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 3: Recommencement of Colombian Peace Talks, Havana

The Colombian government and FARC rebels are scheduled to recommence negotiations on a peace agreement on November 3. The two parties held a press conference in Havana on October 28, at which they pledged to work quickly to revive the stalled negotiations for ending more than 50 years of armed conflict. A previous agreement reached after four years of meetings was rejected by a public vote of 50.2% to 49.8% in early October.

November 4: Paris Climate Change Agreement Comes into Force

Last year’s United Nations-brokered Paris climate change agreement will come into effect on November 4, a month after European Union ratification of the deal tipped it over the necessary threshold of 55 countries representing at least 55% of global carbon emissions. The first session of the conference of the parties to the agreement will take place at a UN climate change summit in Marrakesh, Morocco, from November 7-18.

November 6: Nicaragua Holds General Election

Nicaraguans go to the polls for presidential and parliamentary elections on November 6. President Daniel Ortega, running with wife Rosario Murillo as his vice-presidential candidate, is widely expected to win a fourth term in what has been labelled “in effect, a one-party event,” owing to suppression of opposition candidates. The government has invited the Organization of American States to observe proceedings, though this has not dampened doubts about the free and fair nature of the polls.

November 6: Bulgaria Holds Presidential Election

Bulgaria will elect a new president on November 6, with a runoff scheduled for November 13 should it be necessary. Polls suggest that the race between Parliamentary Speaker Tsetska Tsacheva—backed by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov—and Bulgarian Socialist Party candidate General Rumen Radev will be much tighter than usual. While the role of president is largely ceremonial in Bulgaria, Borisov had pledged to step down should his party lose in the first round.

November 7: New Phase of Cyprus Peace Talks, Mont-Pelerin

Switzerland will host a new round of peace talks between the leaders of the two major ethnic communities in Cyprus from November 7. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will join Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, who have been holding talks since 2015, in discussing a new federal arrangement for the island. UN Special Adviser for Cyprus Espen Barth Eide said it was a “critical juncture.”

November 8: United States Presidential Election

The United States will elect a replacement for outgoing President Barack Obama and other representatives at the federal, state, and local level on November 8. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had enjoyed a commanding lead over Republican rival Donald Trump in recent weeks, though polls have narrowed in the remaining few days. Ongoing investigations of Clinton’s use of private email servers while secretary of state and the Trump campaign’s purported links to Russia have influenced recent campaigning.

November 11: Venezuelan Government and Opposition Continue Vatican-Backed Talks, Caracas

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and opposition representatives are scheduled to meet with international mediators including Papal envoy Monsignor Claudio Maria Celli on November 11. The parties met on October 30 to attempt to find areas of compromise as they seek to resolve a political crisis sparked by Venezuela’s ongoing collapse, which many blame on Maduro’s poor handling of the economy. The socialist leader has faced calls for a recall election but Venezuelan authorities have rejected a referendum being held on the issue.

November 13: Moldova Holds Second Round Presidential Elections

Moldova stages runoff elections to appoint a new president after socialist pro-Russian candidate Igor Dodon failed to win the 51% of votes needed in an October 30 poll. Dodon won 48.5% of the vote, with pro-European candidate Maia Sandu recording 38.2%. Voting has taken place in the aftermath of a corruption scandal involving the country’s banking sector and accusations of meddling from Moscow.

November 16-24: Meeting of International Criminal Court Members, The Hague

The 15th Session of the Assembly of State Parties of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will take place in The Netherlands from November 16-24. The gathering occurs at a time when three African members of the court—South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia—have instigated processes for leaving leave its founding Rome Statute. An African Union ministerial committee is reported to be debating the merits of African membership of the ICC and is expected to present reform demands at the November meeting.

November 19-20: APEC Leaders Meeting, Lima

The heads of state of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation member states will convene in Peru from November 19-20 for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting. The event will focus on four areas: advancing regional economic integration; enhancing the regional food market; supporting small business development; and boosting labor forces. A key talking point around the event is sure to be a potential meeting between United States President Barack Obama and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who has increasingly questioned his country’s alliance with Washington.

November 20: Haiti Expected to Stage Postponed Presidential Elections

Haiti’s electoral officials had scheduled November 20 as a date for the first round of long-delayed presidential elections, after an October 9 date was interrupted by Hurricane Matthew. There is now some doubt that the new date can be met, with widespread hurricane damage to electoral centers and infrastructure cited as a reason for possible further delays. Haitians have been waiting to elect a new president since October 2015 poll results were annulled after widespread rioting made a necessary runoff impossible.

November 24: Philippines and US Officials Discuss Alliance, Manila

Philippines and United States military officials will decide the fate of joint exercises between the two countries, and hence the future of their defense alliance itself, on November 24. The meeting was delayed until after the US presidential elections on November 8 and will seek to clarify the decades-long partnership, following Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s increasing overtures toward China. A breaking down of the US-Philippines partnership could be detrimental to regional cohesion, including within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

November 30: OPEC Seeks to Formalize Oil Production Cap, Vienna

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting in Austria on November 30 is expected to work toward implementing an October agreement to cap oil production alongside the non-OPEC Russia. The cartel aims to cut production to nearly 33 million barrels per day in an attempt to boost low global prices, which have taken a large toll on the economies of countries such as Venezuela and Nigeria and tested the resolve of OPEC leader Saudi Arabia’s recent strategy of price taking in a reported attempt to force high cost producers out of the market.

November 30: Somalia Scheduled to Hold Presidential Elections

About 14,000 delegates selected by Somali clan elders are currently voting for representatives of the country’s two houses of parliament, who will then be tasked with voting in a new president on November 30. The electoral process has faced significant delays and has transitioned from a scheduled full democratic process to the current one of limited franchise. United Nations officials have expressed concern over credibility and transparency, as well as the likelihood of further delays in the timetable.

End of November: Possible Adoption of New Ukraine Peace Roadmap

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko has indicated that he and the leaders of Russia, Germany, and France have set a November deadline for adoption of a roadmap for reviving the peace process in the east of his country. The four leaders met in Berlin in late October for the first four-way talks in more than a year, where they discussed initiatives such as creation of “disengagement areas” in which warring parties could be separated.