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 1: Elections in Iraqi Kurdistan postponed

Elections for the presidency and parliament of Iraq’s Kurdistan region will not be held as planned on November 1 as political parties did not present candidates. The proposal to delay the two elections by eight months was approved by 60 of 68 members of parliament who attended a recent session. Massoud Barzani, who led the independence push for Iraqi Kurdistan, announced on October 29 that he would quit as president. The independence vote is increasingly being viewed as a catastrophic blunder in the face of increasing pressure from the national government.

NOVEMBER 3: President Trump’s Trip to Asia

US President Donald Trump will visit five countries in Asia—including Japan, South Korea, and China—from November 3-14. The trip will largely focus on his efforts to confront North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The president will also participate in regional economic and security conferences in Vietnam and the Philippines. Among the leaders the president could meet in Vietnam is Russian President Vladimir Putin. He will also hold bilateral meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

NOVEMBER 7: Report of the OPCW and Joint Investigative Mechanism Concerning Syria

UN Secretary-General António Guterres transmitted advance copies of the seventh report from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the Joint Investigative Mechanism concerning Syria to the Security Council on October 26. Among the assessments contained in this report is the determination that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is responsible for the release of sarin gas at Khan Sheikhoun on April 4, 2017. The Security Council will consider the report on November 7.

NOVEMBER 7: Second Round of Elections for President in Liberia

The second round of elections in Liberia will be held on November 7. After the first round, former footballer George Weah garnered 39% of the vote, while the incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai is in second place with 29%. They lead the field of 20 candidates who competed to succeed Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first female elected president and a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

NOVEMBER 10-14: 31st ASEAN Summit

The premier strategic forum for the region is being held in the Philippines from November 10-14 and will convene the 10 nations of ASEAN plus Russia, China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, and the US. There are indications that the quadrilateral group of India, Japan, the US, and Australia may meet during the summit or soon after with one topic of discussion being an aggressive China. The quadrilateral group was first conceived by Shinzo Abe in 2007.

NOVEMBER 14-15: UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Conference, Vancouver

Over 500 delegates from more than 70 countries and international organizations are expected to gather at the upcoming UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Conference in Vancouver from November 14-15. Along with representatives from the African union, the European Union, NATO and the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, the delegates will discuss improvements to UN peacekeeping operations. While ensuring that the integration of gender perspective remains at the heart of the talks, the discussions will revolve around four themes: smart pledges, innovation in training and capacity building, protecting those at risk, and early warning and rapid development. The conference will also focus on securing new pledges from Member States.

NOVEMBER 19: Presidential Elections in Chile

Chile is set to hold a presidential election on November 19. In recent polls, the opposition coalition headed by billionaire and former president Sebastián Piñera has showed a clear advantage. Given his lead, Piñera’s bloc has already begun to employ a rhetoric that assumes victory and takes on higher goals. In a bid to attract investment from green energy firms, Piñera has outlined plans to move Chile towards an all-renewable energy grid and a fully-electric public transit system by 2040.

NOVEMBER 26: First step in electoral process in Cuba

Cubans will go to the polls on November 26 to elect delegates to 168 municipal assemblies, the first step in an electoral process that will culminate with the selection of a new president in February by the National Assembly. As Raul Castro pledged not to seek a third term and imposed a two-term limit for all senior government and Communist Party leadership positions, the succession will replace not only Castro but almost all the remaining members of the “historical generation” who fought the dictatorship in 1959.

NOVEMBER 26: Honduran Presidential Election

In recent weeks the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Honduras has met with representatives from the Organization of American States (OAS) and US government to guarantee full transparency in the upcoming election on November 26. President Juan Orlando Hernández has also met separately with Marias Matías, head of the EU electoral observation in Honduras. The EU announced it is sending 22 long-term and 40 short-term election monitors to oversee the election.

NOVEMBER 27: Pope Francis to Visit Myanmar and Bangladesh

Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Myanmar from November 27­­-30, the first visit to the country by any pontiff. He will continue on to Bangladesh from November 30-December 2. The pope has regularly spoken out in defense of the Rohingya minority. On October 27 he lamented the “sad reports of the persecution of a religious minority, our Rohingya brothers.”

NOVEMBER 28: Syria Talks to Continue

UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura told the UN Security Council on October 26 that he intends to convene a new round of talks between the Syrian government and opposition in Geneva on November 28. Seven rounds of talks have achieved only incremental progress toward a political deal, with negotiations deadlocked over the fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The talks will follow up on the meeting in the Kazakh capital of Astana that ended on October 31 without an agreement.

NOVEMBER 30: Charges Against South African President Zuma

The South African Supreme Court of Appeal judgment on October 17 upheld a high court ruling that the decision to withdraw the 783 charges against President Jacob Zuma was irrational. The National Prosecuting Authority has given the president until November 30 to explain why the corruption charges against him should be dropped. Several multinational corporations have become embroiled in a scandal in recent months over allegations that Zuma allowed a prominent business family to use its friendship with him to control state appointments and the award of big government contracts.