Political Handbook of the World 2013


Edited by: Tom Lansford

  • Citations
  • Add to My List
  • Text Size

  • Front Matter
  • Countries A-Z
  • Political & Electoral Systems
  • International Organizations
  • Appendixes
  • Copyright


    The year 2012 saw a number of dramatic political transitions, mainly reflective of the economic uncertainties faced throughout the world and the continuing aftermath of the Arab Spring. For example, in France, the election of Socialist leader François Hollande in May 2012 ended 17 years of conservative control of the presidency. Discontent with strict austerity measures resulted in a victory for the center-right in Greece and the formation of a broad coalition government in June to replace a technocrat cabinet appointed the previous year. In February, as a result of the Arab Spring, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi was elected president of Yemen, replacing Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had ruled since 1990. In June, in Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood–linked Freedom and Justice Party, was popularly elected president, furthering the democratic transition from the 30-year autocratic rule of Hosni Mubarak.

    Political leaders were removed from office by both force and legal means. In March 2012 a military coup deposed Mali’s president, Amadou Toumani Touré, near the end of his second term in office. The Economic Community of West African States subsequently negotiated a resolution to the crisis and agreed to deploy international peacekeepers to the country to counter a growing insurgency. In June Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo was impeached and removed from office. He was replaced by Vice President Federico Franco. That same month, Pakistan’s supreme court disqualified Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani from his post, and he was succeeded by Raja Pervaiz Ashraf.

    Political transitions took place in a range of states following the deaths of leaders. North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, who had ruled since 1994, died on December 11, 2011. He was succeeded by his son, Kim Jong Un, who endeavored to consolidate power through 2012. The president of Guinea-Bissau, Malam Bacai Sanhá, died on January 9. He was replaced by the president of the nation’s legislature, Raimundo Pereira, who had been serving as interim president while Sanhá was ill from complications due to diabetes. On April 5 longtime president Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi died in office. He was replaced by Vice President Joyce Banda, who became Africa’s second woman head of state.

    Nonetheless, a number of incumbents and longtime heads of state were returned to power or reelected around the globe. For instance, in disputed balloting on March 4, 2012, former Russian president Vladimir Putin was again returned to power. A two-consecutive presidential term limit prompted Putin to serve one term as prime minister before campaigning again for Russia’s highest office. His election prompted widespread protests and demonstrations across Russia. In Angola, José Eduardo dos Santos, in power since 1979, won another term as president following legislative balloting in August in which his party, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (the MPLA), won a majority. Meanwhile, incumbents in other states, including Taiwan, were reelected during 2012. On November 6, President Barack Obama was reelected following an unusually bitter and negative campaign in the United States.

    While the Arab Spring resulted in regime change in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Yemen, throughout 2012 a civil war raged in Syria between the regime of Bashar al Assad and a loose coalition of insurgents. A range of international sanctions were levied against the Assad regime, but efforts by the United Nations Security Council to take stronger action to curb the conflict were repeatedly stymied by longtime Syrian ally Russia as well as China. By December 2012, an estimated 35,000 had been killed in the civil war and 1.2 million displaced.

    International initiatives to compel Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons program through sanctions accelerated during 2012. The European Union and other states agreed to end imports of Iranian oil. Meanwhile, Iran accused the United States and Israel of cyberattacks and the assassination of a leading Iranian nuclear scientist in January. Conversely, in Myanmar longtime democracy activist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi was elected to parliament in April. In recognition of the country’s tentative steps toward democracy, international sanctions were relaxed or ended.

    Long-running territorial disputes continued in several regions. Conflict over maritime claims in the South China Sea and the East China Sea raised tensions between China, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Meanwhile, fighting between Sudan and South Sudan raged on through the year, despite the deployment of peacekeeping troops under the auspices of the UN Mission in South Sudan.

    The last U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq in December 2011, ending the nation’s involvement in the divisive nine-year conflict. By September 2012 the United States had withdrawn the 33,000 additional forces deployed to Afghanistan as part of a “surge” to suppress the Taliban-led insurgency. But so-called “green-on-blue” incidents (attacks by Afghan security forces on coalition troops) increased dramatically in 2012, accounting for 16 percent of total coalition casualties and prompting the United States in September to suspend joint military operations with their Afghan allies. The United States continued extensive aerial drone strikes against suspected Taliban and al Qaeda–linked targets in Pakistan. By November 2012 an estimated 2,400 Pakistanis had been killed since the strikes began in 2005.

    In April 2012 former Liberian president Charles Taylor was convicted of 11 charges, including murder, for his actions during Sierra Leone’s long-running civil war. He became the first head of state convicted of crimes against humanity since World War II. With Taylor’s conviction, the international tribunal for Sierra Leone became the first UN-sponsored international court to complete its initial caseload (it would remain in operation for appeals). Also in June, Goran Hadzic, the former president of the Serbian Krajina, became the last of 161 suspects to be trialed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). All remaining appeals and other rulings were expected to be completed by 2016.

    In spite of a number of major weather-related events, climate change remained in the background of national and global politics. In 2012 Europe had its coldest temperatures in more than 25 years; more than 650 deaths were attributed to frigid temperatures. Meanwhile, the United States had its fourth warmest winter on record and faced its most significant drought since the 1930s. A massive drought also devastated the Sahel region, leaving more than 10 million at risk for malnutrition. There was an active Atlantic hurricane season in 2012, including Hurricane Sandy, which struck the Northeast in October, killing 193 in the United States and six other countries. The hurricane was the second-most expensive in U.S. history, causing an estimated $52 billion in damage. Concurrently, typhoons in the Pacific killed 502 and caused $4.4 billion in damage.

    Economic growth slowed across the world from 2011 to 2012, dashing hopes for a recovery from the global financial crisis. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), global economic activity grew by 3.8 percent in 2011, before slowing to an estimated rate of 3.3 percent in 2012. Advanced economies, including those of, among others, the United States, Western Europe, and Japan, grew by 1.6 percent in 2011 and just 1.3 percent in 2012 according to estimates. The U.S. economy grew by 1.8 percent in 2011, before rising to 2.2 percent in 2012. Meanwhile, the economies of the eurozone rose 1.4 percent in 2011 but declined by 0.4 percent in 2012 as the continuing complications of the region’s debt crisis constrained growth. Significant tensions remained in the eurozone between states supporting stimulus initiatives and those promoting austerity measures to reduce deficits and debts. Japan came out of recession in 2012 with economic growth of 2.2 percent. The economics of developing states and emerging markets grew by 6.2 percent in 2011, boosted mainly by high growth rates in China and India, at 9.2 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively. Reductions in export markets in the United States and Europe led economic activity to moderate in China and India in 2012, with estimated growth rates of 7.8 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively. In July 2012 Jim Yong Kim of the United States became the 12th president of the World Bank.

    In 2011 worldwide military spending was essentially unchanged from the previous year when adjusted for inflation, ending 13 years of continual increases. Total spending was $1.78 trillion according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). SIPRI reported that the largest rise was in Eastern Europe where spending grew by 10.2 percent, followed by Africa, 8.6 percent, and the Middle East, 4.6 percent. Defense expenditures fell in Latin America by 3.3 percent, Western Europe by 1.9 percent, and the United States, the world’s largest military spender, by 1.2 percent. The decline in U.S. military outlays was the first since 1998 and attributable to the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as broader budget defense cuts.

    The original version of this Handbook appeared in 1928 when the Council on Foreign Relations published A Political Handbook of the World, edited by Malcolm W. Davis and Walter H. Mallory. A more complete publishing history of the Handbook is on page 1848. This is the eighth edition of the Handbook to be published by CQ Press, an imprint of SAGE Publications. The Handbook is also available in an enhanced online edition.

    Individual country entries are arranged alphabetically, based on their customary names in English. Official names are also provided, in both English and the national language or languages. If a country has related territories, they are treated together at the end of the entry on that country—for example, Northern Ireland is treated at the end of the entry on the United Kingdom. In the case of politically divided China and Korea, a discussion of matters pertaining to the nation as a whole is followed by separate entries on the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan, in the first instance, and on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and on the Republic of Korea (South Korea) in the second. We have included one territory without a permanent population and government (Antarctica). At the end of the country entries, we have also included an entry on the Palestinian Authority/Palestinian Liberation Organization (PA/PLO).

    The Handbook covers significant events and national elections through 2012. This information is incorporated within the regular text wherever possible or in headnotes at the beginning of the country entries for elections that occurred at the end of the year. Each entry begins with information on a country’s political status, area, population, major urban centers, languages, currency, and head of state and chief executive. Demographic and economic information is presented in the section titled “The Country,” while political background, constitution and government, foreign relations, and current issues are examined in “Government and Politics.” “Political Parties and Groups” provides an extensive analysis of formal parties, political groupings, and any antigovernment or illegal formations. Each entry ends with an overview of the nation’s legislature, a current cabinet list, and a brief intergovernmental representation section, including a membership list of intergovernmental organizations for the respective country.

    The intergovernmental organizations selected for treatment are presented in a separate alphabetical sequence based on their official (or, in a few cases, customary) names in English. A list of member countries of most organizations is printed within each entry. This section is limited to groups that have membership composed of more than two states, governing bodies that meet with some degree of regularity, and permanent secretariats or other continuing means for implementing collective decisions.

    We gratefully acknowledge the Research Foundation of the State University of New York at Binghamton for its longtime support of this work and its integral role from 1975 to 2005 in maintaining the Handbook’s strong legacy of readership and editorial standards. Special thanks are extended to Stephen A. Gilje, associate vice president for research at Binghamton University; Paul C. Parker, associate vice president for research administration; Michael D. McDonald, former chair of the Department of Political Science; and David Clark, chair of the Department of Political Science. This edition of the Handbook was made possible through the efforts of MTM Publishing and particularly the contributions of Hilary Poole, whose hard work and dedication greatly eased the editing and publication process.

    • [0-9]
    • A
    • B
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • H
    • I
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • P
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • T
    • U
    • V
    • W
    • X
    • Y
    • Z

    • Regime Type


      Democracy Type

      Freedom House Rating


      Election System

      Election Rules

      single non-transferable vote

      single transferable vote

      Party System

      multi party-limited competition

      System of Government


    • Appendix A: Chronology of Major International Political Events: 1945–2012


      May 8. Proclamation of end of the war in Europe.

      June 26. United Nations Charter signed in San Francisco.

      August 6. United States drops atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.

      September 2. Surrender of Japan.


      July 29–October 15. Peace Conference meets in Paris, France.

      December 30. UN Atomic Energy Commission approves U.S. proposal for world control of atomic weapons.


      February 10. Peace treaties signed with Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Romania.

      June 5. Marshall Plan inaugurated.

      October 30. General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) negotiated in Geneva, Switzerland.


      March 17. Brussels Treaty signed by Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, United Kingdom.

      March 20. Soviet representatives walk out of Allied Control Council for Germany.

      April 16. Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC) established in Paris, France.

      April 30. Organization of American States (OAS) Charter signed in Bogotá, Colombia.

      May 14. State of Israel proclaimed.

      May 12, July 24–1949. Berlin blockade.

      December 10. UN General Assembly adopts Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


      January 25. Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) established in Moscow, USSR.

      April 4. Treaty establishing North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) signed in Washington.

      May 4. Statute establishing Council of Europe signed in London, United Kingdom.


      January 31. U.S. president Harry S. Truman orders construction of hydrogen bomb.

      June 27. United States intervenes in Korean War.


      April 18. Treaty establishing European Coal and Steel Community signed by Belgium, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands.

