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: President Trump to Decide on US Membership of Paris Climate Agreement, Washington, DC

President Donald Trump has indicated he will announce whether he will withdraw the United States from the 2015 Paris climate change agreement at 3pm on June 1. Trump had earlier promised to scrap his country’s involvement in the agreement but is thought to face dissenting opinions within the administration. American commitment under former President Barack Obama was crucial to the agreement being struck and it is feared withdrawal could inspire other countries to abandon their commitments.

June 1-2: EU-China Summit, Brussels

The European Union and China will hold their 19th bilateral summit from June 1-2 in Brussels. The regular summit will take on added meaning in the current global political climate, given the apparent breakdown in traditional alliances between the EU and United States under US President Donald Trump. There is speculation that leaders of the European bloc and China will make a joint statement reaffirming commitment to climate change action, with Trump potentially due to announce Washington’s withdrawal from the 2015 Paris agreement.

June 2-4: Shangri-La Dialogue, Singapore

The 16th annual Shangri-La Dialogue of Asia-Pacific defense ministers and senior defense personnel will take place in Singapore from June 2-4. 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 themes including the role of the United States in Asia-Pacific security. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will deliver the keynote address.

June 5-9: UN Oceans Conference, New York

The United Nations will host a high-level conference on the world’s oceans from June 5-9. The event will specifically target implementation of UN Sustainable Development Goal 14: “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.” The organizers claim the event will be solutions-focused and aims to be a “game-changer” in reversing the decline in health of the world’s oceans.

June 6-7: OECD Forum, Paris

The 2017 Forum of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will be held from June 6-7 and bring together representatives of government, academia, business, and civil society. The theme of this year’s event is “Bridging Divides,” which responds to the rising tide of populism and nationalism in OECD member states during the past few years. According to organizers, there will be “a central emphasis on the need for policies that restore the confidence of those who feel left behind, who fear the impact of globalisation, increasing migration flows, and the unprecedented speed of technological development.”

June 7-8: European Development Days, Brussels

Billed as “Europe’s leading forum on development,” the 2017 European Development Days conference will be held in Brussels from June 7-8. The forum is expected to bring together more than 6,000 participants, including heads of state, aid and development practitioners, members of civil society, and the business community. This year’s gathering will focus on increasing private sector investment in development, through the promotion of inclusive growth, and job opportunities for women and young people in particular.

June 7-8: Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit, Astana

Eurasian bloc the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will hold its annual summit in the Kazhakstan capital, Astana, from June 7-8. The event will welcome India and Pakistan as new members to the SCO, which was formed in the namesake Chinese city in 2001. The organization has been expanding its focus as well as membership in recent years and the 2017 iteration is expected to focus extensively on cybersecurity.

June 7-9: US Ambassador to UN Haley Visits Geneva and Middle East

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley will become the first occupant of that position to address the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, on June 6. She will then travel to the Middle East on June 7-9 to speak with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Haley and others in the administration of US President Donald Trump have heavily criticized the Rights Council’s previous positions on Israel, as part of what Haley calls a culture of “Israel-bashing” at the UN.

June 8: UK General Election

United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May has called a snap general election for June 8, three years ahead of schedule. The decision was said to be motivated by the desire to secure a strong political mandate for negotiations with the European Union over the UK’s departure from the bloc. At the time, May’s Conservatives enjoyed a 21-point gap over the rival Labour party, though that has since narrowed considerably. An isolated poll on May 31 even predicted a hung parliament, which could see Labour negotiate with other parties to form a government.

June 11: Referendum on Status of Puerto Rico

The United States territory of Puerto Rico will hold a referendum on its future status on June 11. The three options available to voters are maintaining Puerto Rico’s current status, pursuing statehood within the US, or pursuing independence from the US. The vote comes at a time of considerable financial difficulty for the island, which is saddled with $123 billion in sovereign debt and pension obligations. It is also timed with a turn against multiculturalism within the US, evidenced by the election of President Donald Trump.

June 11 & 18: French Parliamentary Elections

Polls to select members of France’s National Assembly will be held in two rounds, on June 11 and 18. The elections follow the 2017 presidential election, which saw centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron—a strong supporter of the European Union—defeat the far-right Marine Le Pen. Latest polling shows Macron’s Republic on the Move party likely to win the largest share of the vote, at 29%, with Le Pen’s National Front following with 17%. It is unclear, however, whether this will translate into a majority for Macron.

June 15-July 7: UN Conference on Banning Nuclear Weapons Reconvenes, New York

The second session of a conference attempting negotiation of a treaty to ban nuclear weapons will be held at United Nations headquarters in New York from June 15-July 7, after an initial meeting from March 27-31. The conference follows a December 2016 UN General Assembly resolution for a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.” A first draft of the proposed treaty was presented in May. While the 2016 resolution attracted support from 123 nations, the nine known nuclear states either opposed it or abstained from the vote.

June 16-18: Second Board Meeting of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Jeju

The board of governors of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will meet for the second time, on the South Korean island of Jeju from June 16-18. The bank began operating at the start of this year after China established it in 2014 to help promote development in the Asia-Pacific region. The event comes after Beijing hosted a major conference in May focused on its ambitious “One Belt, One Road” global infrastructure drive.

June 19-21: General Assembly of the Organization of American States, Cancun

The Organization of American States will hold its 47th General Assembly in the Mexican resort city of Cancun from June 19-21, under the theme “Strengthening Dialogue and Concerted Action for Prosperity.” The event is likely to see considerable focus on the deteriorating situation in Venezuela. A meeting of OAS member state representatives in late June again failed to reach a united position on how to deal with the country’s economic, political, and social crisis.

June 20: Extended Deadline for Disarmament of Former FARC Rebels

The Colombian government and United Nations officials have extended the deadline for former FARC rebels to hand in their arms as part of the peace agreement signed in Havana, Cuba, in late 2016; the deadline for former rebels leaving demobilization camps will also be extended, until August 1. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said the change in date “does not in any way affect the firm decision and clear commitment of the government and the FARC to comply with the accord.”

Late June: South Korean President Moon to Visit White House, Washington, DC

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet United States President Donald Trump in June, as concern continues to grow over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Moon was elected on May 10, amid Pyongyang’s repeated tests of missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads considered a threat to South Korea and US territory and allies. The meeting will be complicated by Moon’s promised investigation of the secretive delivery of more launchers from the US for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile system, which aims to counter North Korean launches. Trump has also said Seoul should pay for the THAAD deployment.