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.

September 1-4: Myanmar’s Union Peace Conference Continues, Naypyidaw

Myanmar’s landmark Union Peace Conference will run until September 4. The event—also known as the 21st Century Panglong Conference, in reference to a nation-building 1946 event—is seeking peace between Myanmar’s government and many ethnic minorities following the end of military-dominated rule this year. The summit has been hailed as a major opportunity for peace but faces significant challenges, including exclusion of key groups and a refusal to discuss the Rohingya minority in particular.

September 1: Brazil Begins Post-Rousseff Era

Michel Temer has been installed as president of Brazil after 61 out of 81 of the country’s senators voted to impeach his predecessor Dilma Rousseff. Temer is a former Brazilian vice president and has been the country’s interim president since May, when Rousseff was suspended on charges of fiscal mismanagement. He will be tasked with addressing Brazil’s ongoing economic crisis and repairing faith in its political institutions.

September 1: Venezuelans Hold Mass Rallies Against Maduro, Caracas

Venezuelans are expected to hold mass rallies in Caracas today to pressure President Nicolás Maduro to allow a recall vote on his leadership. Organizers expect hundreds of thousands of participants in the demonstrations, inspired by widespread anger over Maduro’s perceived mismanagement of the national economy, which has collapsed in line with the global oil price.

September 2: Thailand Peace Talks to Resume, Kuala Lumpur

The government of Thailand and representatives of rebel groups from the south of the country are set to resume peace talks in Malaysia on September 2, according to officials from both sides. Recent bombings of tourist resorts by Muslim Malay separatists has caused alarm for the Thai economy. The Malaysian government will act as mediator, as it did in failed discussions from April this year.

September 4-5 China Hosts Annual G20 Summit, Hangzhou

China will the G20 Summit of major world economies for the first time, in the eastern city of Hangzhou. World leaders including United States President Barack Obama, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Japan’s Shinzo Abe, and Germany’s Angela Merkel are expected to join China’s Xi Jinping. Among the topics of discussion will be boosting innovation in science and technology, reigniting global economic growth, and closing development gaps between countries. The event takes place at a time of increasing tension between China and other G20 members, including over Beijing’s regional territorial claims.

September 6-8: Laos Holds 28th ASEAN Summit, Vientiane

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will hold its 28th summit from September 6-8. The host city of Vientiane, Laos, will also host related events such as the East Asia Summit, which brings together ASEAN heads of state and government as well as leaders of the United States, China, Japan, Russia, and other members of the wider region. This year’s summit will focus on advancing the ASEAN Economic Community launched last year.

September 13: Opening of 71st Session of the UN General Assembly, New York

The 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will begin on September 13. The opening events will include a major summit on migrants and refugees on September 19 and the annual general debate on September 20. UNGA President-Elect Peter Thomson has set the theme of the debate as “The Sustainable Development Goals: a universal push to transform the world.”

September 13-19: FARC Conference on Ratifying Colombian Peace Deal

Colombia’s FARC rebels are set to convene from September 13-19 to attempt to ratify recently agreed peace accords with the government in Bogota. The deal signed in late August seeks an end to 52 years of armed conflict that has killed 220,000 people. Colombian citizens will vote in a plebiscite on the peace deal on October 2, with the result expected to be tight.

Mid-September: Sudan and South Sudan to Resume Border Talks, Khartoum

The governments of Sudan and South Sudan are reportedly set to meet in mid-September to discuss improved management of their shared border. The two countries are working to implement a series of cooperation agreements, including around deployment of joint military border forces. Tensions between the two have been high following accusations from South Sudan leader Salva Kiir that Khartoum is supporting rebels allied to his former deputy Riek Machar.

September 16: EU Meeting to Discuss Brexit Consequences, Bratislava

Heads of state and government of European Union member states, minus the United Kingdom, will meet in Slovakia for an informal meeting on September 16. The Bratislava summit is expected to continue discussions of the UK’s impending exit from the bloc, building on an earlier meeting on June 29. Leaders issued a statement at that meeting’s conclusion, promising to “tackle any difficulty that may arise from the current situation.”

September 19: High-Level UN Summit on Migration and Refugees, New York

The United Nations General Assembly will host a high-level summit to seek a “more humane and coordinated response” to the large global movements of refugees and migrants at present. This is the first time that the General Assembly has convened a summit on this issue at the heads of state and government level. United States President Barrack Obama will host a complementary meeting of UN member state leaders on September 20, seeking new commitments on refugees in particular.

September 23: Mandate of UN Investigation into Syrian Chemical Weapons Expires, New York

The mandate of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons‑United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) is set to expire on September 23. The group’s Leadership Panel delivered a report on August 30 that found strong evidence that the Syrian Armed Forces and Islamic State had used chemical weapons during 2014 and 2015. Syrian ally Russia has questioned the findings, however, and rejected the imposition of Security Council sanctions on Bashar al-Assad’s government.

September 26: First US Presidential Debate, Hempstead

United States presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are scheduled to participate in their first televised debate on September 26 at Hostra University in Hempstead, New York. It will be one of three debates between the candidates ahead of the election in November this year. The others will take place on October 9 and October 19, with a vice presidential debate on October 4.