Jean Ping (left, front), chairperson of the Commission of the African Union and Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (right, front), president of the Equitorial Guinea at the 17th Ordinary African Union Summit in 2011. Photo by: Embassy of Equatorial Guinea / CC BY-ND

The future of international development cooperation is not just hashed out in dusty field offices and ramshackle schools and hospitals, but also at a variety of events, celebrations and other gatherings.  Below are some of the most noteworthy events for the week starting May 20:

21st African Union SummitAddis Ababa, EthiopiaMay 20-27Over 75 heads of states from across the globe convene this week to mark the 10th anniversary of the African Union and the 50th anniversary of the now-defunct Organization of African Unity on May 25 in the same city where both associations first began.66th World Health AssemblyGeneva, SwitzerlandMay 20-28

The World Health Organization’s supreme decision-making body holds its annual meeting to lay the groundwork for WHO’s initiatives, policies and budget for the coming year, with delegates from all WHO member states attending.Aid & International Development ForumWashington, D.C., United StatesMay 21-22

USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the International Procurement Agency lead decision-makers from the Union Nations, civil society, and the public and private sectors engaged in aid relief and development in a free and open forum that features 25 conference and workshops.

38th Annual Meeting of the Islamic Development Bank Board of GovernorsDushanbe, TajikistanMay 21-22

Will the IsDB increase its $45-billion capital as recommended during the 2012 Extraordinary Islamic Summit? The gathering settles this question as officials from the bank’s 56 member countries, as well as development financing bodies and federations of contractors and consultants take part in the yearly affair.4th Global Platform for Disaster Risk ReductionGeneva, SwitzerlandMay 21-23

Said to be the biggest disaster-themed event organized by the U.N. to date, over 3,000 people from civil society, the public and private sectors are expected to participate in this year’s platform focusing on the importance of the private sector in helping curb disaster risk.

5th World Forum on Human RightsNantes, FranceMay 22-25

The International Permanent Secretariat on Human Rights and Local Governments brings together over 4,500 key movers in the human rights field under the blanket of the theme “Sustainable development – Human Rights: a common struggle.” The 2013 forum links human rights international law to sustainable development.

World Economic Forum on Middle East and North AfricaDead Sea, JordanMay 24-26The two regions’ urgent priorities and long-term imperatives will be the subject of talks among 900 leaders from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, the Levant, North Africa and internationally, including stakeholders from civil society, media and youth.

Other events

International celebrations

Know of an upcoming event that might be of interest to the international development community? Leave a comment below or email us at

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About the author

  • Johanna Morden

    Johanna Morden is a community development worker by training and a global development journalist by profession. As a former Devex staff writer based in Manila, she covered the Asian Development Bank as well as Asia-Pacific's aid community at large. Johanna has written for a variety of international publications, covering social issues, disasters, government, ICT, business, and the law.