At the start of every month, the Global Observatory posts a list of key upcoming meetings and events that have implications for global affairs.
- May 31-June 2: The Shangri-La Dialogue, Singapore
The 12th IISS Asia Security Summit, a gathering of defense professionals in the Asia-Pacific region, will be opened by Nguyen Tan Dung, Prime Minister of Vietnam, who will deliver the keynote address. US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, and the Defense Ministers of France, Germany, and the UK will take part in the conference. Topics for discussion include the US approach to regional security, military modernization, the Afghan drawdown, defense diplomacy and conflict prevention, and cyber dimension to Asian security. More info here.
- June 3-4: Russia-EU Summit in Yekaterinburg, Russia
Held twice a year, the summit brings together Russia’s president and ministers responsible for areas of cooperation with the European Union with members of the EU, represented by the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Items on the agenda include developments in Russia-EU relations, the conflict in Syria, and the upcoming Geneva II conference (to be convened by Russia and the United States).
- June 3: UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) is deployed
Created on May 2 following the unanimous adoption of UN Security Council resolution 2102, the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) is set to be deployed in June for an initial period of 12 months. Recognizing the significant progress made in Somalia over the past year, the mission will offer support to the federal government of Somalia’s peace and reconciliation process by providing “good offices” functions, strategic policy advice on peacebuilding and statebuilding, donor coordination, and capacity building.
- June 30: Mandate of UN Mission in Golan Heights (UNDOF) set to be renewed
Since 1974, the UN Disengagement Observer Force in the Golan Heights (UNDOF) has been renewed every six months, monitoring the ceasefire agreement between Israel and Syria following the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. In recent months, however, the deteriorating situation in Syria has spilled over into the region, and the mission struggles with the escalation of tensions between the two countries. In May, Syrian rebel forces abducted four Filipino UN peacekeepers, leading the foreign minister of the Philippines to recommend pulling its peacekeepers from the force. Austria also announced it will pull its troops from the force if the European Union decides not to renew its arms embargo against Syria, a decision they say will compromise the security of their troops. The Security Council has started to pay more regular attention to the situation, requesting a report from the Secretary-General every 90 days instead of every six months and will likely continue to renew the mission’s mandate.
- Also of Interest:
• June, date TBD: The Security Council is set to further review the UN Mission in Mali (MINUSMA)’s deployment, scheduled for July. If the Security Council finds that the security situation in MINUSMA’s area of responsibility does not meet the criteria of the reduction of major combat operations by international troops and a reduction of threat by terrorist forces, it will adjust the deployment timeline.
- June 14: Presidential Elections in Iran
Iranians will take to the polls in June to vote for the country’s presidential successor to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In May, the Iranian Guardian Council, controlled by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, announced eight approved candidates for the position, leaving out two big contenders: Ahmadinejad’s hand-picked successor Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei and former President and reformist Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. As the AP reports, six of the candidates are closely allied with the ruling clerics, including Iran’s current nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, consider the race’s frontrunner and Khamenei’s choice for presidency.
Since 2007, Jalili has defended what Iran asserts is its right to peaceful nuclear power and has been rigid in negotiations with the P5+1 world powers. International sanctions have negatively affected the Iranian economy, an important sector the president is tasked with managing. Since the 2009 election protests, the Iranian regime has crackdown on opposition movements and tightened controls on the Internet.
- June 30: Legislative Elections in Guinea
Guinea’s long-delayed legislative elections are set for the end of June, completing the West African country’s return to civilian rule after a military coup in 2008 and contested presidential elections in November 2010. Violence ahead of the vote has killed more than 50 people over the past three months, and government and opposition parties continue to disagree over the company to be contracted for voter registration and the vote of Guineans abroad. The opposition party has accused the ruling party of election rigging and has threatened to boycott. The appointed facilitator for the crisis, UNSRSG for West Africa Said Djinnit, is leading the international community’s efforts to help the parties resolve their differences.
- Also of Interest:
• June 26: Presidential Elections in Mongolia
• June 23: Parliamentary Elections in Albania
Other Multilateral Meetings
- June 7: China’s President Xi Jinping to Meet with Obama
In an effort to strengthen relations between the two world powers, Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet with US President Barack Obama in California. In recent years, the bilateral relationship has seen an increase in tensions as distrust between the two countries has grown. Trade imbalances and China’s territorial disputes with US allies Japan and the Philippines has continued to challenge efforts to establish better relations. The US has also accused the Chinese of hacking US military networks to modernize its military and has pressured China towards greater cooperation in dealing with the Syrian regime.
- June 17-18: G8 Leaders’ Summit in Northern Ireland
Leaders of the G8 group of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States will convene for the 39th annual G8 summit to be held in Northern Ireland. US President Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Russian President Vladimir Putin are among those who will be in attendance. UK Prime Minister and G8 President David Cameron outlined three main issues on the agenda: advancing trade, ensuring tax compliance, and promoting greater transparency, as the focus will be on the global economy. This is the first time Northern Ireland will host the summit, marking significant progress for the region’s transition towards peace after decades of conflict.
- Also of Interest:
• June 3: WTO General Council
• June 6: India Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) Summit in India