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 5-7: Chinese President Xi Jinping Visits Vietnam and Singapore

Chinese media have reported that President Xi Jinping will visit Vietnam on November 5 and Singapore from November 6-7. The visit to Vietnam will be particularly significant, coming after the United States sent a warship through waters claimed by China in the South China Sea in late October. Vietnam is one of many claimants to territory and maritime rights in the region and tensions with China have been high since Beijing deployed an oil rig inside an exclusive economic zone claimed by Hanoi, in 2014.

November 8: Myanmar Holds Landmark General Elections

Myanmar is scheduled to hold the country’s first general elections since the nominal end of military rule in 2011. It will also be the first time in 25 years not to be boycotted by the main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), and its leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The NLD is expected to win the polls and the army to respect the decision, though it retains control over the country’s political process, and Suu Kyi is barred from becoming president.

November 8: Croatia Holds Parliamentary Elections

Croatians will vote in parliamentary elections on November 8. The ruling coalition led by the Social Democrats and Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic is currently trailing the conservative Croatian Democratic Union in opinion polls. Economic issues have been at the forefront of campaigning, with Croatia still struggling to recover from six years of recession—the worst downturn since the country emerged from the former Yugoslavia during the war of 1991-95.

November 9: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Visits US, Washington, DC

Iraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to visit the United States on November 9, and will be hosted by President Barack Obama at the White House for the first time in more than a year. Relations between the two leaders have been strained over issues including the US-brokered deal permitting an Iranian civilian nuclear program, and continued tensions between Israel and Palestine. Netanyahu delivered a controversial address to US Congress in May this year, at the invitation of Obama’s political rivals in the Republican Party.

November 9-10: International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa, Dakar

The Senegalese Government, in conjunction with the African Union and other partners, will host the 2nd Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa from November 9-10. The event will bring together more than 500 stakeholders, including heads of state and government, foreign affairs and defense ministers, and representatives from regional and international institutions, academia, civil society, and the private sector, to discuss key security challenges on the continent.

November 11: Referendum on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Republika Srpska

The President of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s semi-autonomous Serb-majority Republika Srpska has called a referendum for November 11 on whether its citizens support the authority of the internationally appointed high representative that has implemented the country’s peace accords of 1995. The nature of the question, which refers to “anti-constitutional and unauthorized laws” has been criticized by European Union observers, and seen as a de facto and potentially destablizing vote on regional independence.

November 11-12: EU Council Holds International Summit on Migration, Valletta

Malta will host an international summit on migration convened by the Council of the European Union from November 11-12. The event will respond to the regional crisis that has seen thousands of refugees from Syria, sub-Saharan Africa, and elsewhere travel to Europe in recent years, often facing dangerous transits across the Mediterranean Sea. The event will have a particular focus on forging European-African partnerships, aiming to build on previous agreements such as the EU-Africa Dialogue on Migration and Mobility.

November 15-16: G20 Leaders Summit, Antalya

The Group of Twenty (G20) Summit for the leaders of 20 major world economies will take place from November 15-16 in Turkey, which holds the G20 presidency for 2015. Among the outcomes of the event is expected to be final approval for a new 15-point plan to crack down on tax evasion by multinational corporations. Turkish diplomatic sources have also indicated the international refugee crisis will be added to the agenda.

Mid-November: Multilateral Peace Talks on Syria to Recommence, Vienna

joint communique issued at the start of November after the latest round of peace talks on the Syrian crisis indicated that a new round of discussions would be held within two weeks. The most recent round of talks were the first to feature Syrian ally Iran at the negotiating table and saw participants call for the declaration of a nationwide truce in the conflict, which began in 2011.

November 18-19: APEC Leaders Summit, Manila

The heads of state of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member states will convene in the Philippines from November 18-19 for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting. The summit will be convened under the theme of “Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World.” The Philippines has identified four priorities for discussion within this theme: investing in human capital development, fostering small and medium enterprises, building sustainable and resilient communities, and enhancing regional economic integration.

November 18-22: ASEAN Holds 27th Summit, Kuala Lumpur

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will hold its 27th biannual summit in Malaysia, November 18-22. The event is the last before the scheduled implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community on December 31, which will move ASEAN towards a single economic market valued at an estimated 2.4 trillion USD. The summit is also likely to discuss territorial and maritime navigation disputes between ASEAN members and China in the South China Sea, including progress toward a code of conduct for the region.

November 22: Argentina Presidential Runoff Election

Argentinians will return to the polls on November 22 after conservative Mauricio Macri fared better than expected in the October 25 presidential election and forced a runoff vote against Daniel Scioli, who is a member of outgoing leader Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s left-leaning Front for Victory alliance. The endorsement of the third, eliminated candidate in the presidential poll, Sergio Massa, could play a significant role in the runoff result.

November 25-30: Pope Francis Makes First Trip to Africa

Pope Francis will visit Kenya, Uganda, and the Central African Republic from November 25-30 during his first trip to Africa. The Vatican has indicated that the trip will focus on building dialogue between Christians and Muslims and address the significant development and insecurity issues in each country. The visit comes after the Pope’s September journey to Cuba and the United States, during which he addressed the United Nations General Assembly.

November 27-29: Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Malta

The 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) will take place in Malta between November 27-29 under the theme “Adding Global Value.” CHOGM is held every two years to enable leaders of Commonwealth countries to discuss issues relevant to member states and the international community, and plan collective policies and initiatives.

November 29: Burkina Faso Holds Postponed Elections

Burkina Faso will hold presidential and parliamentary elections on November 29 after polls scheduled for October 11 were rescheduled following a failed military coup in September this year. The polls are seen as a significant step forward in Burkina Faso’s democratic transition after longtime leader Blaise Compaore was ousted last year, following his attempts to to run for another term in contravention of a constitutional limit imposed in 2000.

November 30-Dec 11: United Nations Climate Conference, Paris

The 21st Session of the Conference to the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will take place in Paris from November 30-December 11. The landmark event will aim to achieve a new legally binding international agreement on climate that will be applicable to all countries and attempt to keep global warming to no more than 2°C above the global average temperature since the Industrial Revolution.