2024, a leap year, will see about 74 countries heading to polls, a count by The Economist showed. These include India, the US, Russia, Iran and Indonesia.
Artificial intelligence, rising global temperatures, global pursuits in space are expected to be the buzz words this year too.
Here is a sneak peek at the events scheduled for the year:
Aditya L1 is scheduled to reach its final destination, the Lagrange point L1, about 1.5 million km from Earth.
– An electorate of 119 million will elect candidates to 299 parliamentary constituencies in Bangladesh’s general elections.
– The 81st Golden Globe Awards, Hollywood’s annual extravaganza, will honor 2023’s best in film and TV.
– The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the blockbuster annual showpiece of every kind of tech under the sun–from new smart home gadgets and automotives to TVs, gaming, laptops and smartphones–in Las Vegas, will offer a platform for companies to announce their next wave of products or give a sneak peek at the most ambitious of their new projects.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will release its global temperature report for 2023.
– William Lai Ching-te is the frontrunner to replace Tsai Ing-wen as president in Taiwan, which has emerged as a key flashpoint between the US and China. Hou Yu-ih and wild card entry Ko Wen-je are the others in the race for the top post.
– The 54th annual World Economic Forum summit will take place at Davos-Klosters. A galaxy of leaders from Union ministers Ashwini Vaishnaw, Smriti Irani, and Hardeep Singh Puri to chief ministers Eknath Shinde, Siddaramaiah, A. Revanth Reddy and business leaders Gautam Adani, Mukesh Ambani, Kumar Mangalam Birla, N. Chandrasekaran, Sajjan Jindal, Sunil Mittal, Rishad Premji, and Adar Poonawalla are expected to attend the five-day event this year.
The grand consecration ceremony of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya is scheduled for Monday.
– Nominations for the 96th Academy Awards will be announced for outstanding film achievements of 2023. The awards will be presented on Sunday, March 10. “Oppenheimer,” “Barbie” and “The Holdovers” will have the best shot at nomination for the best picture.
France’s Emmanuel Macron will be the chief guest at this year’s Republic Day parade in New Delhi.
The world’s largest cruise ship, the Icon of the Seas, will set sail from Miami, making its inaugural voyage.
Presidential polls are scheduled to be held in Finland on Sunday, with a likely second round on 11 February.
The 66th Grammy Awards will air live from Los Angeles on Sunday with award-winning host and comedian Trevor Noah of “The Daily Show” set to return to the GRAMMY stage for the fourth consecutive year.
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev has ordered early Presidential elections, well ahead of the expiry of the current term in 2025. Aliyev’s popularity has surged since his government wrested control of the disputed Karabakh region from Armenian forces.
General elections are scheduled to be held in Pakistan to elect the members of the 16th National Assembly. Pakistan Muslim League (N), led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Peoples Party, led by former foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari are the two major parties in fray.
The Chinese New Year falls on Saturday, ushering in the year of the Dragon, which is one of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac.
Indonesia’s upcoming general election will see key contenders Prabowo Subianto, Anies Baswedan, and former central Java governor Ganjar Pranowo vying for victory. Subianto, backed by Gibran Rakabuming Raka, the eldest son of current President Joko Widodo, is the frontrunner.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the BAPS mandir in Abu Dhabi’s Abu Mureikha area. This temple in the UAE is expected to be one of the largest outside of India, and the largest in West Asia.
The EU Digital Services Act will come into force.
The 77th British Academy Film Awards, or the BAFTAs, will honour the best national and foreign films of 2023, at the Royal Festival Hall in London’s Southbank Centre. The ceremony will be hosted by David Tennant, best known for his role in “Doctor Who”.
Elections will be held in Belarus, Iraqi Kurdistan and Senegal.
Key trade ministers from across the world are expected to gather in Abu Dhabi between 26 and 29 February to review the functioning of the World Trade Organization (WTO) at the 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13).
Iran is gearing up for elections in which the conservatives are likely to tighten their grip on power, with the potential impact of the war in Gaza a growing concern. The legislative elections will see contests for all 290 seats in the Majlis, the country’s parliament, and all 88 members of the assembly of experts, which appoints the supreme leader.
This Super Tuesday is a key day when many US states have their primary elections and caucuses for the presidential race. About one-third of all delegates needed for nomination are up for grabs, making it a major predictor of each party’s final nominee.
UN Women’s theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress”. One of the key challenges in achieving gender equality by 2030 is an alarming lack of financing with a staggering $360 billion annual deficit in spending on gender-equality measures, according to UN Women.
Snap legislative elections will be held to elect members to the 16th legislature of Portugal. Most opinion polls put the Portugal’s Socialist Party (PS) led by Pedro Nuno Santos neck and neck with the Social Democratic Party’s (PSD) Luis Montenegro.
Presidential polls in Russia will be held on 15–17, with President Vladimir Putin expected to win the election easily. Putin, 71, has been in power either as president or prime minister since December 1999.
Presidential elections are due in Ukraine by 31 March, according to that country’s constitution, which mandates elections be held on the last Sunday of March of the fifth year of the incumbent president’s term of office. Ukraine is currently under martial law in the wake of its war with Russia, and Ukrainian law does not allow elections to be held when martial law is in effect. Elections are also due in Slovakia and Togo.
India will gear up for its general elections, which will be held over April and May to elect 543 members of the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament.
The moon will cross paths with the Sun in a rare solar eclipse that will pass through Mexico, the US and Canada. The longest duration of the celestial event will be near Torreon in Mexico at 4 minutes and 27 seconds, according to the Great American Eclipse.
