Key Global Events to Watch in August

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

Early August: Negotiations on Finalizing Myanmar Ceasefire Agreement, Yangon

Myanmar’s government and ethnic armed groups have reportedly agreed to hold further negotiations in early August on finalizing a nationwide ceasefire agreement aimed at ending six decades of conflict. The government and representatives of the ethnic groups agreed on a draft agreement in March this year.

August 3: US Secretary of State Kerry to Brief Gulf Leaders on Iran Nuclear Deal, Doha

United States Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council as part of a five-country world tour in August. The main topic of conversation will be the agreement between Iran and six world powers—China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, and the United States—on Tehran’s controversial nuclear program. Kerry will also meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Doha to discuss ways of combating the so-called Islamic State.

August 9: Haiti Holds Parliamentary Elections

Haitians will go to the polls on August 9 to restore the country’s parliament, which was dissolved in January. United Nations officials have said the elections will look to usher in a new period of “transparency, democracy, and development” for Haitians. The elections are scheduled to be followed by voting for a new president in October this year. A US State Department official recently warned that the country needed as much as 50 million USD more funding to carry out the elections.

August 14: US Secretary of State Kerry Formally Reopens US Embassy in Cuba, Havana

United States Secretary of State John Kerry will raise the American flag over the US embassy in Cuba on August 14, following the reopening of diplomatic relations between the two countries on July 20. Kerry’s visit to Cuba will be the first by a US secretary of state since 1945.

August 15: Japanese PM Abe to Mark 70th Anniversary of World War II’s End, Tokyo

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will make a formal statement marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. There has been considerable speculation as to whether Abe will make a full account, and possible apology, for the country’s wartime aggression, as former enemies such as China and South Korea have requested. Japan’s upper house of parliament is currently discussing a package of security bills designed to lift a post-war ban on the country’s Self-Defense Forces deploying internationally, after it was passed by the lower house.

August 17: Sri Lanka Holds Parliamentary Elections

Sri Lanka will hold parliamentary elections on August 17, with the maiden session of the new parliament set for September 1. Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was ousted by Maithripala Sirisena in January, is seeking a return to office as prime minister and has called for a renewal of the country’s strong-armed response to the country’s Tamil minority and to strong ties with China, over India.

August 17: Deadline for South Sudan’s Opposing Factions to Sign Peace Agreement, Juba

East Africa’s Intergovernmental Authority on Development has imposed an August 17 deadline on South Sudan’s government, led by President Salva Kiir, and rebels, led by former vice president Riek Machar, to sign a peace agreement to end the country’s 19-month war. There have been seven past failed agreements and ceasefires in the conflict.

August 20: Deadline for Greece to Make 3.5 Billion USD Payment to European Central Bank, Frankfurt

Greece must agree on the details of an agreement it struck with its international creditors by August 20, when it is scheduled to make a payment of 3.5 billion USD to the European Central Bank (ECB). The July 13 agreement with the ECB, International Monetary Fund, and European Commission averted the country’s exit from the Eurozone, but the required austerity measures have proven unpopular and the country remains at long-term risk of financial collapse.

August 21-22: Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security, Amman

Jordan will host the first ever Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security, on August 21-22. The forum will bring together young people, youth-led organizations, NGOs, governments, and United Nations entities. It will seek to create a new international agenda to enhance young people’s contributions to sustaining international peace.

August 22-27: 2015 NGO Conference at the UN, New York

The 2015 NGO Conference at the United Nations will bring together a vast array of international civil society groups, stakeholders, and campaigns to UN headquarters. The event will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the UN under the theme Honoring the Past, Recognizing the Present, and Imagining the Future.”

August 28-30: The New York Forum Africa 2015, Libreville

Billed as “the largest pan-African forum hosted in Africa in 2015,” the New York Forum Africa 2015 will be held in Libreville, capital of Gabon. It will bring together business and political leaders from the continent and across the world to focus on African economic development. The event will incorporate the Climate South Initiative, to discuss the global South’s role in reaching a climate agreement at the United Nations-hosted Paris negotiations in December this year.