      September 1. Anzus Pact signed in San Francisco, by Australia, New Zealand, United States.

      September 8. Peace Treaty signed by Japan and non-Communist Allied powers in San Francisco.


      May 27. European Defense Community (EDC) Charter signed by Belgium, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands.

      November 1. United States explodes hydrogen bomb in Eniwetok Atoll.


      March 5. Death of Joseph Stalin.

      December 8. U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower proposes international control of atomic energy.


      September 8. Treaty establishing Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) signed in Manila, Philippines.

      October 23. Allied occupation of West Germany ends.


      May 6. Western European Union (WEU) inaugurated by admission of Italy and Federal Republic of Germany to Brussels Treaty.

      May 9. Federal Republic of Germany admitted to NATO.

      May 14. Warsaw Pact signed by East European communist governments.


      July 26. Egypt nationalizes Suez Canal.

      October 23–November 22. Anticommunist rebellion in Hungary suppressed by Soviet troops.

      October 29–November 6. Suez crisis.


      March 25. Rome Treaty establishing European Economic Community (EEC) and European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) signed.


      May 1. U-2 incident.

      May 3. European Free Trade Association (EFTA) of “Outer Seven” (Austria, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Portugal, United Kingdom) established.

      May 14. Beginning of Sino-Soviet dispute.

      December 14. Charter of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to replace OEEC signed in Paris, France.


      April 17–20. Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

      August 15. Start of construction of Berlin Wall between East and West Germany.

      September 1–6. First conference of Nonaligned Nations in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.


      October 22–28. Cuban missile crisis.


      January 29. France vetoes British bid for admission to EEC.

      May 25. Organization of African Unity (OAU) Charter adopted in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

      August 5. Limited Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty signed in Moscow, USSR.


      May 28. Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) established.


      February 21. Decision to merge European Economic Community (EEC), European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), and European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom).


      March 11. France withdraws troops from NATO.


      January 27. Treaty governing exploration and use of outer space signed by the United States, USSR, and 60 other nations.

      June 5. Beginning of Arab-Israeli War.

      June 17. China explodes its first hydrogen bomb.


      January 16. Britain announces withdrawal of forces from Persian Gulf and Far East.

      May 13. Beginning of Vietnam peace talks in Paris, France.

      June 4. Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty approved by UN General Assembly.

      August 20–21. Warsaw Pact forces occupy Czechoslovakia.

      August 25. France explodes its first hydrogen bomb.

      September 12. Albania withdraws from Warsaw Pact.

      October 5. Outbreak of civil rights violence in Londonderry, Northern Ireland.


      April 28. Charles de Gaulle resigns as French president.

      July 21. United States lands first men on moon.

      November 17–December 22. Initiation of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) between the United States and USSR.


      March 2. Rhodesia issues unilateral declaration of independence from Britain.


      November 12. U.S. president Richard Nixon announces end of U.S. offensive action in Vietnam.


      February 21–28. U.S. president Richard Nixon visits China.

      May 22–29. U.S. president Richard Nixon visits Soviet Union.


      January 1. Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom enter European Communities.

      February 12. Last U.S. ground troops leave Vietnam.

      October 6–22. Fourth Arab-Israeli war.

      October 17. Arab embargo launched on oil shipments to United States and other Western nations (embargo ends March 18, 1974).


      January 18. Egypt and Israel sign agreement on disengagement of forces along Suez Canal.


      February 28. First Lomé (Togo) Convention signed between EEC and developing African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) states.

      May 28. Treaty establishing Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) signed in Lagos, Nigeria.

      June 5. Suez Canal reopened to international shipping.

      July 30–August 1. Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) concludes in Helsinki, Finland.

      September 4. Agreement between Egypt and Israel provides for Israeli withdrawal in Sinai and establishment of UN buffer zone.

      November 20. Death of Spain’s Gen. Francisco Franco.


      June 17. Outbreak of racial violence in Soweto, South Africa.

      July 3–4. Israeli raid on Entebbe Airport, Uganda.

      September 9. Death of China’s Mao Zedong.


      June 30. Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) dissolved.

      November 19–21. Egyptian president Anwar Sadat visits Israel.


      September 9–17. President Anwar Sadat and Prime Minister Menachem Begin meet with U.S. President Jimmy Carter at Camp David.


      January 1. People’s Republic of China and United States establish diplomatic relations.

      January 16. Shah of Iran goes into exile.

      March 26. Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty signed in Washington.

      November 4. Iranian students seize U.S. embassy in Tehran.

      December 27. Soviet military forces support coup in Afghanistan.


      April 18. Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) declared legally independent.

      May 4. Death of Yugoslavian president Josip Broz Tito.

      September 22. Iraqi invasion of Iran initiates Iran-Iraq war.

      October 24. Independent trade union (Solidarity) officially registered in Poland.


      January 1. Greece enters European Communities.

      January 20. Iran frees remaining U.S. hostages.

      October 6. Egyptian president Anwar Sadat assassinated.

      December 13. Martial law declared in Poland.

      December 14. Occupied Golan Heights placed under Israeli law.


      April 2–July 15. Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) war between Argentina and the United Kingdom.

      June 6. Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

      August 21–September 1. PLO forces evacuate Beirut, Lebanon.

      November 10. Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev dies.


      September 1. USSR shoots down Korean Air Lines Boeing 747 passenger plane.

      October 25. United States, in concert with six Caribbean states, invades Grenada (last troops withdrawn December 12).


      October 31. Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi assassinated.


      March 11. Mikhail S. Gorbachev named general secretary of Soviet Communist Party.

      October 7. Palestinian terrorists seize Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro.

      November 15. Ireland and the United Kingdom sign accord granting Irish Republic consultative role in governance of Northern Ireland.

      November 19–21. U.S. president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Gorbachev hold summit meeting in Geneva.


      January 1. Spain and Portugal enter European Communities.

      January 28. U.S. space shuttle Challenger, on 25th shuttle mission, breaks apart after lift-off.

      February 7. Jean-Claude Duvalier flees from Haiti to France, ending nearly three decades of his family’s rule.

      February 25. General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev calls for sweeping reforms in Soviet economic system.

      February 25. Corazon Aquino inaugurated as Philippines president following disputed election February 7; after holding rival inauguration, Ferdinand Marcos flies to Hawaii.

      April 15. U.S. aircraft bomb Tripoli and Benghazi in response to alleged Libyan-backed terrorist activity in Europe.

      April 26. Explosion in Chernobyl, USSR, power plant results in worst nuclear accident in history.

      November 25. Attorney General Edwin Meese says $10–$30 million paid by Iran for U.S. arms was diverted by Lt. Col. Oliver North to Nicaraguan insurgents.


      June 11. Margaret Thatcher becomes first prime minister in modern British history to lead her party to a third consecutive electoral victory.

      August 7. Five Central American presidents sign regional peace plan proposed by Oscar Arias of Costa Rica.

      September 1. Erich Honecker becomes first East German head of state to visit West Germany.

      October 19. U.S. stock market crashes, with Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 508.32 points in one session; foreign markets plummet the next day.

      December 8. U.S. president Ronald Reagan and Soviet general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev sign INF treaty calling for elimination of entire class of nuclear weapons.

      December 9. Intifada begins among Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, spreading to the West Bank the following day.


      April 14. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Soviet Union, United States conclude agreement on Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan (withdrawal completed February 15, 1989).

      June 28. Soviet general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev proposes wide-ranging changes in Soviet political system.

      August 17. Pakistan’s president Zia ul-Haq dies in plane crash.

      August 20. Cease-fire begins in Iran-Iraq war.

      November 15. Yasir Arafat issues PLO statement declaring an independent state of Palestine.

      December 22. Angola, Cuba, South Africa sign agreements providing for Cuban withdrawal from Angola and transition to independence for Namibia.


      January 7. Japanese emperor Hirohito dies.

      January 19. Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe concludes 26-month meeting in Vienna, Austria, with expansion of 1975 Helsinki Final Act to emphasize freedom of religion, information, travel, and privacy.

      March 10. U.S. treasury secretary Nicholas Brady announces “Brady Plan” for commercial banks to make voluntary reductions in outstanding Third World debts and for the IMF and World Bank to provide debt-reduction assistance to debtor nations that adopt market-oriented reforms.

      March 26. Soviet Union holds nationwide contested elections.

      April 17. Solidarity relegalized by court action 12 days after reaching agreement with Polish government on political reforms.

      May 13. Students demanding meeting with Chinese leaders begin hunger strike after occupying Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

      May 15–18. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev goes to China for the first Sino-Soviet summit in 20 years; antigovernment protests break out in more than 20 Chinese cities, including a demonstration by an estimated 1 million people in Tiananmen Square.

      June 4. Many deaths reported as troops clear Tiananmen Square.

      June 4–18. Solidarity sweeps two-stage, partially open election in Poland.

      June 6. Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini dies.

      November 9. East German government permits citizens to leave without special permits, thus effectively opening the country’s borders, including the Berlin Wall.

      December 20. U.S. forces invade Panama.

      December 25. Romanian president Nicolae Ceauşescu and his wife executed.


      March 11. Lithuania becomes first Soviet republic to issue declaration of independence.

      March 13. Soviet Congress of People’s Deputies revokes monopoly status of Communist Party.

      March 15. Soviet Congress of People’s Deputies elects Mikhail Gorbachev to new office of executive president.

      March 21. Namibia becomes independent.

      June 7. Warsaw Pact leaders meeting in Moscow declare the West is no longer an “ideological enemy.”

      August 2. Iraq invades Kuwait.

      August 6. UN Security Council votes to impose mandatory economic sanctions on Iraq. United States deploys troops to Gulf in defense of Saudi Arabia (“Operation Desert Shield”).

      September 7. Liberian president Samuel Doe killed by rebels.

      October 3. East and West Germany unite as the Federal Republic of Germany.

      November 19. NATO and Warsaw Pact leaders sign Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty.

      November 21. CSCE summit participants sign Charter of Paris for a New Europe devoid of East-West division and committed to democracy and human rights.

      November 29. UN Security Council authorizes U.S.-led forces “to use all means necessary” to secure Iraq’s unconditional withdrawal from Kuwait.


      January 16. “Operation Desert Storm” air attacks initiated against Iraq.

      February 27. U.S. president George H. W. Bush announces liberation of Kuwait; Iraq agrees to cease-fire.

      March 26. Presidents of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay sign treaty in Asunción, Paraguay, creating Southern Cone Common Market (Mercosur).

      April 11. UN Security Council officially declares end of Gulf war after receiving Iraq’s acceptance of permanent cease-fire terms.

      May 26. Zviad Gamsakhurdia of Georgia becomes first freely elected leader of a Soviet republic.

      May 28. Ethiopian civil war ends as rebel forces occupy Addis Ababa.

      June 12. Boris Yeltsin elected president of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.

      June 25. Croatia and Slovenia declare independence from Yugoslavia.

      June 28. Communist Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon) agrees to disband. The Warsaw Treaty Organization (WTO) follows suit July 1.

      July 17. U.S. president George H. W. Bush and Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev reach agreement on Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), signed July 31.

      August 19–21. Hard-line Soviet leaders are defeated in coup attempt.

      August 20. Estonia declares independence; other Soviet republics follow with similar declarations.

      August 24. Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party.

      August 29. Supreme Soviet bans Communist Party activities.

      September 7. Croatia and Slovenia formally secede from Yugoslavia; Macedonia declares independence September 8.

      December 8. Leaders of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus announce dissolution of the Soviet Union.

      December 9–11. EC leaders agree on treaty for political and monetary union during meeting in Maastricht, Netherlands.