South Korea will hold crucial elections in which conservatives will aim to regain majority control for the first time since 2016, supporting President Yoon Suk Yeol agenda of pro-business measures like tax reductions, deregulation, and social reforms. This week, opposition leader Lee Jae-myung was stabbed in a knife attack that shocked the nation.
The elections for the mayor of London and for the 25 members of the London Assembly will take place. Current Labour mayor Sadiq Khan is hoping to win the election for the third time. Conservative mayoral candidate and London Assembly member Susan Hall will be his key rival.
The 77th annual Cannes Film Festival will transform the French Riviera into a hub of international film culture. American filmmaker and actress Greta Gerwig will serve as jury president for the main competition at the prestigious event where filmmakers and stars from around the globe converge to celebrate the best in cinema.
The PGA Championship, one of golf’s four major tournaments, annually gathers the world’s top golfers to compete for the coveted Wanamaker Trophy. The Sentry Tournament, which kicked off this week in Hawaii, sets the tone for the PGA Tour’s new year and provides an early look at the top players’ form and potential trajectory.
May 20-June 9
The 2024 French Open at Roland-Garros in Paris will feature the world’s top tennis talent. Spanish Rafael Nadal, the winner of 22 Grand Slam titles, including a record 14 French Open titles, had pulled out of last year’s event due to injury. Nadal has hinted that this year could be his last in tennis.
Amid growing concerns over the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, the AI for Good Summit in Geneva Switzerland provides a crucial platform for governments, non-profits, corporations, and global organizations to strategize on managing the era of unprecedented technological growth, focusing on beneficial outcomes and ethical considerations.
June 4- 30
The ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup is scheduled to be hosted by the West Indies and the US. This will be the first ICC World Cup tournament to feature matches played in the US. Twenty teams are in fray, with England as the defending champions.
The 2024 European Parliament election will be the tenth since the first direct elections in 1979, and the first after Brexit. Ursula von der Leyen, the current European Commission President, may face an uphill battle to make it to a second term. although German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has hinted he would support her should she choose to run for the position again.
The 50th Group of 7, or G7, summit is set to be held in the city of Fasano in Apulia. The choice of Fasano as the headquarters of the G7 was announced by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in November.
This year, the presidency of the Council of the European Union will be held by Belgium from January to June, and then by Hungary from July to December. This rotation is part of the trio presidency system, where three EU member states collaborate on a common political program over an 18-month period.
Wimbledon 2024 will begin on Monday, 1 July, and run until the men’s singles final on Sunday, 14 July. Last year saw Carlos Alcaraz winning the men’s singles title in a dramatic final against Novak Djokovic. Unseeded Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic beat Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur to win the Wimbledon women’s singles final last year.
Washington, D.C. will host this year’s NATO summit, which will mark the alliance’s seventy-fifth anniversary. The summit may turn out to be Sweden’s first as a NATO member if Turkey and Hungary ratify its accession. Continued support for Ukraine in its war with Russia and a consensus on Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s successor will be key focus areas.
July 11 is World Population Day. With an increase of about 75 million in 2023, the world’s population surpassed 8 billion people on New Year’s Day, the US Census Bureau noted this week. India moved ahead of China to become the most populated nation on earth last year. The two countries both have more than 1.4 billion people.
July 26- August 11
Paris, the iconic city of lights, will host the Olympic Games from July 26 to August 11. The Paris edition will be the first Olympics in history to achieve full gender parity. Over 10,000 Olympians and 4,400 Paralympians will compete for glory in Paris.
India will mark its 77th Independence Day.
The new city of Nusantara on Borneo will formally be inaugurated as the capital of Indonesia, replacing Jakarta.
August 26-September 8
US Open tennis championships
August 28-September 8
September 14-January 19, 2025
Major Van Gogh exhibition at London’s National Gallery, which will mark its 200th anniversary.
First US presidential debate
UN Summit of the Future will open in New York. The summit aims to forge a new global consensus on what our future should look like, and what we can do today to secure it. The summit will address key topics such as ethical digital technology management, securing a reliable information environment, promoting sustainable activities in space, and enhancing global strategies for emergent challenges like cyberwarfare and escalating climate change impacts.
Women’s T20 World Cup; US vice-presidential debate; elections likely in Austria, Tunisia, and Sri Lanka.
Second US presidential debate
EU will roll out its entry-exit system, requiring non-EU citizens to scan passports when entering the Schengen free-travel zone
Final US presidential debate
Announcement of Nobel Peace Prize
– Russia will host the Brics summit in Kazan in the country’s southwest semi-autonomous Tatarstan region, where it will welcome six new members–Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates–into the bloc. The theme this year will be “Strengthening Multilateralism for Justice in Global Development and Security.”
*The Vatican is expected to hold its synod this month to debate possible and even radical changes to the Church’s practices and rules
COP29 climate summit in Baku, Azerbaijan, where one of the world’s first oil fields developed 1,200 years ago.
Brazil will host the 19th G20 summit in Rio de Janeiro.
Elections are expected in Mauritius, Namibia, Chad, and Guinea-Bissau.
*The US is expected to launch its first crewed mission in 52 years to the moon this month.
Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris reopens five years after a devastating fire.
Elections in South Sudan, Algeria, Croatia and Uzbekistan
*Shukrayaan-1, India’s first mission to Venus, is expected to launch in December 2024 or early 2025, aiming to study the planet’s composition, surface and atmosphere.
* Laos will host the the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit this year on the theme “Enhancing Connectivity and Resilience.” The dates have not been finalized yet.
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