Key Global Events to Watch in September

A list of key upcoming meetings and events that have implications for global affairs compiled by the Global Observatory.

SEPTEMBER 8: General Elections, Morocco

Morocco will hold parliamentary and local elections on September 8. The elections will determine the fate of the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) that has led two successive coalition governments since the Arab Spring uprisings and subsequent constitutional reforms, which granted executive power to the prime minister. New electoral rules, by which seats will be won based on registered voters, rather than ballots cast, are likely to reduce the vote share of PJD and empower smaller parties. A youth quota was also ended and gender quotas were altered. King Mohammed VI retains control of the military, the judiciary, foreign policy, and matters of religion.

SEPTEMBER 8: High-Level Dialogue on Climate Action in the Americas

In the lead up to the global summit on climate change (COP26) scheduled to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, in November, the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean will host a regional summit on September 8. The summit brings together political leaders across the Latin American and Caribbean region, global and regional development banks and organizations, technical experts, and climate change specialists. The event will consist of three segments that include a high-level debate, technical discussions, and a ministerial roundtable.

SEPTEMBER 13: High-level Ministerial Meeting on the Humanitarian Situation in Afghanistan

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres will convene this high-level ministerial meeting on Monday, September 13. The two-hour meeting, with both in-person (Geneva) and virtual participation, “will highlight the acute needs in the country and will underscore the urgent funding support and actions required by international partners to support the Afghan people during their time of need.”

SEPTEMBER 14-30: Opening of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly

The UN General Assembly’s 76th annual plenary session will convene on September 17th at UN headquarters in New York. The theme of this year’s meetings is extensive: “Building Resilience through hope to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalize the United Nations.”

The high-level general debate will begin on September 21. It will be a hybrid event, with world leaders being encouraged by the United States to make video statements over in-person speeches, in order to prevent the spread of COVID variants.

SEPTEMBER 17: United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Mandate Renewal

In September, the UN Security Council is expected to consider the renewal of the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), which expires on September 17. Following the Taliban takeover, the UN relocated some of its international staff to Almaty, Kazakhstan, which is meant to be a temporary measure. The UN Security Council called for “enhanced efforts to provide humanitarian assistance” in a resolution passed on August 30.

SEPTEMBER 20: Federal Elections, Canada

Canadians will go to the polls on September 20, two years before the next fixed election date. The snap federal election was called by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a bid to secure a parliamentary majority for his Liberal party and a stronger mandate to continue to steer the country’s pandemic recovery. The climate emergency, vaccine mandate proposals, and confronting the legacy of residential schools are among other major issues of the campaign. As of the time of writing, the race is tight and neither the Liberal Party nor the Conservative Party is expected to win an outright majority in the House of Commons.

SEPTEMBER 21: UN International Day of Peace

The International Day of Peace is observed around the world on September 21. The UN General Assembly has designated the day as a period of non-violence and ceasefire. The theme this year is “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world.” It follows the secretary-general’s call for a global ceasefire at the beginning of the pandemic last March, and the Security Council resolution calling for a “sustained humanitarian pause” to local conflicts, in order to allow for COVID-19 vaccinations, which was passed unanimously in February.

SEPTEMBER 23: UN Food Systems Summit

The UN Food Systems Summit will take place virtually on September 23 during the UN General Assembly. The summit will focus on five action tracks: ensure access to safe and nutritious food for all; shift to sustainable consumption patterns; boost nature-positive production; advance equitable livelihoods; and build resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks, and stress. The vulnerabilities of the world’s food systems were made more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic, as were the risks that failing food systems present for education, health, economies, human rights, and peace and security. The summit is aiming to deliver progress on all 17 SDGs.

SEPTEMBER 24: UN High-level Dialogue on Energy

Held under the auspices of the General Assembly, the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy will be the first global gathering on energy since the UN Conference on New and Renewable Sources of Energy in Nairobi in 1981. Global leaders will announce commitments aimed at achieving clean, affordable energy for all by 2030 (SDG7) and net zero emissions by 2050. The dialogue will address five themes: energy access; energy transition; enabling SDGs through inclusive, just energy transitions; innovation, technology, and data; and finance and investment. Discussions on each theme will be led by Global Champions consisting of ministerial-level representatives from 30 member states and the European Union. The dialogue should result in a global roadmap.

SEPTEMBER 26: Federal Elections, Germany

Federal elections in Germany on September 26 will determine Angela Merkel’s successor as chancellor after a 16-year premiership. The Christian Democratic Party (CDU), now led by Armin Laschet, and its sister party the Christian Social Party (CSU) are polling behind their current coalition partner, the center-left Social Democrats (SPD). The Greens are expected to be the third-largest party. It is likely that a three-party coalition will be necessary to form a majority for the first time. Security concerns may prove decisive for government formation. The chancellor candidate for the SDP, Olaf Scholz, indicated that any governing deal the SPD would reach would be dependent on parties’ commitment to membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), amid renewed debate over a European Union military force.

Other Upcoming Elections

September 13: Parliamentary elections, Norway

September 17: Legislative elections, Russia

September 25: Parliamentary elections, Iceland