      December 21. Eleven former Soviet republics launch Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

      December 25. Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as Soviet president.


      February 7. EC’s Maastricht Treaty formally signed.

      March 2. Eight former Soviet republics admitted to UN.

      April 27. Serbia and Montenegro proclaim new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

      April 28. Islamic Jihad Council assumes power in Afghanistan following fall of Kabul to mujahidin rebels.

      May 30. UN Security Council imposes sweeping sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro in response to aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

      August 1. First Lebanese parliamentary election in 20 years.

      November 3. Arkansas governor Bill Clinton defeats incumbent U.S. president George H. W. Bush.

      December 18. Kim Young Sam becomes first genuinely civilian president of South Korea after three decades of military leadership.


      January 1. Czech and Slovak Republics become separate states one day after the dissolution (“velvet divorce”) of the 74-year-old Czech and Slovak Federative Republic.

      January 1. Single European market established, paving the way for free movement of goods, services, capital, and people throughout all 12 EC countries.

      January 3. U.S. and Russian presidents Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin sign second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II) under which the two nations will dismantle approximately two-thirds of their strategic nuclear warheads.

      February 26. New York World Trade Center bombed by individuals linked to Islamic militants.

      April 23–25. Eritrean people vote for independence (effective May 24) from Ethiopia, ending 30-year independence struggle.

      April 27–28. China and Taiwan hold “unofficial” talks in Singapore, representing highest level of contact since Communists’ 1949 seizure of the mainland.

      May 23–28. Cambodia holds Constituent Assembly elections, first balloting since 1981.

      July 18. Japanese Liberal Democratic Party loses its overall majority in the House of Representatives for first time since 1955 and is ousted from government by seven-party coalition on August 6.

      September 13. Israeli-PLO peace accord signed in Washington.

      October 3–4. Forces loyal to Russian President Boris Yeltsin battle with rebels opposed to his suspension of the parliament, ultimately ousting them from the parliament building.

      October 8. UN General Assembly lifts economic sanctions against South Africa.

      November 1. Maastricht Treaty on European Union formally enters into effect following the completion of the ratification process in October.

      November 18. Interim constitution endorsed by South African multiparty negotiators.

      December 15. Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) concludes.

      December 15. Prime ministers of Ireland and United Kingdom sign “Downing Street Declaration,” a 12-point document delineating principles for holding peace talks on Northern Ireland.


      January 1. European Economic Area (EEA), joining the EU and EFTA in a free market trading zone, comes into effect.

      January 1. North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the first such agreement to link two industrialized countries (Canada and the United States) with a developing country (Mexico), becomes effective.

      January 10. Announcement of Partnership for Peace (PfP), which affords military cooperation with, but not full-fledged defense guarantees by, NATO to nonmember countries.

      February 28. In first offensive action by NATO, its fighters shoot down four Serbian warplanes for defying no-fly zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina.

      March 27. Right-wing Freedom Alliance headed by Silvio Berlusconi wins Italian general election.

      April 6. Presidents Juvénal Habyarimana of Rwanda and Cyprien Ntaryamire of Burundi die in downing of plane over Kilgali, Rwanda.

      April 27. Multiracial constitution for South Africa comes into effect.

      May 4. Israel and PLO sign accord in Cairo, Egypt, ending Israeli military rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.

      May 6. Channel tunnel linking Britain and France formally opened by Queen Elizabeth II and President François Mitterrand.

      May 10. Nelson Mandela sworn in as first black president of South Africa.

      July 8. North Korean leader Kim Il Sung dies.

      July 15. Over 500,000 Rwandan refugees arrive in Zaire, the initial wave of an exodus that would eventually involve more than 2 million people.

      July 25. Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordanian King Hussein sign declaration in Washington, ending 46-year state of war between their countries.

      November 8. Republicans gain control of both houses of U.S. Congress for the first time in four decades.

      December 11. Russian forces invade secessionist republic of Chechnya.


      January 1. Austria, Finland, and Sweden accede to EU.

      January 1. World Trade Organization (WTO) inaugurated as successor to GATT.

      April 19. Bombing of U.S. federal government building kills 168 in Oklahoma City.

      May 7. Jacques Chirac (Gaullist) elected president of France in succession to François Mitterrand (Socialist).

      September 5. France begins new series of underground nuclear tests in South Pacific, attracting worldwide protests.

      September 28. Second accord in Israeli-PLO peace process signed in Washington, providing for extensive additional withdrawal of Israeli troops from West Bank and expansion of Palestinian self-rule.

      November 4. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel assassinated by right-wing Jewish extremist in Tel Aviv.

      November 21. U.S.-brokered peace agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina initialed by contending parties in Dayton, Ohio (formally signed in Paris December 14).


      January 20. Yasir Arafat elected president of self-governing Palestinian Authority.

      January 29. France announces permanent end to nuclear testing.

      May 7. The first war crimes trial of the UN International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia opens in The Hague.

      May 18. Romano Prodi sworn in to head Italy’s first left-dominated government, the 55th since World War II.

      June 18. Conservative Benjamin Netanyahu becomes prime minister of Israel following election May 29.

      June 28. Necmettin Erbakan appointed first avowedly Islamist prime minister of modern Turkey.

      September 14. Post-Dayton elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina confirm entrenched ethnic loyalties.

      September 24. China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States sign Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in UN headquarters, New York.

      September 27. Afghanistan’s Taliban militia seizes power in Kabul, immediately hanging ex-president Mohammad Najibullah.

      December 10. Iraqi president Saddam Hussein reopens Iraqi oil pipelines under UN “oil-for-food” program.

      December 17. Kofi Annan (Ghana) appointed (effective January 1, 1997) to succeed Boutros Boutros-Ghali (Egypt) as UN secretary general.

      December 29. Guatemalan peace agreement ends 36-year-old guerrilla insurgency.


      January 15. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat sign accord whereby Israel agrees to partial withdrawal from Hebron.

      February 19. Deng Xiaoping, China’s “paramount leader,” dies.

      April 22. Peruvian commandos raid the Japanese embassy in Lima, ending 126-day hostage crisis by Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement guerrillas.

      May 1. Led by Tony Blair, Britain’s Labour Party overwhelms the Conservative Party in legislative balloting and assumes power for first time in 18 years.

      May 16–17. Mobutu Sese Seko, Zaire’s leader for 32 years, flees the country and rebel leader Laurent Kabila pronounces the establishment of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

      May 25. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, Sierra Leone’s first democratically elected president, flees country following military coup.

      July 1. China takes control of Hong Kong after Britain’s 99-year lease expires.

      July 2. The Bank of Thailand abandons fixed exchange rate after months of attacks on its currency (baht) by speculators, thus sparking East Asian financial crisis.

      October 23. Former president of the Republic of the Congo Denis Sassou-Nguesso overthrows the nation’s first democratically elected president, Pascal Lissouba.

      December 9. North Korea, South Korea, China, and the United States open talks on creation of a permanent Korean peace treaty.


      March 19. Nationalist Hindu leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee sworn in as prime minister of India.

      April 10. Northern Ireland power-sharing agreement reached.

      May 6. Border dispute breaks out between Eritrea and Ethiopia.

      May 11. India conducts underground nuclear tests.

      May 21. President Haji Mohammad Suharto of Indonesia resigns and is succeeded by Vice President Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie.

      May 28. Pakistan conducts underground nuclear tests.

      August 2. Rebellion launched in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo against the Kabila government.

      August 7. Terrorist bombs strike U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

      September 27. German chancellor Helmut Kohl defeated in reelection bid by Social Democrat Gerhard Schröder.

      October 23. Wye accord signed by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and PLO leader Yasir Arafat.

      October 31. Iraq announces end of cooperation with weapons inspectors from UNSCOM.


      January 1. Eleven of the 15 EU members launch Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), introducing euro for noncash payments on way toward replacement of national currencies by euro notes and coins in 2002.

      February 27. Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, former military ruler in 1970s, elected civilian president of Nigeria (inaugurated May 29, ending most recent period of military rule).

      March 12. Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland join NATO.

      March 24. Responding to Serbian “ethnic cleansing” of Kosovo’s Albanian population, NATO launches a campaign against Yugoslavia that is the biggest military operation in Europe since World War II.

      June 7. Indonesia concludes first free national election in 45 years.

      June 10. NATO officially terminates Operation Allied Force against Yugoslavia; UN Security Council authorizes deployment of peacekeeping forces to Kosovo.

      July 27. King Hassan II of Morocco dies.

      August 30. East Timorese voters overwhelmingly vote for independence from Indonesia, leading to UN intervention following massive violence by anti-independence militias.

      October 12. Gen. Pervez Musharraf declares himself chief executive of Pakistan, following military coup against elected government of Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif.

      October 14. U.S. Senate rejects Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) by 51–48 vote.

      October 20. Abdurrahman Wahid elected president of Indonesia by People’s Consultative Assembly.

      December 19. Portugal returns Macao to China, ending 442 years of rule.

      December 31. U.S. officially returns Panama Canal to Panama, ending 89 years of Canal Zone control.

      December 31. Boris Yeltsin resigns Russian presidency and is succeeded in an acting capacity by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.


      March 18. Chen Shui-bian elected as first non-Kuomintang president of Taiwan.

      March 26. Vladimir Putin elected president of Russia.

      April 6. Zimbabwe’s Parliament passes controversial Land Acquisition Act, permitting uncompensated appropriation of white-owned farms and redistribution of farmland to blacks.

      April 14. 1993’s START II enters into effect after Russian ratification.

      April 21. Russian State Duma ratifies Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

      May 19. Armed coup launched against multiethnic government of Fiji.

      May 24. Israel withdraws final troops from “security zone” in Lebanon, ending 22 years of occupation.

      June 10. President Hafiz al-Assad of Syria dies.

      June 13. Chairman Kim Jong Il of North Korea and President Kim Dae Jung of South Korea begin historic three-day summit in Pyongyang, North Korea.

      July 2. Vicente Fox of National Action Party wins Mexican presidential election, ending 71 years of rule by Institutional Revolutionary Party.

      September 28. Visit by Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon to Temple Mount (Haram al-Sharif) triggers new Palestinian intifada.

      October 7. Vojislav Koštunica sworn in as president of Yugoslavia following capitulation of President Slobodan Milošević, who lost September 24 election.

      November 17. Alberto Fujimori, having fled to Japan, resigns as president of Peru.

      December 12. Eritrea and Ethiopia sign peace agreement, ending 19-month border war.

      December 13. U.S. Vice President Al Gore, despite plurality of popular votes, concedes November 7 presidential election to George W. Bush, one day after Supreme Court decision effectively ended vote recounting in electorally decisive Florida.


      January 7. Nineteen years after coming to power by coup, Ghana’s Jerry Rawlings hands over presidency to newly elected John Kufuor.

      January 16. President Laurent Kabila of Democratic Republic of Congo assassinated.

      January 20. Philippine vice president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo assumes presidency, protests having forced her predecessor, Joseph Estrada, from office.

      February 6. Ariel Sharon wins special prime ministerial election in Israel, defeating Prime Minister Ehud Barak by wide margin.

      April 26. Junichiro Koizumi, after unexpected victory in intraparty presidential balloting, sworn in as Japan’s prime minister.

      May 13. Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi leads center-right alliance to victory in Italian general election.

      June 28. Former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milošević indicted for crimes against humanity and other offenses and handed over to International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

      July 1. Crown Prince Dipendra of Nepal kills King Birendra and other members of royal family before committing suicide.

      July 16. Russia and China conclude 20-year treaty of friendship and cooperation.

