Key Global Events to Watch in October

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 October: Colombian Parties Seek New Peace Deal, Havana

Colombia’s government and FARC rebels have indicated their willingness to explore an alternative peace agreement after a national referendum unexpectedly rejected a deal agreed in August. The chances of success may be limited, however, with public acceptance seemingly dependent on the rebels agreeing to further restrictions on reintegration into society. United Nations envoy Jean Arnault has traveled to Havana—site of the original deal’s negotiation—to seek to revive the process.

October 4: EU Votes to Ratify Paris Climate Agreement, Brussels

Commitment by the 28 European Union member states to ratify last year’s Paris climate action agreement will bring the document into force earlier than expected. A vote in the European Parliament pushed formal approval of the document past the required threshold of 55 countries representing at least 55% of global carbon emissions. The agreement commits parties to keep the level of global atmospheric warming to below 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

October 4-5: Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, Brussels

The Brussels Conference on Afghanistan will gather representatives of up to 70 countries and 30 international organizations to seek new commitments for the conflict-afflicted country. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah will set out a future vision and track resent progress on reform. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, United States Secretary of State John Kerry, European Council President Donald Tusk, and other international leaders are expected to pledge further support to security and development.

October 5: UN Holds “Color” Straw Poll on Next Secretary-General, New York

On October 5, the United Nations Security Council will hold its sixth straw poll to assess the candidates to be the next UN secretary-general. The anonymous vote will differ from the previous five in that decisions from the five permanent council members will be marked in a different color, which will indicate whether any of the candidates face a veto. Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres has built a strong lead in polls held until now.

October 6: European Border and Coast Guard Begins, Brussels

The new European Border and Coast Guard has been approved to begin operating on October 6, in response to the refugee and migration crisis affecting the bloc. An EU statement said the new agency would “ensure Union standards for border management are implemented at all external borders; carry out periodic risk analyses and mandatory vulnerability assessments to identify and address weak spots.” It will employ at least 1,500 border guards.

October 7: Nobel Peace Prize Announced, Oslo

The 2016 Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on October 7 at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo, with a record 376 candidates nominated. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC rebel commander Timochenko lost their status as frontrunners for the award after a Colombian referendum rejected a peace deal they agreed earlier this year. The 2015 award went to Tunisia’s National Dialogue Quarter, for their work in safeguarding the country’s post-revolution democratic progress.

October 7-9: Annual General Meetings of World Bank and IMF, Washington

The boards of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group will hold their annual general meetings in Washington from October 7-9. The meetings will discuss the world economic outlook and means of eradicating poverty. Central bankers, ministers of finance and development, private sector executives, civil society representatives, and academics are likely to look at specific issues such as implications of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union and slowing growth in China and commodity-dependent economies.

October 9: Haiti Scheduled to Hold Delayed Presidential Elections

Haiti is set to hold its long-delayed presidential elections on October 9, with a second round on January 8 should no candidate reach the necessary threshold of more than 50% of the vote. All of the major candidates from the annulled October 2015 presidential polls are participating. The previous poll failed to produce a definitive outcome and efforts to hold a runoff election led to widespread rioting.

October 9 & 19: Remaining US Presidential Debates Held, St. Louis & Las Vegas

United States presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will participate in their remaining televised debates on October 9 in St. Louis, Missouri, and October 19 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A vice presidential debate will also take place on October 4. The presidential election will be held on November 8, and Clinton is currently given a 71.9% chance of defeating Trump.

October 12: Venezuela Protests Demand Maduro Recall Vote

Further mass protests are scheduled in Caracas and across Venezuela on October 12 to push for a referendum on recalling President Nicolas Maduro. Hundreds of thousands of participants took part in similar demonstrations during September, inspired by widespread anger over Maduro’s perceived mismanagement of the national economy. Venezuela’s electoral council has indicated that early 2017 would be the earliest possible date for any recall vote.

October 15-16: India Hosts Eighth BRICS Summit, Panaji

The Indian city of Panaji will host the eighth major meeting on the BRICS group of major developing economies—also including Brazil, Russia, China, and South Africa—on October 15-16. While most of the summit program will focus on economic issues, Russian officials have indicated attention will be paid to issues such as the Syrian conflict, climate change, and United Nations reform.

October 19-21: Philippines President Duterte Visits China, Beijing

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is scheduled to visit China on October 19-21 to meet with President Xi Jinping, at a time when the country’s relationship with both Beijing and Washington is in doubt. Duterte has made conflicting decisions regarding the Philippines’ alliance with the United States as well as its response to Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea. Manila had a major legal victory against Beijing’s expansive maritime and territorial claims at a tribunal in The Hague during July.

October 25: UN Security Council Debate on Women, Peace, and Security, New York

The annual United Nations Security Council debate on women, peace, and security will take place on October 25 in New York. As holder of the council presidency, Russia is expected to ask member states to outline progress on the gender components of three major UN peace and security reviews from 2015. It is 16 years since the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security.

October 30: Moldova Holds Presidential Elections

Moldovans are scheduled to elect a new president on October 30. The poll takes place amid a corruption scandal involving the country’s banking sector that has been politically damaging to pro-Western incumbent Nicolae Timofti. Russia-supporting challenger Igor Dodson is currently leading in opinion polls, while government officials have accused Moscow of meddling in the campaign.

October 31: Deadline for Spanish Parliament to Form Government

Spain’s parliament has until the end of October to decide whether to allow acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to form a minority government or trigger a third election within a year. The situation has been further complicated by a leadership battle in the opposition Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, whose leader Pedro Sanchez has divided the party with his insistence on blocking Rajoy’s ambitions.