Colombian President J.M.Santos(Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam News Agency has selected 10 most outstanding world events in 2016 as follow:

1. The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, the Netherlands, rejects China’s claim in the East Sea: On July 12, the Tribunal, constituted under Annex VII to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), issued the final ruling on the Philippines’s lawsuit against China on a dispute in the South China Sea (known as the East Sea in Vietnam).

The ruling clarified that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea area enclosed by the so-called “nine-dash line”, and the “nine-dash line” drawn by China was contrary to the UNCLOS. This was the first international ruling related to East Sea disputes, which was supported by the international community.

2. Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro passes away: The great revolutionary leader of the 20th century and a close friend of Vietnamese people died on November 26 at the age of 90.

Fidel Castro gathered and led revolutionary forces of Cuba and founded the first socialist state in the Western Hemisphere. His funeral was held at national level in nine days. A number of commemorating activities were also organised in different places in the world.

3. The UK chooses to leave the European Union: The majority of UK voters opted for the country’s separation from the EU during the referendum on June 23. The event shocked the world and completely changed the political situation in the UK which was considered one of the key pillars of the EU. It also changed the world’s geopolitics, bringing with it great risk of instability for the EU in terms of politics, security and economy.

4. The surprise triumph of Donald Trump in the US presidential election: On November 8, Donald Trump, a populist without any political experience, won an overwhelming victory during one of the most dramatic elections in the country’s history. For the first time, the US has a businessman president. Trump’s strategy is controversial, making it hard to predict the new US administration’s policy.

5. Security instability continues to obsess entire Europe: A series of bloody terrorist attacks in many European countries including Germany, France, Belgium and Turkey with increased brutality shocked the world, showing security gaps and poor cooperation in the continent.

Along with the ghost of terrorism, the prolonged migration crisis, the political disorder after Turkey’s failed coup d’état and worries about the new US administration’s policies are posing the greatest security challenges since the World War II to the European Union.

6. Paris agreement on climate change takes effect: Adopted by nearly 70 countries and territories, including those with highest green house gas emission such as the US, China and India, the Paris agreement officially took effect on November 11, much earlier than expectation. This showed the stronger awareness of climate change threats. One of the typical examples is the El Nino phenomenon which lasted from late 2015 to 2016 and caused extreme weather conditions such as record heat in South Asia, forest fire in Southeast Asia and serious floods in Latin America.

7. A major turning point in Syria conflict: With the support of Russian army, in late December, the Syrian Government forces took control of almost all the strategic Aleppo city, the second largest city of Syria and capital of the opposition. The development marked an important watershed in the conflict lasting over the past nearly six years among supporting forces of Syrian Government and the opposition and terrorist groups.

8. Colombia reaches historic peace deal: After almost four years of negotiation, on September 26, the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) signed a peace agreement, ending 52 years of conflict and opening up opportunities for peace and national conciliation in the country.

After being rejected in a referendum, the deal was revised and signed on November 24. It was passed by the Colombian parliament on December 1. It is considered a model for the settlement of conflict in many other countries such as Syria, Yemen and South Sudan. With his contributions to the signing of the historic agreement, Colombia President J.M.Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016.

9. Zika virus spreads in the world: Since early 2016, Zika virus, a cause of many fatal diseases, has spread in many Latin American and Caribbean countries and territories, forcing the World Health Organisation to declare a global emergency. The virus has encroached upon the US, Canada, a number of European countries, and many Southeast Asian countries including Vietnam. Currently, no preventive vaccine as well as effective medicine against the virus has been found.

10. “Panama papers” shake the world:
The largest ever data leak of over 11 million documents shed light on a series of tax evasion and money laundering activities beginning from the mid-1970s and relating to hundreds of thousands of companies over the world. The case shocked the entire world, forcing administrations and authorised agencies of many countries to launch investigations and causing many officials and politicians to step down.-VNA