      July 23. Peace agreement signed in Arusha, Tanzania, in latest effort to end eight-year civil war in Burundi.

      July 23. Indonesia’s People’s Consultative Assembly unanimously removes President Abdurrahman Wahid from office and elects Vice President Megawati Sukarnoputri as his successor.

      August 30. Bougainville secessionists sign peace agreement with Papua New Guinea government, ending 12-year conflict.

      September 11. In the worst terrorist attacks in U.S. history, al-Qaida terrorists fly hijacked commercial airliners into New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., causing more than 2,500 deaths.

      September 23. Irish Republican Army (IRA) announces first confirmed “decommissioning” of weaponry, thereby preventing collapse of Northern Ireland power-sharing government.

      October 7. U.S.-led air assault begins against al-Qaida bases and Taliban regime in Afghanistan in response to September 11 attacks.

      October 29–November 10. Meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco, 164 countries negotiate final text of Kyoto Protocol to 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change.

      December 5. Hamid Karzai appointed head of interim Afghan government by factions meeting in Bonn, Germany; two days later Taliban surrenders Kandahar, its final stronghold.

      December 12. China accedes to WTO.

      December 20. Argentine president Fernando de la Rúa resigns in response to civil disturbances precipitated by government efforts aimed at controlling mounting financial crisis.


      January 1. The euro becomes legal tender in 12 European states.

      April 4. UNITA and Angolan government sign cease-fire agreement ending civil war that dates from Angola’s independence from Portugal in 1975.

      April 11. International Criminal Court wins ratification by 60th UN member state, triggering its entry into force in sixty days, or July 1. United States does not ratify treaty, citing jeopardy to American citizens overseas.

      April 14. Former guerilla leader José Gusmão elected first president of Timor-Leste (East Timor).

      May 13. U.S. president George W. Bush and Russian president Vladimir Putin announce pact to cut nuclear arsenals by up to two-thirds over ten years.

      May 20. International community recognizes Timor-Leste’s independence from Indonesia.

      June 13. Thirty-year-old Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty lapses six months after President George W. Bush announced U.S. withdrawal.

      June 13. Hamid Karzai elected interim president of Afghanistan.

      June 16. Israel begins construction of 217-mile barrier in West Bank to thwart attacks.

      July 1. International Criminal Court convenes in The Hague.

      July 8. More than 30 African leaders meet in Durban to establish the African Union (AU) as the successor to the OAU.

      July 30. President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo sign peace agreement.

      October 14. UK’s secretary of state for Northern Ireland assumes powers of the suspended Northern Ireland Executive after Ulster Unionist Party withdraws its support from the Assembly.

      November 21. Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, and Slovenia join NATO.

      November 27. After a nearly four year hiatus, UN weapons inspectors return to Iraq to search for weapons of mass destruction.

      December 4. Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon endorses U.S. proposal for a Palestinian state in parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.


      January 9. North Korea withdraws from nuclear nonproliferation treaty.

      January 27. Chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix cites Iraq for noncooperation while Mohamed El-Baradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports no evidence found of Iraqi nuclear weapons production.

      February 4. Parliament of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia adopts new constitution renaming the country Serbia and Montenegro.

      March 17. Facing certain veto by France, the United States, Britain, and Spain withdraw proposed Security Council resolution authorizing war against Iraq.

      March 19. United States and allies attack Iraq.

      April 9. Baghdad falls to U.S. forces.

      May 22. Security Council Resolution 1483 ends economic sanctions on Iraq and recognizes United States and United Kingdom as occupying powers.

      June 5. Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian prime minister Mahmoud Abbas commit during summit in Aqaba, Jordan, to “roadmap” peace plan proposed by the United States.

      June 6. French peacekeepers deploy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to quell tribal warfare.

      August 4. Peacekeepers from West African states arrive in Liberia to quell fighting between government and antigovernment forces.

      August 7. Liberian president Charles Taylor resigns.

      August 11. NATO takes command of peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan in first such mission outside Europe in alliance history.

      September 14. Sweden’s voters buck government to reject euro—56.1 percent to 41.8 percent—thereby retaining krona as national currency.

      December 13. U.S. military captures Saddam Hussein.

      December 19. Libyan leader Muammar Abu Minyar al-Qadhafi pledges to abandon pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.


      January 4. Afghan loya jirga approves constitution of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

      February 29. Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide resigns and goes into exile.

      March 12. South Korean National Assembly impeaches President Roh Moo Hyun for election law violations.

      April 24. UN-sponsored referendums on Cyprus end in split vote: 75 percent of Greek Cypriots reject reunification plan while 65 percent of Turkish Cypriots approve.

      April 28. U.S. news program 60 Minutes II broadcasts photos of U.S. troops abusing prisoners in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison, publicizing an investigation under way in the military.

      May 1. Ten countries—Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovak Republic, and Slovenia—join European Union, bringing the number of member states to 25.

      May 9. Chechen president Akhmad Kadyrov assassinated in Grozny.

      May 26. Conflict between Arabs and blacks continues in Darfur region of Sudan despite accord between Islamic government and Sudan People’s Liberation Army.

      June 28. U.S. administrator in Iraq L. Paul Bremer III transfers sovereignty to Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.

      November 3. Interim president Hamid Karzai declared official winner of Afghan presidential election.

      November 11. Long-time Palestinian leader and Palestinian Authority president Yasir Arafat dies.

      November 27. Ukrainian parliament nullifies results of November 21 election runoff, citing election fraud; Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich claims a narrow 3 percent margin over challenger Viktor Yushchenko.

      December 26. Yushchenko defeats Yanukovich in Ukrainian presidential runoff.

      December 26. Tsunami hits Southeast Asia, killing an estimated 225,000 people and affecting a dozen states in Asia and Africa.


      January 30. Iraqis vote for representatives to national and provincial assemblies in first democratic elections since 1953.

      February 1. King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev of Nepal declares a state of emergency, dissolves coalition government, and arrests leading politicians, citing his constitutional authority and the lack of progress toward holding elections.

      February 14. Former prime minister of Lebanon Rafik al-Hariri and others die in a car bomb explosion, leading to anti-Syria demonstrations and international pressure on Syria to withdraw its troops from the country.

      February 16. Kyoto Protocol to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change takes effect. United States is not a party to the agreement.

      March 16. Israel turns over control of Jericho to Palestinians.

      April 2. Pope John Paul II dies.

      April 19. Conclave of cardinals elects Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany as pope. Ratzinger takes the name Benedict XVI.

      April 26. Last Syrian troops leave Lebanon, ending 29-year stay.

      June 16. After a proposed European constitution is voted down in nationwide referendums in Netherlands and France, leaders of EU halt efforts to ratify.

      August 1. King Fahd ibn Abd al-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia dies; Prince Abdullah assumes the throne.

      August 10. Iran removes UN seals it voluntarily accepted at nuclear production sites eight months previously and begins converting raw uranium into gas for enrichment.

      August 15. Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement sign a peace accord ending 30 years of civil war.

      August 15. Israel begins withdrawing more than 8,700 Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip, enabling Palestinians to assume control of the area.

      August 29. Hurricane Katrina lashes U.S. city of New Orleans, flooding the city and coastal areas, and killing over 1,500; federal emergency response is widely criticized.

      September 18. Afghanistan holds its first democratic parliamentary elections in more than 25 years.

      October 10. German legislative parties agree to resolve their September parliamentary election disputes by creating a Grand Coalition that includes Angela Merkel as Germany’s first woman chancellor.

      October 15. Iraqis endorse new constitution with 79 percent “yes” vote.

      November 21. Voters defeat proposed new constitution in Kenya.

      December 15. Iraq elects its first permanent parliament since the removal of President Saddam Hussein.

      December 18. Bolivia holds its presidential election after the resignation of President Carlos Mesa in June; Evo Morales, the candidate of the Movement to Socialism, wins with 51.1 percent of the vote.

      December 23. Lech Kaczyński sworn in as president of Poland after winning the election on the second runoff.


      January 4. Israeli leader Ariel Sharon suffers a second, catastrophic stroke and slips into a coma. Ehud Olmert named acting prime minister.

      January 15. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf sworn in as president of Liberia, thereby becoming Africa’s first female president.

      January 15. In a runoff election, center-left candidate Michelle Bachelet wins 53 percent of the vote to become Chile’s first female president.

      January 25. Hamas wins a majority in elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council, ending Fatah’s dominance.

      February 28. Former opposition leader Milorad Dodik confirmed as prime minister of the Serb Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

      April 23. Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány’s coalition, led by the Hungarian Socialist Party, wins runoff parliamentary elections.

      April 27. Following weeks of demonstrations in Nepal in opposition to King Gyanendra’s continued absolute power, consensus candidate Girija Prasad Koirala is appointed prime minister.

      May 4. Ehud Olmert, leader of the recently launched Kadima party, forms a coalition government in Israel following the Knesset balloting on March 28 in which Kadima secured a plurality of seats.

      May 5. The Sudanese government and the leader of Darfur’s main rebel group agree to a cease-fire after three years of hostilities and the displacement of an estimated 2 million people.

      May 17. Romano Prodi, leader of the new Union coalition, returns to the premiership of Italy after the Union secured a majority of the seats in the legislative poll of April 9–10.

      May 20. Nurad Jawad al-Maliki forms national unity government in Iraq.

      May 26. Nepal’s prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala and rebel Maoist leader Prachanda sign a cease-fire code of conduct, bringing a degree of political stability to the country.

      June 3. Former Yugoslav republic of Montenegro declares independence from Serbia.

      June 27. Economic reformer and Communist Party chief Nguyen Minh Triet elected president of Vietnam after the country’s top three leaders officially retire.

      July 12. The Lebanese Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah kills three Israeli soldiers and captures two others during a raid into Israel; Israel subsequently responds with air-strike bombing of Lebanon to which Hezbollah retaliates by launching rockets and missiles into Israel.

      August 3. Viktor Yanukovych of the pro-Russian Party of Regions named prime minister of Ukraine following protracted negotiations with the Orange Revolution parties.

      August 14. Israel and Hezbollah declare a cease-fire.

      September 19. A military coup led by Gen. Sonthi Boonyaratkalin, with the support of the royal family and numerous citizens, overthrows Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand.

      October 8. North Korea announces its first successful underground nuclear weapons test, prompting widespread international condemnation and UN sanctions.

      October 27. After failed talks with the West, Iran restarts its nuclear program, claiming its reactors are for peaceful purposes, despite concerns expressed by the UN and Western nations.

      November 21. The Nepalese government signs a Comprehensive Peace Agreement with former Maoist insurgents.

      December 1. Conservative Felipe Calderón inaugurated as president of Mexico amid controversy over his victory against leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador in balloting on July 6.

      December 5. The Fijian military, led by Commander Frank Bainimarama, takes over the government of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase in the country’s fourth coup in 20 years.

      December 6. Joseph Kabila sworn in as president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, making him the nation’s first elected president in forty years.

      December 14. In Bhutan, King Jigme Singye Wangchuk abdicates the throne in favor of his son, Crown Prince Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk.

      December 23. Resolution 1737 is unanimously approved by the UN Security Council, imposing sanctions on Iran for failing to comply with resolution 1696, which prohibited it from enrichment activities.

      December 24–28. Ethiopia formally admits to having troops engaged in battle within the borders of Somalia. Somali government forces, backed by Ethiopian troops, retake the capital, Mogadishu, from the Islamic Courts Union.

      December 30. Former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein hanged, having been found guilty of crimes against humanity by an Iraqi tribunal on November 5.


