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A lookahead for 2024: US elections, Paris Olympics, COP 29 and more

In Europe, World
January 01, 2024

The year 2024 may have only just begun but it looks set to be an action-packed one. With a number of pivotal political, environmental, cultural and athletic events on the horizon, it can be difficult to keep track of what’s to come. FRANCE 24 sets out a a timeline of a few major events that are certain to define 2024.

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BRICS – an intergovernmental bloc that currently includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – has opened its doors to five new members. The decision was reached at the 2023 annual BRICS summit in Johannesburg in August. As of January 1, 2024, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Egypt and Ethiopia are members of the bloc. Argentina was invited to join but its new president Javier Milei decided to pull out.

With the expansion, the alliance reaffirms its status as the voice of the Global South and is likely to bear more weight on the international stage, which has been dominated by Western nations since the end of the Cold War. Combined, the expanded BRICS represents a population of about 3.5 billion, which accounts for 45% of the world’s population.

Read moreHow the BRICS nations failed to rebuild the global financial order

  • In the pressure cooker of Taiwan’s presidential election

The first election of 2024 is a high-stakes race with regional and global implications. On January 13, Taiwan’s voters will choose between three candidates: Vice President Lai Ching-te of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, Hou Yu-ih of the Kuomintang and Ko Wen-je of the Taiwan People’s Party, after the two opposition parties failed to form an alliance. China, fiercely hostile to the current government, has called the race a choice between war and peace. It considers Taiwan to be an integral part of its territory and has recently escalated its intimidation campaign around the island to levels unseen in decades. The election results risk igniting tensions between the US and China. Although the US has said it does not support Taiwan independence, it supports its democracy and supplies the island with military aid.

Read more‘War with China is not unavoidable,’ says Taiwan’s foreign minister

 

  • Africa Cup of Nations to kick off in Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast is gearing up to host the 34th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, which will take place from January 13 to February 11. Will the Ivorian elephants be crowned winners on home soil? Will they dethrone winners of the last African Cup, Senegal’s mighty Lions of Teranga? Only time will tell. The first match will see hosts Ivory Coast take on Guinea-Bissau at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium north of Abidjan at 8pm GMT.

This photograph shows the trophy ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 final football match between Senegal and Egypt at Stade d'Olembe in Yaounde on February 6, 2022. (Photo by Kenzo TRIBOUIL
Who will bring home the trophy for the Africa Cup of Nations this year? © Kenzo Tribouillard, AFP

  • Putin looks set for re-election in Russian presidential election

Russians head to the polls on March 17 to cast their ballots in a presidential election that is likely to see President Vladimir Putin prolong his twenty-year-long grip on the country. Putin has ruled Russia since the start of the century – winning four presidential terms with a brief interlude as prime minister. The 71-year-old has methodically quashed any form of opposition in recent years. His most high-profile rival, Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, is currently serving a 19-year prison sentence in a penal colony north of the Arctic. Despite starting an immensely costly war in Ukraine that has killed thousands of Russian soldiers and sparked repeated attacks within the country’s borders, Putin still commands wide support.

Read moreNavalny’s penal colony in the Arctic is direct heir to the Russian Gulag

 

  • Indians to head to polls as Modi seeks third term in general elections

Hundreds of millions of Indians will head to the polls between April and May in general elections that are expected to hand Prime Minister Narendra Modi a third term in office. The Hindu nationalist leader has a substantial lead in opinion polls and will hit the 2024 campaign trail on the heel of three major state election victories for his party in December. But concerns have been raised over what a third term would mean for democracy in India amid a widespread clampdown on press freedom and growing criticism of human rights violations, particularly against the country’s minority Muslim community.  

Read moreHow Indian authorities ‘weaponised’ a New York Times report to target the press

 

 


 

 

  • Celebrating the 80th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy

France will mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings along the Normandy coastline during World War II. On June 6, 1944, Allied forces mounted the largest amphibious invasion the world has ever seen – an event that marked the beginning of the liberation of German-occupied Western Europe. Heads of state, veterans and officials will  attend an international ceremony on Omaha Beach to honour the memory of these events and pay tribute to the fallen.  

  • A fresh European Parliament  

The 2024 European Parliament elections will be held between June 6-9, and is expected to be one of the most contentious in history due to the rise of the far right in several member nations. European citizens will cast their vote to renew the 720-member EU institution, currently dominated by the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP). The 2024 elections are the first European Parliament polls since the UK officially left the bloc on January 31, 2020, following the Brexit vote. European Parliament elections are routinely dogged by low voter turnout. But the election issues at stake are critical for the future of the continent, including energy, inflation, the post-pandemic economic recovery and the EU’s foreign policy.

Read moreEU elections 2024: Do Europeans care?

 

  • Paris to host the 2024 Olympics, Paralympics

A century after hosting its last Olympic Games in 1924 – and for the third time in its history – Paris is set to welcome another summer of sport with the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. From July 26 to August 11, the City of Light will host the world’s most talented athletes in the biggest sporting event ever held in France. Handball, football and rugby tournaments are set to kick off as early as July 24. The Paralympic Games will take place directly after the Olympics, between August 28 and September 8. But not all nations will have their top athletes representing them on the ground. Athletes from Russia and Belarus will only be able to compete as neutrals outside of team events due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, and Guatemala has been barred because of its government’s interference with the independence of its Olympic committee.


© FRANCE 24

 

  • Trump v. Biden Part Two? 

The upcoming presidential election in November might look a lot like the Joe Biden-Donald Trump race of 2020, but it’s shaping up to be quite different. Trump now faces four criminal trials and has just been disqualified from the 2024 ballot by a third US state. Biden, now grappling with two devastating wars in Gaza and Ukraine, is being investigated by the US House of Representatives on whether he improperly benefited from his son’s foreign business dealings. The 60th US presidential election will undoubtedly be the most closely watched political event of 2024. Only if Trump and Biden make it through the primaries of their respective parties and are nominated can they hope to become the next US president. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former UN ambassador Nikki Haley are among those taking on Trump, while self-help guru Marianne Williamson and Minnesota congressman Dean Phillips are mounting a challenge to Biden.

  • Azerbaijan to host COP 29

Oil and gas producer Azerbaijan will host this year’s COP 20 climate summit. The country won the bid after garnering support from other Eastern European nations in early December 2023 and came after months of geopolitical deadlock over where the summit would be held. Russia had vowed to veto any bid by an EU country. The UN conference will take place in the capital city of Baku from November 11 to 24.  The main issue on the agenda is likely to be financing “the transition away from fossil fuels”. 

Read moreHeat records and climate accords: How did the environment fare in 2023?

 

  • Paris’s Notre-Dame Cathedral to reopen

Five years after a fire ravaged Notre-Dame Cathedral on April 15, 2019, the doors of Paris’s most visited monument will reopen on December 8. Tourists and worshippers will once again be able to admire the sculptures and decorations of this medieval minor basilica, considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. When it reopens, Notre-Dame should be able to welcome 14 million visitors a year, two million more than before the fire. It will also be equipped with a unique fire protection system. President Emmanuel Macron has invited Pope Francis to the cathedral’s reopening ceremony.

A person takes a photograph at dusk of Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral with the wooden structure of the new spire in place during reconstruction work, on the Ile de la Cite in Paris on November 28, 202
The outline of the new spire of Paris’s Notre-Dame Cathedral can be seen on November 28, 2023. © Ludovic Marin, AFP

 

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