Monthly Global Forecast | February 2024
Politics and Governance
Parliamentary elections scheduled for 8 February 2024
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has set 8 February 2024 as the polling date for the General Elections to the National Assembly and the Provincial Assemblies of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan. The objective is to conduct a democratic and transparent electoral process to determine the country’s leadership. However, Pakistan’s Senate has passed a non-binding resolution urging a delay in the national general elections scheduled for 8 February. The resolution cites security threats, harsh winter conditions affecting campaigning, and challenges in redrawing constituencies based on the recent population census. The resolution aims to ensure effective participation across Pakistan’s political spectrum, proposing a postponement for broader electoral engagement.
7th Indian Ocean Conference scheduled for 9 to 10 February 2024
The 7th Indian Ocean Conference, scheduled for 9 to 10 February 2024, in Perth, Australia, is organised by India Foundation in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Government of Australia, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore, and Perth USAsia Centre. Having evolved as a flagship consultative forum over seven years, the conference aims to facilitate dialogue among critical states and maritime partners in the Indian Ocean region. With the theme “Towards a Stable and Sustainable Indian Ocean,” the upcoming event will gather key stakeholders to strategise and strengthen regional cooperation for Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR).
Anniversary of the large-scale Ukraine conflict on 24 February 2024
As the two-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine approaches on 24 February 2024, global concerns persist over the ongoing conflict. Ukraine initially resisted Russia’s invasion, securing strategic victories, but the war has now shifted to a prolonged conflict in eastern Ukraine. Concerns have been raised about the timely delivery of Western weaponry, particularly as a Russian offensive targets the Donbas region. The requests for fighter jets present a challenge, casting doubt on the duration of Western support. While Western leaders express optimism, analysts fear a protracted conflict, questioning the sustainability of Western unity and considering China’s potential role. The uncertain geopolitical landscape and potential Russian offensives in 2024 further complicate Ukraine’s military situation, making Western support crucial for its defence.
Defence and Security
Munich Security Conference scheduled for 16 to 18 February 2024
The Munich Security Conference (MSC) 2024 is scheduled for 16 to 18 February 2024 at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich, marking the 60th anniversary of the renowned forum. Founded in 1963, the MSC brings together global decision-makers to discuss pressing security challenges. While evolving over six decades, its core mission remains unchanged – providing a platform for consequential debates to build peace through dialogue. The MSC 2024 aims to strengthen the rules-based international order, address Europe’s role in security, explore new visions of the global order, analyse security implications of climate change, and foster an inclusive coalition against revisionist actions worldwide.
Naval exercise MILAN 24 is scheduled for 19 to 27 February 2024
The 12th edition of the Multilateral Naval Exercise (MILAN) is scheduled in Visakhapatnam, India, from 19 to 27 February 2024, with a historic participation of over 50 countries and nearly 20 ships. Originating in 1995, MILAN has evolved under India’s “Look East” and “Act East” policies, expanding to include nations under the Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) initiative. The event consists of an International Maritime Seminar, City Parade, Swavlamban Exhibition, Subject Matter Expert Exchange, and Milan of Young Officers during the harbour phase. The sea phase involves naval units from participating nations in advanced manoeuvres and warfare operations.
Trade and Economics
Review of the IMF’s Standby Arrangement February 2024
Pakistan is set to undergo the conclusive assessment of the IMF’s $3 billion Standby Arrangement (SBA) in February 2024. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed its first review of the SBA, approving the immediate disbursement of $700 million. The total disbursements under the SBA now amount to $1.9 billion, including a previous tranche of $1.2 billion in July. The funding and inflows from multilateral lenders are expected to stabilise the Pakistani rupee and facilitate debt repayment. Despite facing high inflation at 29.7%, Pakistan will likely receive the remaining amount in March. Having engaged in 24 IMF arrangements since 1950, the country may need a new agreement for ongoing economic support.
WTO Ministerial Conference scheduled for 26 to 29 February 2024
The 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is scheduled for February 26 to 29, 2024, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Representatives from global ministries will convene to assess the multilateral trading system’s performance and set forth plans for the WTO’s future endeavours. H.E. Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade, will preside over the conference. The objective is to foster international collaboration, address trade challenges, and enhance the effectiveness of global trade policies, promoting economic growth and stability through cooperative decision-making among WTO member states.
ECOSOC Coordination Segment scheduled for 31 January to 1 February 2024
The United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) 2024 Coordination Segment is scheduled for 31 January to 1 February 2024 in New York City, United StatesU. Established by the UN General Assembly in June 2021, this segment enhances ECOSOC’s capacity to coordinate the UN system in economic, social, health, and environmental domains. Replacing the Integration Segment, it addresses the annual theme “Reinforcing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and eradicating poverty in times of multiple crises.” The objective is to bolster ECOSOC’s role in delivering sustainable, resilient, and innovative solutions, aligning with the Charter mandate to coordinate efforts across the UN and its subsidiary bodies.
World Day of Social Justice held on 20 February 2024
The World Day of Social Justice is observed annually on 20 February to address global challenges, including poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and unequal access to essential services. Originating from the 1995 World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen, leaders pledged to prioritise poverty reduction and inclusive development. In 2007, the UN General Assembly officially declared 20 February as the World Day of Social Justice. The objective is to emphasise the centrality of people in development plans, promote social justice globally, and encourage organisations, governments, and individuals to work towards creating fair, safe, and just societies that address the needs of the underprivileged and marginalised.
Energy and Environment
World Sustainable Development Summit 2024 to be held from 7 to 9 February 2024
The 23rd edition of the World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) will occur from 7 to 9 February 2024 in New Delhi. With the theme “Leadership for Sustainable Development and Climate Justice”, the summit aims to address the complex challenges of achieving sustainable development. Participants from diverse sectors, including government, business, academia, and civil society, will converge to deliberate on inclusive, resilient, adaptable, and creative leadership for driving positive change. The summit’s objectives include fostering collaboration, sharing innovative solutions, and promoting a collective commitment to building a more sustainable and just future for the planet.
International Energy Agency 2024 Ministerial Meeting scheduled for 13 and 14 February 2024
The International Energy Agency (IEA) will host its 2024 Ministerial Meeting on February 13 and 14, bringing together global energy and climate ministers to assess recent developments in energy markets and policies. This meeting will not only set the strategic direction for the IEA but also commemorate the Agency’s 50th Anniversary through special events, including High-Level Dialogues and an Innovation Forum. Co-chaired by Ireland and France, with vice-chairs from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, and Poland, the gathering aims to facilitate discussions among ministers from IEA Member, Association, and Accession countries, along with industry, finance, and civil society leaders.
Climate and Clean Air Conference scheduled for 21 to 23 February 2024
The Climate and Clean Air Conference 2024 is scheduled for February 21 to 23 in Nairobi, Kenya, coinciding with the sixth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA). With 86 State Partners and 83 Non-State Partners, the conference aims to address urgent issues at the intersection of climate and air quality. Focusing on key emitting sectors, such as agriculture, waste, fossil fuels, household energy, vehicles, and engines, the event seeks to advance global efforts in mitigating short-lived climate pollutants. Objectives include emphasising the cost of inaction, scaling up initiatives like the Global Methane Pledge, Clean Air Flagship, and Kigali Amendment, and collaboratively planning for 2025 and beyond.