      January 1. Romania and Bulgaria become members of the EU.

      January 1. Ban Ki Moon, theretofore the foreign minister of South Korea, succeeds Kofi Annan as secretary general of the UN.

      January 10. Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega returns to the presidency of Nicaragua.

      March 4. Peace agreement signed in Côte d’Ivoire, preparing the groundwork for formation of a new national unity government.

      March 17. The Palestinian Legislative Council approves a Fatah/Hamas unity government led by Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas.

      April 1. Former Maoist insurgents join the cabinet in Nepal.

      May 6. Conservative Nicolas Sarkozy wins the French presidential runoff election with 53.1 percent of the vote over Socialist Ségolène Royal.

      May 8. Limited self-rule returns to Northern Ireland based on the St. Andrews Agreement of October 2006 and subsequent agreements between unionist and republican/nationalist parties.

      May 12. Su Tseng-Chang resigns as the premier of the Republic of China (Taiwan) following a loss in a presidential primary election; President Chen Shui-bian replaces him with Chang Chun-hsiung on May 14.

      June 14. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas dissolves the Palestinian government and installs emergency rule in the wake of Hamas’s recent takeover of the Gaza Strip.

      July 18. IAEA inspectors confirm the closure of all five nuclear reactors in North Korea as six-party talks resume in Beijing.

      June 27. Gordon Brown succeeds Tony Blair as prime minister of the United Kingdom.

      August 28. Abdullah Gul of the Justice and Development Party is elected as the first Islamist president of Turkey.

      October 28. Argentine first lady Cristina Kirchner elected to succeed her husband, Nestor Kirchner, as president.

      November 7. Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili declares a state of emergency amid protests calling for his resignation.

      November 29. Pervez Musharraf sworn in for another five-year term as Pakistan’s president after relinquishing his military posts.

      December 2. Russian president Vladimir Putin’s party secures 70 percent of the vote in Russian parliamentary elections.

      December 3. Kevin Rudd of the Australian Labor Partybecomes prime minister, succeeding John Howard of the Liberal Party of Australia.

      December 18. Yulia Tymoshenko returns as prime minister of Ukraine to head a coalition government dominated by the Orange Revolution parties, which secured a slim majority in the legislative poll of September 30 that was prompted by intense conflict between President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

      December 23. Thailand’s People Power Party (supportive of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra) wins the Thai parliamentary elections.

      December 27. Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto assassinated at a campaign rally.

      December 30. Kenya’s election commission declares incumbent Mwai Kibaki the winner of the December 27 national election, sparking violent protests from opposition party supporters, who charge that the election was rigged.


      January 5. Mikhail Saakashvili reelected president of Georgia in snap elections; 77 percent of voters endorse proposed NATO membership for Georgia.

      January 22. The military’s Council for National Security in Thailand announces its dissolution and acceptance of the December legislative election results.

      January 24. Italian prime minister Romano Prodi offers his resignation following no-confidence vote in the Senate.

      January 28. Samak Sundaravej, considered a “proxy” for former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, elected prime minister by Thailand’s House of Representatives.

      February 3. Pro-Western president Boris Tadić reelected in Serbia over nationalist rival Tomislav Nikolić.

      February 11. Timor-Leste’s president José Ramos-Horta barely survives assassination attempt by rebel soldiers, prompting the deployment of additional Australian peacekeeping forces.

      February 17. Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi declares Kosovo independent, prompting fierce criticism from Serbia and Russia but quick recognition from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, and others.

      February 18. Opposition parties dominate legislative elections in Pakistan in what is generally perceived as a referendum on the rule of President Musharraf.

      February 24. Raúl Castro confirmed as president of Cuba’s Council of State and Council of Ministers after Fidel Castro had announced that he would not accept reelection to those posts.

      February 27. Israel launches air and ground offensive in Gaza Strip.

      February 28. Dimitrios Christofias, leader of the Progressive Party of the Working People, inaugurated as the first communist president of Cyprus.

      March 2. Dmitri Medvedev elected president of Russia as Vladimir Putin’s handpicked successor.

      March 22. Ma Ying-jeou of the Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) elected president of Taiwan.

      March 24. The lower house in Pakistan elects Yusuf Raza Gilani, an ally of the late Benazir Bhutto, as prime minister of Pakistan.

      April 8. President Ahmadinejad of Iran announces plans for additional uranium enrichment.

      April 9. New constitution, providing for a multiparty system headed by a president and a bicameral legislature, proposed by Myanmar’s military junta.

      April 10. Maoists secure legislative victory in Nepal.

      April 13. Power-sharing cabinet announced in Kenya; Mwai Kibaki remains president and opposition leader Raila Odinga named prime minister.

      April 15. The Iraqi Accord Front, a Sunni coalition, returns to the Shiite-dominated Iraqi cabinet.

      April 20. Fernando Lugo is elected president of Paraguay, ending more than 60 years of rule by the Colorado Party.

      April 27. Coalition government collapses in Hungary.

      May 2. Election commission in Zimbabwe declares that opposition candidate Tsvangirai won only 48 percent of the vote in the March 29 balloting, thereby necessitating a runoff between him and President Mugabe, who finished second in the first round.

      May 7. Brian Cowen of Fianna Fáil elected prime minister by the lower house of the legislature in Ireland, following Bertie Ahern’s resignation from the post (effective May 6) amidst corruption investigations.

      May 8. Former president Vladimir Putin confirmed as prime minister by the Russian State Duma.

      May 21. Supporters of Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili dominate legislative balloting.

      May 25. Gen. Michel Suleiman elected president of Lebanon by the National Assembly as part of the May 21 agreement designed to stem strife between Hezbollah (and other Shiite groups) and progovernment forces. Prime Minister Fouad Siniroa subsequently forms a new cabinet that includes members of Hezbollah.

      May 28. Nepal’s Constituent Assembly agrees to abolish the monarchy and establish a federal republic.

      June 2. Bhutan’s National Assembly approves draft constitution transferring power from the king to a government formed by the leading legislative party.

      June 18. Israel and Hamas initiate a cease-fire.

      June 26. The interim prime minister of Nepal announces his resignation as efforts to establish a transitional government falter.

      June 27. Pro-European coalition government announced in Serbia.

      June 27. Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe wins highly controversial second-round presidential balloting after first-round leader Morgan Tsvangirai withdraws to protest violence against his supporters in the run-up to the election.

      July 27. Ruling Cambodian People’s Party wins two-thirds majority in legislative elections.

      August 6. Military coup overthrows the government in Mauritania.

      August 7. Georgian forces enter South Ossetia, triggering massive response by Russia in which Russian forces move deeply into Georgia proper. Russia subsequently recognizes the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

      August 15. Maoist Pushpa Kamal Dahal elected prime minister of Nepal.

      August 18. Pakistani president Musharraf resigns.

      August 19. Zambian president Levy Mwanawasa dies.

      September 1. Japanese prime minister Fukuda resigns; Taro Aso elected leader of the Liberal Democratic Party on September 22 and installed as prime minister on September 24.

      September 1. Massive crowds demonstrate in Thailand against Prime Minister Samak, prompting him to impose a state of emergency.

      September 5. Senate in Haiti approves government of new prime minister Michèle Pierre-Louis.

      September 5–6. The Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola dominates the first legislative balloting since 1992.

      September 7. U.S. government approves takeover of two privately owned (albeit government-sponsored) mortgage companies as an unprecedented financial intervention develops, in which Congress ultimately authorizes a $700 billion bailout of banking system in the midst of a global “credit crisis” and steep declines in the stock market.

      September 8. Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of Benazir Bhutto, elected president of Pakistan in a vote by the federal legislature and provincial assemblies.

      September 9. Thai prime minister Samak forced to resign; succeeded on September 17 by Somchai Wongsawat, the brother-in-law of former prime minister Thaksin.

      September 20. South African President Mbeki agrees to resign under pressure from the African National Congress (ANC); Kgalema Motlanthe, deputy leader of the ANC, elected as Mbeki’s successor by the National Assembly on September 25.

      September 28. Far-right parties gain ground in early legislative elections in Austria but ruling centrist parties form new coalition government on December 2.

      September 28. New constitution (proposed by the leftist government) endorsed in national referendum in Ecuador.

      September 29. Government in Iceland forced to nationalize the country’s third largest bank as value of the krona plummets in midst of global financial crisis.

      October 8. Malaysian prime minister Abdullah announces he will resign in March 2009 in the wake of his party’s poor performance in the March 2008 legislative elections.

      October 26. Tzipi Livni declares her efforts to form a new coalition government in Israel unsuccessful, setting the stage for new legislative elections in early 2009.

      October 26. Fighting intensifies in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, ultimately displacing 250,000 people.

      October 30. Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper forms another minority government following snap legislative elections on October 14.

      November 4. Barack Obama elected president of the United States, and his Democratic Party extends its legislative control.

      November 7. Mass demonstrations in Georgia demand resignation of President Mikhail Saakashvili.

      November 8. Opposition National Party wins legislative balloting in New Zealand; party leader John Key forms coalition government on November 17.

      November 25. Referendum in Greenland approves extension of self-rule in anticipation of eventual independence.

      December 2. Thailand’s Constitutional Court prompts expulsion of Prime Minister Somchai via ruling that his People Power Party committed fraud in the 2007 elections; opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva elected prime minister by the legislature on December 15.

      December 22. President Lansana Conté of Guinea dies; military leaders assume power in a bloodless coup the following day and install Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara as president of a ruling National Council for Democracy and Development.

      December 28. Israel launches air strikes on Gaza following resumption of Hamas rocket attacks.

      December 29. The Awami League, a former opposition party led by former prime minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed, wins an overwhelming victory in legislative elections in Bangladesh.


      January 3. Ground offensive into Gaza launched by Israel, which announces unilateral cease-fire January 17.

      January 19. Left-wing opposition gains legislative victory in El Salvador.

      January 26. Iceland’s government collapses; minority interim government formed February 1 under Jóhanna SigurÐardóttir, the country’s first female prime minister.

      January 26. Violent antigovernment protests begin in Madagascar as supporters of Andry Rajoelina, the mayor of Antananarivo, demand the resignation of President Marc Ravalomanana; both sides subsequently claim to be in control of the country.

      February 11. Morgan Tsvangirai sworn in as prime minister to head national unity government in Zimbabwe.

      February 15. Voters in Venezuela approve constitutional revision eliminating presidential term limits.

      February 20. Declining economic conditions trigger collapse of Latvian government.

      March 2. President João Bernardo Vieira assassinated by “rogue” army troops in Guinea-Bissau; the army denies a coup has occurred.

      March 15. Opposition leader Mauricio Funes elected president of El Salvador.

      March 17. Marc Ravalomanana steps down as president of Madagascar after army supports Andry Rajoelina in power struggle.

      March 27. Center-right government falls in Czech Republic after losing confidence motion over its handling of economic affairs.

      March 29. Ruling pro-European coalition wins early legislative elections in Montenegro.

      March 31. Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu sworn in as leader of center-right government in Israel.

      April 3. Najib Razak inaugurated as prime minister of Malaysia following the resignation of Abdullah Badawi, whose government had been under year-long pressure.

      April 5. Official results of legislative elections in Moldova give majority to the ruling Communist Party of Moldova, prompting massive protests, charges of fraud, and, ultimately, new elections.

      April 10. Fiji’s president Ratu Iloilo abrogates 1997 constitution in wake of earlier Court of Appeals ruling that called for new elections; Iloilo revokes all judicial appointments, declares himself head of state, and says elections will not be held until 2014.

