Key Global Events to Watch in June

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

June 1: Annual OECD Forum Concludes, Paris

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s annual forum began in late May and ends on June 1. The event was expected to be attended by about 2,000 participants from 70 countries, including heads of state and government and representatives of NGOs, academia, and the labor movement. This year’s forum is being held under the theme of “Productive Economies, Inclusive Societies.”

June 1: Scheduled Start of Airdrop of Supplies to Syria

The United Nations was scheduled to begin airdrops of food and medical supplies to Syrian towns cut off from international humanitarian relief, on June 1. The plan was agreed by the members of the International Syria Support Group in April, following Bashar al-Assad’s continued blocking of food and aid reaching rebel-held areas of the country. UN Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura appeared to back away from the commitment in late May, however, fearing the risks of operating without the support of Damascus.

June 2: OPEC Meets Amid Oil Price Volatility, Vienna

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meets in Vienna on June 2, with significant international attention focused on oil market fluctuations. The average crude oil price has recovered from its early 2016 lows to about $50 per barrel, but remains at about half the peak level of 2014, which has had a devastating effect in countries such as Venezuela. Following several failed deals to curb production, the Vienna meeting is not expected to offer any change in OPEC direction.

June 3: France Holds Rescheduled Middle East Peace Conference, Paris

The French government will host an international conference in Paris on June 3, with the intention of restarting the stalled Israel-Palestine peace process. The event aims to instigate face-to-face talks between the two sides, who will not attend. The conference was rescheduled from late May to accommodate US Secretary of State John Kerry, who joins representatives from Russia, the European Union, United Nations, and other countries and institutions.

June 3-5: Shangri-La Dialogue, Singapore

The 15th annual Shangri-La Dialogue of Asia-Pacific defense ministers and senior defense personnel will take place in Singapore from June 3-5. The event, organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, aims to build confidence and practical cooperation in the region and will this year discuss key issues such as South China Sea tensions, the North Korean nuclear threat, and jihadi terrorism. Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will deliver the keynote address.

June 5: Peru Holds Runoff Presidential Election

Peruvians will vote in a presidential runoff election on June 5 between Keiko Fujimori and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who emerged as the leading candidates from a first round national election on April 10. Latest polling puts Fujimori—the daughter of a jailed former president—as the favorite to win. Peru has been one of South America’s major success stories of the past decade, with its poverty rate dropping from about half the population to less than a quarter.

June 6-7: US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, Beijing

The eighth session of the United States-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue will be held in Beijing from June 6-7. The event includes a series of high-level meetings between the global powers on matters of political, strategic, security, and economic importance. A Chinese state-run newspaper claimed Beijing would “pressure” Washington on maritime issues, following US challenges to Chinese maritime and territorial claims in the South China Sea.

June 8-10: UN High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS, New York

World leaders, civil society organizations, and public health officials will attend a United Nations high-level meeting on ending AIDS, in New York from June 8-10. The event is designed to focus attention on a “fast-track” approach to the AIDS response over the next five years. This includes targets of fewer than 500,000 people being newly infected with HIV, fewer than 500,000 people dying from AIDS-related causes, and elimination of HIV-related discrimination, between now and 2020.

June 15-16: European Development Days, Brussels

The European Union will host the 2016 edition of the European Development Days on June 15-16. The forum is expected to bring together more than 5,000 participants, including heads of state, aid and development practitioners, members of civil society, and the private sector. This year’s gathering will focus on the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

June 23: UK Referendum on European Union Membership

The people of the United Kingdom vote on June 23 on whether to stay in or leave the European Union. UK Prime Minister David Cameron promised to hold a vote on the proposal if he won the 2015 general election, following a rise in public support for leaving the bloc. In February this year, the UK agreed a deal with Brussels featuring renegotiated terms for remaining. This included concessions for the UK’s economically powerful financial sector. Recent polling suggests a narrow lead for the leave, or “Brexit,” vote.

June 25-26: Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Inaugural Summit, Beijing

China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank hosts its first annual meeting from June 25-26 in Beijing. The bank began operating at the start of this year after being established by China in 2014 to help promote development in the Asia-Pacific region. The summit will be attended by representatives of the bank’s 37 founding member states and 20 prospective founding members. The United States, Japan, and Canada are yet to join, and the US  was said to be disappointed at other allies doing so.

June 30: Scheduled End of UN Mission in Liberia, Monrovia

The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) is scheduled to hand back control of the country’s security to the Liberian government on June 30. UNMIL began its mandate in the country in 2003 after a deadly civil war. UN Special Representative in Liberia Farid Zarif has expressed confidence in Liberia’s ability to manage its resumed responsibilities. This is despite many observers raising concerns about future stability, particularly with elections scheduled for next year and the economy continuing to suffer from the Ebola outbreak and oil market slump.

June 29: North American Leaders Summit, Ottawa

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will host his United States and Mexican counterparts for a leaders’ summit in late June—the first such meeting since early 2014. The meeting is expected to host talks on measures to boost the continent’s economic competitiveness and trade links, and also to forge a united climate change fighting strategy. Relations between Canada and the US have improved under Trudeau, with his predecessor Stephen Harper angered by US President Barack Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, among other differences of opinion.

June TBD: Armenia and Azerbaijan Resume Talks on Nagorno-Karabakh

Armenia and Azerbaijan are reported to have committed to hold talks sometime in June on ending their dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Fighting resumed in the region in early April this year, killing over 100 people in the space of four days. Foreign ministers from Russia, France, and the United States met with leaders from the two countries in May and reiterated their commitment to a ceasefire and peaceful solution to the conflict, with the help of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

June TBD: Emergency OAS Meeting on Venezuela

The Organization of American States (OAS) has called for an emergency meeting to evaluate Venezuela’s respect for democracy, and its possible expulsion from the body. OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro said in late May that the country had suffered “grave alterations of democratic order” following the government’s restrictions on its political opposition’s power in Congress, and on Venezuelans holding street protests. The country’s oil-dependent economy has suffered a dramatic downturn in the past year following the international oil price crash.