor and investigate human rights, support the implementation of the ceasefire agreement, and create conditions for the delivery of humanitarian assistance. The mandate is likely to get renewed, particularly because the situation on the ground continues to pose a risk to international peace and security.