      April 12. Prime minister of Thailand declares state of emergency in Bangkok in wake of large-scale antigovernment demonstrations.

      April 22. African National Congress wins another solid legislative majority in South Africa; ANC leader Jacob Zuma elected president of South Africa by the legislature on May 6.

      April 26. Rafael Correa reelected as president of Ecuador, and his left-wing Country Alliance secures legislative plurality.

      May 3. Conservative business leader Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal elected president of Panama; his four-party coalition secures legislative majority.

      May 18. Sri Lankan military announces final victory over the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam after 26 years of conflict.

      May 23. Madhave Kumar Nepal elected prime minister of Nepal following resignation of Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who had been embroiled in a dispute with the military.

      June 2. Greenland’s legislative elections won by leftist, proindependence opposition.

      June 7. Anti-Syrian, pro-Western alliance wins legislative majority in Lebanon.

      June 8. President Omar Bongo, Gabon’s president since 1967, dies of natural causes.

      June 12. Incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared winner of presidential election in Iran, prompting massive protests alleging fraud, followed by a violent government crackdown on dissidents.

      June 28. President Mel Zelaya ousted in Honduras, prompting widespread international condemnation of his opponents.

      June 30. U.S. combat forces complete their withdrawal from Baghdad and other Iraqi cities.

      July 5. Center-right opposition gains plurality in legislative balloting in Bulgaria; Boiko Borisov, theretofore mayor of Sofia, named prime minister on July 27.

      July 5. Opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party and allies win majority in elections to the Mexican Chamber of Deputies.

      July 10. Peruvian prime minister Yehude Simon resigns following antigovernment protests.

      July 18. Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz, who led the 2008 coup in Mauritania, elected president in first-round balloting disputed as fraudulent by his opponents.

      July 29. The ruling Communist Party of Moldova loses its majority in rerun of legislative elections (originally held in April); Vladimir Filat sworn in as head of a four-party, pro-EU coalition government on September 25.

      August 20. Presidential elections held in Afghanistan; incumbent Hamid Karzai is later credited with a first-round victory, prompting widespread accusations of fraud.

      August 30. Opposition Democratic Party of Japan wins legislative elections in Japan, ending longtime dominance of Liberal Democratic party.

      September 1. Fiji suspended from the Commonwealth for government’s refusal to negotiate a new election schedule with the opposition.

      September 3. Ali-Ben Bongo Ondimba, son of the late president Bongo, declared winner of the August 30 presidential election in Gabon.

      September 7. Premier Liu Chao-shiuan resigns as Taiwan’s premier following criticism of his government’s response to a recent typhoon.

      September 25. Western leaders accuse Iran of operating a secret uranium enrichment facility.

      October 4. Opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) scores landslide victory in legislative elections in Greece; PASOK leader George Papandreou forms new government October 7.

      October 20. Supporters of President Mamadou Tandja, benefiting from opposition boycott, gain all seats in early legislative balloting in Niger; Niger suspended from ECOWAS on October 21.

      November 1. Abdullah Abdullah, who finished second to incumbent Hamid Karzai in the disputed presidential balloting in Afghanistan in August, withdraws from run-off; Karzai is inaugurated for another term on November 20.

      November 9. Prime Minister Saad Hariri forms unity government (which includes Hezbollah) in Lebanon after months of wrangling.

      November 11. Jean-Max Bellerive named prime minister of Haiti.

      November 27–29. Ruling South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) wins landslide victory in presidential and legislative elections in Namibia.

      November 29. José Mujica, a former leader of the Tupamaros guerrillas and the candidate of the ruling Progressive Encounter–Broad Front, elected president of Uruguay.

      November 29. Central bank of United Arab Emirates bails out Dubai, which had earlier roiled world financial markets by asking for a moratorium on $59 billion in debt.

      November 29. Iran approves construction of new uranium enrichment plants, prompting U.S. threats of additional sanctions.

      November 29. Porfirio Lobo Sosa elected president of Honduras.

      December 1. U.S. president Barack Obama announces that 30,000 additional troops will be sent to Afghanistan.

      December 1. EU’s Lisbon Treaty enters into force; Herman Van Rompuy, former prime minister of Belgium, to become the first permanent president of the European Council under the EU’s revamped and expanded institutional structure.

      December 3. Guinea’s president Moussa Camara seriously wounded in assassination attempt by an aide.

      December 6. Incumbent Traian Băsescu narrowly reelected president of Romania in disputed balloting.

      December 8. Japan announces new $80 billion stimulus package.

      December 7–8. Antigovernment protests continue in Iran; more than 200 people arrested.

      December 18. Power-sharing plan abandoned in Madagascar.

      December 29. Sudan’s legislature approves law authorizing a 2011 independence referendum in southern Sudan.


      January 10. Center-left opposition candidate Ivo Josipović elected president of Croatia.

      January 12. Earthquake in Haiti kills more than 200,000 people and leaves 1 million homeless.

      January 17. Right-wing businessman Sebastián Piñera elected president of Chile.

      February 7. Pro-Russian former prime minister Viktor Yanukovych, elected president of Ukraine.

      February 7. Laura Chinchilla, the candidate of the ruling National Liberation Party, becomes the first woman to be elected president of Costa Rica.

      February 13. U.S./UK/Afghan forces launch massive anti-Taliban campaign in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province.

      February 18. Military coup in Niger seizes power from President Mamadou Tandja.

      February 23. Government collapses in Netherlands over the issue of extension of the Dutch mission in Afghanistan.

      March 3. Greek prime minister George Papandreou warns of the country’s potential bankruptcy and initiates severe austerity measures.

      March 4. Incumbent Faure Gnassingbé reelected president of Togo.

      March 7. Legislative elections in Iraq portend long negotiations on formation of a new government as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s alliance vies with the alliance of former prime minister Ayad Allawi for plurality status.

      March 18. Sanctions imposed by the African Union on the government of Andry Rajoelina in Madagascar for its failure to implement power-sharing agreement.

      March 24. United States and Russia announce agreement on a new treaty to reduce the deployment of nuclear weapons by 30 percent.

      April 7. Protest demonstrations prompt President Kurmanbek Bakiyev to flee Kyrgyzstan’s capital, and opposition coalition selects Roza Otunbayeva to lead provisional government. (Bakiyev officially resigns on April 15.)

      April 10. Polish president Lech Kaczyński and 95 others (including many national officials) die in plane crash in Russia.

      April 11–15. Umar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir reelected president of Sudan in balloting boycotted by much of the opposition.

      April 11 and 25. Right-wing opposition alliance secures overwhelming victory in legislative balloting in Hungary after the incumbent government is accused of economic incompetence.

      April 12–13. Algeria, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger approve joint regional antiterrorism activity aimed primarily at al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.

      April 15. Legislature in Pakistan approves restoration of 1973 constitution, thereby giving back to the prime minister authority assumed by President Musharraf in 2003.

      April 18. Derviş Eroğlu, considered a skeptic in regard to Cypriot reunification, elected president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

      April 19. Djibouti’s legislature approves constitutional revision permitting President Ismail Guelleh to run for a third term.

      April 22. Belgium’s government resigns (but remains in caretaker capacity) over issue of proposed new electoral districts.

      May 5. Junta in Niger announces constitutional referendum and new elections will be held by February 2011.

      May 5. Nigerian president Umaru Yar’Adua dies and is succeeded by Vice President Goodluck Jonathan.

      May 6. Opposition Conservative Party wins plurality in elections to the UK House of Commons, permitting Conservative leader David Cameron to form a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats on May 11.

      May 9. U.S.-mediated proximity talks begin between officials from Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

      May 10. Benigno Aquino III, the son of the late former president Corazon Aquino, elected president of the Philippines.

      May 23. Ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front and its allies win 534 of 547 seats in lower-house balloting in Ethiopia.

      May 25. Electoral coalition led by former dictator Désiré Bouterse wins legislative plurality in Suriname, leading to Bouterse’s election to the presidency by the National Assembly on July 19.

      May 26. Kamla-Persad Bissessar becomes the first female prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago following the legislative victory of her opposition coalition on May 24.

      May 27. Pressured by other eurozone members, Spanish government adopts emergency austerity plan.

      May 28–29. Ruling three-party center-right government wins majority in lower-house balloting in Czech Republic, although the opposition Czech Social Democratic Party leads all parties.

      May 31. Israeli naval forces intercept aid ships headed for Gaza, killing nine people and attracting widespread international criticism.

      June 8. Finance Minister Naoto Kan appointed prime minister of Japan following the resignation on June 2 of Yukio Hatoyama in the face of plummeting popular approval.

      June 9. Opposition People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy secures one-seat plurality in lower-house balloting in Netherlands, while the anti-immigration Party for Freedom dramatically increases its representation.

      June 10–14. Fighting in southern Kyrgyzstan between Kyrgyz and Uzbek ethnic groups leaves an estimated 2,000 dead and 400,000 displaced.

      June 12. Center-left party of Prime Minister Robert Fico wins plurality in lower-house balloting in Slovakia, but losses by other parties in his coalition leave the government without a majority.

      June 13. New Flemish Alliance, a party devoted to eventual independence for Flanders, wins pluralities in voting for both legislative houses in Belgium.

      June 20. Juan Manuel Santos, the candidate of the ruling Social Party of National Unity, elected president of Colombia.

      June 24. Julia Gillard named Australia’s first female prime minister after successfully challenging Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for leadership of Australian Labor Party.

      June 27. Voters in Kyrgyzstan approve a new constitution that establishes a parliamentary republic with limited presidential powers.

      July 4. Bronisław Komorowski, the speaker of the lower house of the legislature, elected president of Poland in second-round balloting over Jarosław Kaczyński, the twin of the late president.

      July 9. Iveta Radičová appointed as Slovakia’s first female prime minister.

      July 29. South Korean prime minister Chung Un Chan resigns in view of the poor results for his party in local elections in June.

      August 1. Opposition secures plurality in legislative voting in Sao Tome and Principe.

      August 27. New constitution in Kenya limits presidential authority and expands civil rights.

      August 31. U.S. president Barack Obama announces the end of U.S. combat operations in Iraq, although an estimated 50,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq in a support role.

      September 12. Constitutional reforms proposed by Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party approved in national referendum.

      September 18. Legislative elections in Afghanistan marred by violence and irregularities.

      September 19. Far-right anti-immigration party enters Swedish legislature for first time.

      September 26. President Hugo Chávez’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela secures majority in legislative balloting but fails to reach two-thirds majority required for constitutional revision.

      October 10. Netherlands Antilles dissolves, with Curaçao and St. Maarten becoming autonomous “countries” within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which retains authority over defense and foreign affairs.

      October 10. Party supportive of former president Bakiyev wins narrow plurality in legislative balloting in Kyrgyzstan.

      October 23. David Thompson, the prime minister of Barbados, dies.

      October 31. Dilma Rousseff elected Brazil’s first female president.

      November 2. In a major setback for the Obama administration, the Republican Party gains control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

      November 7. Opposition leader Alpha Conté elected president of Guinea.

      November 7. In Myanmar’s first national election since 1990, junta-supportive Union Solidarity and Development Party wins an overwhelming victory at all levels. The results are widely condemned internationally.

      November 13. Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s most prominent antijunta leader, is released upon expiration of her most recent period of house arrest.

      November 22. Ireland’s prime minister Brian Cowen solicits $100 billion financial rescue package from the EU and IMF and announces he will call early elections as soon as the 2011 budget is passed.

      November 28. Incumbent Laurent Gbagbo and opposition leader Alassana Ouattara both claim victory in second round of presidential balloting in Côte d’Ivoire.

