2022 might be viewed as a year which saw a turning point in global politics indicating an end of an era and beginning of another. The year witnessed major political events which have shaped the international relations of various countries. Here is a look back at five major global events that we witnessed as the year draws to a close.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, in a major escalation of the tension between the two countries. The invasion has resulted in thousands of deaths on both sides, as well as Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II, with an estimated 8 million people displaced within the country by late May and 7.8 million Ukrainians fleeing the country by November 8, 2022, as per UNHCR. Within five weeks of the invasion, Russia saw its largest emigration since 1917. Since then, the rest of the world has been struggling to manage with the price shocks, supply disruptions and food shortages.
US Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her delegation arrived in Taiwan in August, putting an end to speculation about a visit not listed on the official itinerary of her East Asia tour. Even before Pelosi's visit was confirmed, Chinese President Xi Jinping and China's Foreign Ministry had warned the US against sending a senior government official to the island that China considers its own province.
Death of Queen Elizabeth II
The longest reigning British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, died of old age on September 8 in Scotland. Queen Elizabeth II's reign as head of state spanned postwar recession, the transition from empire to Commonwealth, the end of the Cold War and the United Kingdom's entry into - and exit from - the European Union. With her death, her eldest son, King Charles III became the new monarch of England.
The rulers of the Islamic Republic of Iran faced one of the most significant challenges to its rule this year. The protests started in September, when Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old, was arrested for not properly covering her hair and died in police custody. Hundreds gathered to condemn her death and Iran's mistreatment of women. Protests quickly spread across the country as Iranians of all social, economic, and ethnic backgrounds joined together.
Outbreak of Mpox (Monkeypox)
Since early May 2022, cases of Monkeypox, now renamed to Mpox by the World Health Organisation (WHO), have been reported from 110 countries. As of December 15, WHO recorded 82,828 confirmed cases of the virus. Although the risk assessment by the health organisation classifies the virus as moderate, it has been declared as a public health emergency of international concern.