The Vietnam News Agency (VNA) has selected the top 10 world events for 2015 as follows:
The ASEAN Community is officially established:
Thirteen years after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) floated the idea of a common community, the ASEAN Community was officially set up on December 31 with three key pillars: the Political and Security Community, the Economic Community and the Social-Cultural Community. The formation marks an important development step in the grouping's process of extensive connectivity towards the "One vision – One identity – One community" goal.
China's actions complicate the East Sea situation:China increased its unilateral actions in the East Sea, including illegal construction on islands and reefs in the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos of Viet Nam. The international community expressed deep concern about those moves and warned that such actions had infringed upon international law, increased tension and threatened security and safety of navigation and aviation, as well as damaged the ecological systems in the East Sea.
Global fight against Islamic terrorism is intensified: A series of bomb attacks, kidnappings and shootings shocked the world, especially the bloody attacks in the Charlie Hebdo newspaper office on January 7 and the Bataclan theatre on November 13, both in France, or the bombing of a Russian plane in Egypt on October 30. The increasing expansion and brutality of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, along with Russia's military intervention in Syria, changed the situation in the global fight against terrorism with the heavy involvement of many countries worldwide.
Migration crisis plagues Europe : Waves of migrants from the Middle East and North African countries to Europe brought the most serious migration crisis since the World War II, causing severe security and socio-economic impacts for European nations and the world. It also created divergences in policies of the European Union's member nations on how to cope with the situation.
Historic deal reached to mitigate global warming: On December 12, all the 195 countries attending the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) in France approved an agreement aimed at curbing global warming. The deal was said to be the strongest commitment of the international community to fight against climate change. It sets the target of keeping the rise in global temperatures by the year 2100 "well below" 2 degrees Celsius compared with pre-industrial times. Developed countries pledged to provide at least US$100 billion a year to help developing countries deal with climate change.
Oil prices drop to lowest point in over a decade :The price of crude oil on the world market was reduced by nearly 60 per cent in the past year to below US$35 per barrel – the lowest price since 2004. The decrease was attributed to persistent oversupply and falling demand of oil, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' decision on not cutting oil output and the US's removal of its 40-year ban on oil exports. The drastic reduction of oil prices has had a huge impact on the economy and geo-politics of various countries, especially those heavily dependent on oil imports and exports.
Iran and P5+1 countries reach key nuclear deal: After 11 years of tense negotiations, Iran and the P5+1 countries, which are the US, Russia, China, France, the UK and Germany, on July 14 reached a historic agreement, under which Iran vowed to restrict its nuclear programme, while other countries pledged to lift sanctions imposed on Tehran.
Strongest earthquakes in eight decades rock Nepal:Two earthquakes measuring 7.8 magnitude and 7.3 magnitude on April 25 and May 12 shook almost all parts of Nepal, leaving 8,964 dead and injuring 21,952 people. The two quakes changed many geological structures in Nepal and its neighbouring countries like India, China, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The United Nations estimated that about 8 million people were affected by the disasters, with 1.4 million people in need of food assistance.
FIFA corruption scandal prompts major changes: Numerous high-ranking FIFA officials, including FIFA President Sepp Blatter and President of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Michel Platini, were accused of corruption, bribery and money laundering with the money involved worth up to hundreds of millions of US dollars. These scandals tarnish the image of FIFA, requiring the organisation to make strong reforms.
Earth-like planet ‘Kepler-452b' found by NASA: On July 23, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced the discovery of a planet outside the solar system that has similar characteristics to Earth. The planet, named Kepler-452b, is about 1.6 times larger than the Earth in diameter and is 1,400 light years away from the Earth. It orbits around a star with about the same size and brightness of the Sun, and has signs of water on its surface. One year on Kepler-452e has 385 days. This is a revolutionary discovery that offers a glimmer of hope for the search for life beyond Earth. — VNS