Key Global Events to Watch in October

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

OCTOBER 1-2: Pre-COP Ministerial Meeting, Milan

The chilling sixth report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published in August has put new pressure on countries to act on climate. In the lead-up to the UN climate summit in Glasgow beginning November 1 (known as COP26), a pre-COP meeting is being held in Milan for climate and energy ministers from some 40-50 invited countries to discuss key topics that will be addressed at COP26.

OCTOBER 1: UN General Assembly Main Committee Meetings, New York

Beginning on October 1 and continuing at various points throughout October and November, the six main committees of the United Nations General Assembly will hold their 76th sessions. The committees deal with topics ranging from disarmament and international security (First Committee); economic growth and development (Second Committee); social issues, humanitarian affairs, and human rights (Third Committee); special political and decolonization issues (Fourth Committee); budgetary and administrative questions (Fifth Committee); and legal questions for the General Assembly (Sixth Committee).

OCTOBER 1-8: Berlin Climate and Security Conference

In the lead-up to this year’s COP26 climate summit, the Berlin Climate and Security Conference is taking on discussions of climate and security challenges. Taking place virtually October 1-8, the focus is inclusive and joint-up approaches across local, national, regional, and multilateral levels, with sessions livestreamed.

OCTOBER 8: Nobel Peace Prize Winner Announced, Norway

The Nobel Peace Prize winner for 2021 will be announced in Oslo, Norway on October 8. There are 329 candidates for the prize this year—234 individuals and 95 organizations—the third-highest number of candidates to be nominated. Last year’s winner was the World Food Programme for its efforts to combat hunger, including its use as a weapon of war, and to foster conditions of peace in conflict-affected contexts.

OCTOBER 11-15: UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15), Online

The fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15), part one of which is taking place virtually between October 11 and 15, will set new goals for the Convention on Biological Diversity for the next decade, including on transforming society’s relationship with biodiversity and fulfilling the vision to live in harmony with nature by 2050. Part two of the conference will take place in person in Kunming, China from April 25-May 8, 2022.

OCTOBER 11-17: Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund, Washington

The 2021 Annual Meetings of the board of governors of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund will take place in Washington D.C. between October 11 and 17, including a plenary session and meetings of the Development Committee, the International Monetary and Financial Committee, the Group of Ten, the Group of Twenty-Four, and seminars. The meetings will address issues including global economic outlook, poverty eradication, development, and aid effectiveness. All public and invitation-only events will be virtual.

OCTOBER 12-14: The Global Security Forum, Doha

Hosted by the Soufan Center, this year’s Global Security Forum will focus on balancing cooperation and competition in ensuring security and addressing critical challenges in governance and development.

OCTOBER 18: Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, Geneva

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women will hold its 80th session between October 18 and November 12. The committee monitors the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The state reports of Ecuador, Egypt, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Russian Federation, South Africa, Sweden, and Yemen will be considered during this session, with Nicaragua and South Sudan to be confirmed. Nongovernmental organizations can participate remotely and public meetings will be webcast live on UN Web TV.

OCTOBER 21: UN Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security (WPS), New York

The annual Security Council open debate on women, peace and security will take place on October 21. This year is the twenty-first anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325. This month, Kenya will hold the presidency of the Council. The open debate is set to be held at the ministerial level and to focus on investing in the contribution of local women to peacekeeping, peacebuilding and transitional settings during and following UN peace operations.

OCTOBER 26-28: Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, Brunei

The 38th ASEAN summit will be held in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei. The theme for Brunei’s chairship is “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper.” The chairship’s security priorities include emergency and disaster responses, upholding multilateralism, recovery from COVID-19, procurement of vaccines, building capacity to address mental health, the blue economy, external relations, and the youth, peace and security agenda. Economic and socio-cultural issues will also feature.

OCTOBER 30-31: Group of Twenty (G20) Leaders’ Summit, Rome

The 2021 summit of the G20 heads of state and government will be held in Rome, Italy on October 30 and 31. It will be the sixteenth meeting of the G20 and, under the Italian presidency, will focus on three interconnected pillars: People, Planet, Prosperity, including ensuring a swift international response to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing equitable access to vaccines, and building up resilience to future health-related shocks. Algeria, Brunei, DR Congo, New Zealand, Singapore, Rwanda, Spain, and the Netherlands are invited guests.

Upcoming Elections

OCTOBER 9: Legislative elections, Czech Republic

OCTOBER 10: Parliamentary elections, Iraq

OCTOBER 24: Presidential election, Uzbekistan

OCTOBER 24: Parliamentary elections, Chad