      November 28 and December 5. In controversial two-stage parliamentary balloting, Egypt’s ruling National Democratic Party wins 420 of 508 directly elected seats.

      December 13. Prime Minister Michael Somare of Papua New Guinea, facing charges involving financial irregularities, steps down, with Sam Abal, the deputy prime minister, becoming acting prime minister.

      December 17. Kyrgyzstan’s legislature endorses politically diverse three-party coalition government led by Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev of the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan.

      December 19. Belarusan president Alyaksandr Lukashenka wins reelection, capturing 79.6 percent of the vote, according to the official count, against nine challengers.

      December 21. Prime Minister al-Maliki forms coalition government in Iraq with support of major legislative groupings.


      January 1. Estonia becomes the seventeenth member of the Eurozone when it officially adopts the euro as its currency.

      January 9-15. Voters in South Sudan endorse independence in a referendum.

      January 10. Basque separatists declare a unilateral cease-fire with Spain after 40 years of conflict.

      January 12. The Lebanese government of Prime Minister Saad Hariri falls after 11 Hezbollah and allied cabinet members resign.

      January 14. Tunisian president Gen. Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali flees the country amid violent protests. The fall of Ben Ali’s government marks the beginning of the Arab Spring uprisings, which spread throughout the region.

      January 23. Gen. François Bozizé Yangouvonda Aníbal is reelected president of the Central African Republican. In Portugal, president Cavaco Silva wins reelection.

      January 26. Violent police clashes with protesters in Syria mark the beginning of the Syrian Uprising.

      February 1. Marouf al-Bakhit is appointed prime minister by King Abdullah II in response to calls for political reform and in an effort to counter anti-regime protests.

      February 3. After seven months of protected negotiations, Jhala Nath Khanal is elected prime minister of Nepal by the parliament.

      February 4. In Myanmar, Prime minister Thein Sein is elected president by the legislature.

      February 11. Egyptian president Husni Mubarak resigns after weeks of protests which kill more than 800 and injure more than 6,000. An interim government, dominated by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and led by Field Marshal Mohammad Hussein Tantawi is installed.

      February 14. Pearl Uprising begins in Bahrain with massive protests by the majority Shiite population against the Sunni-led regime.

      February 15. Anti-government protests in Libya are met with harsh military force, sparking the Libyan Revolution.

      February 18. Lt. Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is reelected president of Uganda, securing more than 68 percent of the vote.

      February 22. Behgjet Pacolli is elected president of Kosovo by the National Assembly in the third round of balloting. Incumbent prime minister Hashim Thaçi is reappointed.

      March 5. Mustafa Abdel Jalil is appointed to head Libya’s National Transitional Council, the main anti-regime umbrella organization.

      March 9. Enda Kenny is elected prime minister of Ireland by the parliament, following legislative elections on February 25.

      March 11. An earthquake of magnitude 9.0, and a subsequent tsunami, hit the east coast of Japan, leading to the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and claiming more than 18,000 lives.

      March 17. UN Security Council approves a no-fly zone over Libya in an attempt to reduce civilian casualties; two days later, an international coalition begins enforcement of the no-fly zone and launched attacks on Libyan military targets. Živko Budimir is elected president of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina by the House of Peoples, while Nermin Nikšić becomes prime minister.

      March 18. Rosario Fernández Figueroa is appointed prime minister of Peru following the resignation of José Antonio Chang Escobedo.

      March 20. In disputed run-off balloting, singer Michel Martelly is elected president of Haiti.

      March 28. The constitutional court of Kosovo rules that that the election of president Pacolli on February 22 was unconstitutional. Pacolli leaves office and is replaced on an interim basis by the speaker of the parliament Jakup Krasniqi.

      March 29. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad accepts the resignation of his cabinet in response to widespread protests.

      April 3. Nursultan Nazarbayev is reelected president of Kazakhstan in disputed balloting that was boycotted by opposition parties. In Mali, Cissé Mariam Kaïdama Sidibé is appointed prime minister, becoming the country’s first woman chief executive.

      April 4. Prime minister Sir Michael Somare of Papua New Guinea is suspended from office for 14 days following his conviction on misconduct charges. After his suspension, Somare declined to return to office, citing medical reasons, and Sam Abal becomes interim prime minister.

      April 11. Former Côte d’Ivoire president Laurent Gbagbo is captured by rebel forces, ending a four month civil war.

      April 15. Tertius Zongo is dismissed as prime minister of Burkina Faso by president Blaise Compaoré. Luc Adolphe Tiao is appointed to replace Zongo and forms a new government on April 22.

      April 16. Incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan wins presidential polling in Nigeria, but his victory is met by widespread violence in the mainly Muslim north of the country.

      April 17. The National Coalition Party wins legislative elections in Finland and forms a coalition government, led by prime minister Jyrki Katainen who is sworn into office on June 22.

      May 1. Osama bin Laden, founder and leader of al-Qaida, is killed by U.S. special operations forces in his compound near Islamabad, Pakistan.

      May 2. Canada’s Conservative Party, led by incumbent prime minister Stephen Harper, wins a majority in parliamentary balloting.

      May 15. Egyptian foreign minister Nabil al-Arabi is selected as the new secretary general of the Arab League and takes office on July 1.

      May 26. Bosnian Serb Ratko Mladić is arrested in Larazevo, Serbia, for crimes against humanity during the Bosnian Civil War in the 1990s.

      May 28. After being vacant through successive governments since 1998, the post of prime minister is filled in Benin with the appointment of Pascal Irénée Koupaki.

      May 29. Sergey Bagapsh, the president of the breakaway Georgian republic of Abkhazia, dies in office and is succeeded on an interim basis by vice president Aleksandr Ankvab, who is elected to a full term on August 27.

      June 2. In the second round of presidential balloting by the Latvian parliament, Andris Berzins defeats incumbent Valdis Zatlers.

      June 5. Ollanta Humala is elected president of Peru in run-off balloting. The Social Democrat Party wins legislative elections in Portugal and party leader Pedro Passos Coelho forms a new government on June 15.

      June 15. The Laotian parliament reelects Choummaly Sayasone president, and Thongsing Thammavong as prime minister.

      July 9. Republic of South Sudan gains independence from Sudan and Salva Kiir is inaugurated as president of the new nation. South Sudan joins the UN five days later.

      July 21. EU leaders agree to extend emergency debt repayment by Ireland, Greece and Portugal from seven to fifteen years and cut interest rates on the loans.

      July 25. Troung Tan Sang is elected president of Vietnam by the national Assembly. Prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung is reappointed the following day.

      July 28. Political independent Salomón Lerner Ghitis is appointed prime minister of Peru.

      August 2. Peter O’Neill is elected prime minister of Papua new Guinea by the Parliament.

      August 5. Yingluck Shinawatra is elected prime minister by the legislature, following elections on July 3 in which her For Thais Party secured 265 of the 500 seats in the House of Representatives.

      August 6. Standard and Poor’s downgrades the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+ over concerns about the nation’s debt and government deficit.

      August 7. Independent Manuel Pinto da Costa wins run-off balloting in Sao Tome and Principe’s presidential election.

      August 14. Jhala Nath Khanal resigns as prime minister of Nepal. He is succeeded fifteen days later by Baburam Bhattarai.

      August 21. Manuel Inocêncio Sousa is elected president of Cape Verde in the second round of presidential polling.

      August 23. Libyan leader Muammar al-Qadhafi’s government is overthrown as rebel forces take Tripoli.

      August 26. Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan resigns in the wake of widespread unpopularity over his government’s management of the relief efforts following the March earthquake. Yoshihiko Noda is elected to succeed him by the legislature.

      September 4. After rejecting two previous nominees, the Haitian assembly approves Garry Conille as prime minister.

      September 20. African Union officially recognizes the National Transitional Council as Libya’s legitimate governing body. In Zambia, Michael Sata defeats incumbent president Rupiah Banda.

      September 23. Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas submits a bid for full UN membership for Palestine.

      October 5. Garry Conille is appointed prime minister of Haiti and forms a new government ten days later.

      October 20. Muammar al-Qadhafi is captured and killed outside Sirte, Libya, ending the Libyan Revolution.

      October 23. In Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev is elected president in run-off balloting. Jamaican prime minister Bruce Golding resigns and Andrew Holness is named to replace him.

      October 27. Michael D. Higgins is elected president of Ireland.

      October 28. Omer Berizky is named prime minister of Madagascar, following the resignation of Col. Albert Camille Vital on October 17. The moderate Islamist party Ennahda wins a plurality in Tunisia’s national election, claiming 90 seats in the 217-seat Constituent Assembly.

      November 1. Abdurrahim el-Keib is appointed prime minister of Libya.

      November 6. In run-off balloting, Otto Pérez Molina wins Guatemala’s presidential election. In Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega is reelected president.

      November 11. Lucas Papademos becomes prime minister of Greece following the resignation of George Papandreou.

      November 12. Syria is suspended from the Arab League because of continuing government repression in that country’s civil war.

      November 16. Mario Monti becomes the prime minister of Italy after Silvio Berlusconi resigns.

      November 24. Gambian president Yahya Jammeh is reelected with more than 71 percent of the vote. Kamal Ganzouri is appointed prime minister of Egypt.

      November 25. In Morocco, the Islamist Justice and Development Party wins a plurality in legislative elections and party leader Abdelillah Benkirane is appointed prime minister four days later.

      November 27. Muhammad Salim Basindwah is name prime minister of Yemen.

      November 28. Joseph Kabila is reelected president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Prime minister Sheikh Nasser Muhammad al-Ahmad al-SABAH and his government resigns, and Sheikh Jabir Mubarak Al Hamad Al Sabah is named to lead a new government.

      December 3. Donald Ramotar is inaugurated as president of Guyana.

      December 4. A center-left coalition wins legislative polling in Croatia; Zoran Milanović forms a coalition government and is sworn in as prime minister on December 23. In disputed balloting in Russia, prime minister Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party wins a plurality.

      December 6. Socialist Party leader Elio di Rupo is sworn in as prime minister of Belgium at the head of a coalition government after 541 days of negotiations.

      December 17. North Korean leader Kim Jong-il dies of a heart attack and is succeeded by his son Kim Jong-un.

      December 18. The withdrawal of the last U.S. troops in Iraq is completed.

      December 20. Mariano Rajoy is elected prime minister of Spain by the legislature following elections in which his People’s Party won 186 of 350 seats.


      January 9. President Malam Bacai Sanhá of Guinea-Bissau dies while abroad seeking medical treatment. He is succeeded by Raimundo Pereira as interim president.

      January 13. Anote Tong wins a third term as president of Kiribati.

      January 22. In a national referendum, Croatia votes to join the European Union; the country is expected to accede in summer 2013.

      January 23. The European Union joins the United States in imposing an oil embargo on Iran, to be phased in starting in July, in an attempt to dissuade the Iranian government from pursuing its nuclear ambitions.

      January 30. A new EU fiscal pact goes into effect, with the UK and Czech Republic abstaining; the agreement calls for greater control over EU nations’ budgetary practices and extended cooperation among the member states on dealing with current and future eurozone fiscal crises.

      February 5. Sauli Niinistö of Finland’s National Coalition Party wins the presidency in the second round of voting, marking an end of 30 years of rule by the Social Democrats.

      February 12. Turkmenistan holds its fourth presidential election, returning President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow to office with about 97 percent of the vote. At the time of the election, Turkmenistan has only one political party, and many observers express cynicism about the outcome.

