Global Governance Institute


Global Events Forecast - December 2018

30 November 2018

Every month, the GGI compiles a list of upcoming international events that have some implications for its work. Here is a compilation of global meetings and events coming up in December 2018.

Global Events Forecast - December 2018
30 November - 1 December

G20 Summit in Buenos Aires

The annual G20 summit has kicked off in Buenos Aires, Argentina, amid growing tensions in Ukraine, the US trade row with China, international uproar over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and diverging views on climate change. Much attention will focus on bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit, including a working dinner between US president Donald Trump and China’s president Xi Jinping on Saturday. Another bilateral meeting between Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin has been cancelled at the last minute in response to Russia’s seizing of three Ukrainian vessels.

3 - 14 December 

Global climate summit in Katowice

This year’s global climate summit (COP24) will take place in Katowice, Poland, from 3 to 14 December. A priority concern at the conference will be to finalise the rules for implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement. The meeting comes just weeks after a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that the adverse effects of climate change are likely to hit much sooner than previously thought and the window to keep global warming well below 2°C is closing fast.

6 December

Meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) 

OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers are expected to start withholding output after a 6 December meeting in Vienna. The meeting takes place amid concerns over a slowing global economy and a surge in US shale production, both of which have driven oil prices down. 

7-8 December 

Angela Merkel to step down as leader of her party 

After almost two decades as head of Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Angela Merkel will step down as party leader in December. The CDU will vote on a successor at a party congress on 7 and 8 December. The contenders are CDU general secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the candidate considered closest to Merkel, Friedrich Merz, a former senior CDU official who has spent the past 15 years in the business world, and health minister Jens Spahn. Merkel has also announced not to run for re-election as chancellor in 2021. Her gradual retreat is likely to have wider repercussions for European politics and the transatlantic relationship.

7 December

Looming government shutdown in the US

Once again, a partial government shutdown is looming in the US as President Donald Trump insists that any government funding deal must include at least 5 billion USD for his proposed US-Mexico border wall. If Congress does not reach a deal by 7 December, funding for several federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, and the State Department, is set to expire.

10-11 December 

Intergovernmental conference to adopt a global compact on migration 

An intergovernmental conference on international migration which takes place from 10 to 11 December 2018 in Marrakesh, Morocco, is expected to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). Although the pact is not legally binding, it has caused much political controversy in recent weeks with a string of countries announcing their intention not to sign it over concerns that it could compromise sovereignty over their migration policies. 

11 December

House of Commons to vote on Brexit deal 

British Prime Minister Theresa May is hoping to get her Brexit deal through a deeply divided parliament on 11 December. The deal has been endorsed by EU leaders at a summit on 25 November but it is has been widely criticised by eurosceptics and europhiles across the UK political spectrum. The vote comes just two weeks after Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond acknowledged that the UK will be worse off economically under all possible Brexit outcomes – including the Prime Minister’s deal. Two days before the vote, on 9 December, Theresa May will be facing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in a live television debate on Brexit. 

23 December

General elections in the DRC 

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is set to hold elections on 23 December, when President Joseph Kabila, who took power in 2001, will step down. Two prominent opposition parties have teamed up ahead of the election to support Felix Tshisekedi in his bid to win the presidency, after withdrawing from a wider opposition pact to back a single contender against the ruling party’s candidate, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary. The election, which has been delayed since 2016, remains highly controversial and there are fears that it could be marred with violence. The DRC has never seen a peaceful and democratic transition of power since gaining independence from Belgium in 1960.

30 December 

General elections in Bangladesh   

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is seeking re-election on 30 December. Hasina’s government has won international praise for its humanitarian response to the Rohingya refugee crisis, however, the country’s domestic human rights situation has raised widespread concerns in light of an increasing crackdown on freedom of expression. The main opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), has announced that it will participate in this year’s election, having boycotted the previous elections in 2014. However, BNP leader Khaleda Zia is currently in jail on corruption charges and has been barred from contesting.

First week of December [TBC]

Yemen peace talks  

Warring parties in Yemen have signalled their willingness to attend UN-sponsored peace talks in Sweden at the beginning of December. The war in Yemen has been ongoing since 2014 and prompted an unrelenting humanitarian crisis, with 8.4 million people considered at risk of starvation.

Notable Anniversaries and International Days
  • 1 December: World AIDS Day 
  • 2 December: International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
  • 3 December: International Day of Persons with Disabilities
  • 9 December: International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime
  • 10 December: Human Rights Day and 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • 12 December: International Universal Health Coverage Day
  • 18 December: International Migrants Day
  • 20 December: International Human Solidarity Day