      February 17. German president Christian Wulff resigns in the face of prosecution for corruption when he was prime minister of Lower Saxony.

      February 18. Constitutional amendments that would have made Russian a second official language of Latvia are defeated in a national referendum.

      February 19. Iran halts oil exports to France and Britain in response to the January 23 sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union.

      February 27. In the face of widespread protests, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh steps down in favor of his vice president, Abd Rubbuh Mansur Al-Hadi.

      March 2. Iran holds the first round of parliamentary elections (runoffs held on May 4). Amid criticisms that reformist candidates were denied registration in the election, conservative allies of Supreme Religious Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khameni won the majority of seats.

      March 7. The United Democratic Party (UDP)returned to power in Belize, lead by Dean Barrow. However, the UDP did lose eight seats in parliament to the opposition, the People’s United Party.

      March 11. In legislative elections in El Salvador, the opposition party Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) narrowly defeated the Farabundo Marti National Liberaton Front (FMLN). Analysts expect that the leftist administration of President Muricio Funes will find it challenging to work with the right-wing ARENA.

      March 13. The EU finally comes to terms in a second bailout of the Greek economy amounting to 130 billion euros, in exchange for Greek compliance with new austerity measures.

      March 22. Amadou Toumani Touré is removed as president of Mali in a military coup, orchestrated by a group of soldiers calling themselves the Committee for the Reestablishment of Democracy and the Restoration of the State. After several weeks in hiding, Touré announces his formal resignation and leaves for Senegal. The presidential election scheduled for April 29 is postponed.

      March 26. Macky Sall defeats incumbent Senegal president Abdoulaye Wade.

      March 31. Sir Anerood Jugnauth resigns as president of Mauritius. Vice President Monique Ohsah Bellepeau serves as acting president until Rajkeswur Purryag is elected as new president on July 21.

      April 1. In parliamentary elections in Myanmar, the National League for Democracy wins in a landslide. In response, in July President Barack Obama will announce the lifting of sanctions as a sign for support for gradual democratic reform in that country.

      April 2. Hungarian president Pál Schmitt resigns. An election is scheduled for May 2; János Áder of the Fidesz party wins with about 68 percent of the vote.

      April 5. President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi dies of a heart attack. He is succeeded by Joyce Banda, who becomes Malawi’s first female president.

      April 12. In Guinea-Bissau, a military junta takes over, arresting interim president Raimundo Pereira and former prime minister Carlos Gomes Júnior; Júnior was expected to win a presidential runoff election that was to take place ten days later.

      April 13. Flouting widespread international criticism, North Korea launches a long-range rocket, suspected to be part of the country’s desire to become a nuclear power; the rocket fails shortly after launch, however.

      April 17. After the March coup in Mali, Cheick Modibo Diarra becomes interim prime minister, and Dioncouna Traore becomes interim president.

      April 26. The Special Court for Sierra Leone finds former Liberian president Charles Taylor guilty of 11 counts of crimes against humanity and aiding and abetting war crimes, including murder, rape, and torture.

      May 6. Socialist François Hollande is elected President of France, defeating Nicolas Sarkozy.

      May 6. Greece holds an early election for the Hellenic Parliament, in an attempt to create a coalition government to deal with the economic crisis.

      May 7. Vladmir Putin is inaugurated as president of Russia amid widespread protests.

      May 18. Joachim Gauck is elected president of Germany; he was the candidate of the governing coalition.

      May 19. The blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng arrives in the United States after escaping house arrest and seeking refuge in the U.S. embassy in Beijing.

      May 20. Former military leader José Maria Vasconcelos, better known as Taur Matan Ruak (“Two Sharp Eyes”) is inaugurated president of Timor-Leste, after prevailing in the second round of voting in April.

      May 20. In a close election in the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina of the Dominication Liberation Party (PLD) is elected president, succeeding Leonel Fernàndez, also of the PLD.

      May 20. In Serbia, Tomislav Nikolić emerges as the winner of the presidential election, and Nikolić’s right-wing Serbian Progressive Party wins 73 seats in the National Assembly.

      May 22. The military steps aside in Guinea-Bissau; a transitional council holds power until elections can take place.

      May 22. NATO countries reaffirm support of Afghan government while also promising to withdraw troops by the end of 2014.

      May 28. Members of the UN Security Council unanimously condemn the Syrian government’s use of heavy weaponry and massive force in Houla, near Homs, which resulted in the deaths of over a hundred people, most of them women and children. Several countries—including France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and Australia—protest diplomatically by expelling senior Syrian diplomats.

      June 2. Canada’s newly elected Parliament convenes, led by Andrew Scheer as speaker.

      June 17. The Greek election in May having not resulted in a functioning government, a second election for the Hellenic Parliament is held. The New Democracy (ND) party receives 30 percent of the vote, followed by the Syrizia Unionist Social front (27 percent), the Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement with 12 percent, and the remaining percentages are split by four other parties. The ND invites all parties to participate in the new unity government, with noted exception of the ultra-right wing Golden Dawn party.

      June 22. Syria shoots down a Turkish military plane, killing its two pilots. Syrian officials claim they thought it was an Israeli plane, but the Turkish government rejects this explanation and threatens to retaliate.

      June 24. In Egypt, Mohamed Morsi of the Freedom and Justice Party is declared the winner of the presidential election.

      July 1. In Mexico’s general election, Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) wins the presidency. Allegations of electoral misconduct result in a partial recount, but the Nieto’s election is confirmed.

      July 24. Ghana’s president John Atta Mills dies, and he is succeeded by his vice president, John Dramani Mahama.

      July 27. The 2012 Summer Olympics commence, with 204 nations participating.

      June 30. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson wins a record fifth term as president of Iceland.

      July 30. The UN Security Council calls for a return to constitutional rule in Guinea-Bissau.

      August 17. A new UN-Arab League envoy, seasoned Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi, is appointed to deal with the conflict in Syria succeeding Kofi Annan, who resigns due to frustration with the international community’s lack of agreement on solutions to the crisis.

      August 20. After 21 years in power, Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi dies from an undisclosed illness. His deputy, Hailemariam Desalegn, is his designated successor.

      August 21. Newly reappointed prime minister Cheick Modibo Diarra of Mali establishes a new coalition government amidst widespread rebellion and reported atrocities in the northern part of the country.

      September 2. Angola’s ruling party, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), is declared the victor in Angola’s third election since independence in 1979.

      September 7. Canada closes its embassy in Iran and ousts Iranian diplomats from Ottawa, ending formal diplomatic relations with Iran.

      September 11. The moderate Hassan Sheikh Mohamud becomes president of Somalia, defeating former president Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed in a runoff election.

      September 11. In Bengahzi, Libya, a terrorist attack on the American consulate results in the deaths of four American diplomats, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

      September 12. The German constitutional court upholds the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), clearing the way for the EU to institute the ESM’s loan program to ailing eurozone economies, such as Italy and Spain.

      October 25. Prime Minister of Georgia Bidzina Ivanishvili is inaugurated along with a new government.

      November 6. U.S. President Barack Obama is reelected to a second term, while the Democrats expanded their majority in the Senate but the Republicans held the House.

      November 13. Israel launches air strikes against a number of targets in Gaza, killing a top Hamas commander.






      Appendix B: Chronology of Major International Conferences Sponsored by the United Nations: 1946–2012


      June 19–July 22 (New York, New York). International Health Conference. Adopted constitution of the World Health Organization.

      1947–1948, November 21–March 24 (Havana, Cuba). Conference on Trade and Employment. Drafted a charter that would have established an International Trade Organization under UN auspices but that never went into effect because of U.S. opposition.


      February 19–March 6 (Geneva, Switzerland). Maritime Conference. Drafted and approved a convention leading to establishment of the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization, later the International Maritime Organization.

      March 23–April 21 (Geneva, Switzerland). Conference on Freedom of Information. Adopted conventions on the gathering and international transmission of news, the institution of an international right of correction, and freedom of information.

      August 23–September 19 (Geneva, Switzerland). Conference on Road and Motor Transport. Drafted and adopted the Convention on Road Traffic and a Protocol on Road Signs and Signals superseding obsolete 1926 and 1931 conventions.


      August 17–September 6 (Lake Success, New York). Scientific Conference on the Conservation and Utilization of Resources. Discussed the costs and benefits of practical application of technical knowledge.


      March 15–April 6 (Lake Success, New York). Conference on Declaration of Death of Missing Persons. Adopted a convention calling for international cooperation in alleviating the legal problems burdening individuals whose families disappeared in World War II but whose deaths could not be established with certainty.


      May 11–June 18 (New York, New York). Opium Conference. Adopted a protocol to control the production, trade, and use of opium.


      May 11–June 4 (New York, New York). Conference on Customs Formalities for the Temporary Importation of Road Motor Vehicles and for Tourism. Adopted a convention establishing custom facilities for touring and a convention establishing import regulations for road motor vehicles.

      August 31–September 10 (Rome, Italy). World Population Conference. Provided a forum for an exchange of views and experiences among experts on a wide variety of questions connected with population.

      September 13–23 (New York, New York). Conference of Plenipotentiaries Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons. Drafted and approved a convention putting stateless people on equal footing with nationals of a contracting state in some matters and giving them the same privileges as those generally granted to aliens in others.


      April 18–May 10 (Rome, Italy). International Technical Conference on the Conservation of the Living Resources of the Sea. Discussed the conservation of fish and other marine resources.

      August 8–20 (Geneva, Switzerland). First International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy. Surveyed all major aspects of the topic.


      February 24–April 27 (Geneva, Switzerland). First UN Conference on the Law of the Sea. Failed to agree on the issue of the width of the territorial sea.

      September 1–12 (Geneva, Switzerland). Second International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy. Addressed, among other things, the issues of nuclear power reactors, fusion power, application of radioactive isotopes, nuclear power station accidents, and risks involved with exposure to radiation in industrial settings.


      March 17–April 26 (Geneva, Switzerland). Second UN Conference on the Law of the Sea. Failed to adopt any substantive measures regarding the questions of the breadth of territorial seas and fishery limits.


      January 24–March 25 (New York, New York). Plenipotentiary Conference for the Adoption of a Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Adopted the convention, which replaced international control instruments with one treaty and extended the control system to the cultivation of plants that are grown for the raw materials of natural drugs.

      August 21–31 (Rome, Italy). Conference on New Sources of Energy. Discussed the recent breakthrough in knowledge of geothermal energy, the need for more intensive wind surveys, and applications of solar energy.


      August 6–22 (Bonn, Federal Republic of Germany). Technical Conference on the International Map of the World on Millionth Scale. Reviewed and revised the International Map of the World.


      February 4–20 (Geneva, Switzerland). Conference on the Application of Science and Technology for the Benefit of Less Developed Areas. Discussed relevant proposals for accelerating development.


      March 23–June 16 (Geneva, Switzerland). UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Subsequently established as a Special Body of the General Assembly convening quadrennially (see under UN General Assembly: Special Bodies).

      August 31–September 9 (Geneva, Switzerland). Third International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy. Focused exclusively on nuclear power as a commercially competitive energy source.


      August 30–September 10 (Belgrade, Yugoslavia). Second World Population Conference. Gathered international experts to discuss population problems, especially as they related to development.


      September 4–22 (Geneva, Switzerland). Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names. Subsequent conferences have been held every five years.


      March 26–May 24; reconvened April 9–May 22, 1969 (Vienna, Austria). Conference on Law of Treaties. Adopted the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

      April 22–May 13 (Tehran, Iran). International Conference on Human Rights. Adopted the Proclamation of Tehran and 29 resolutions reviewing and evaluating progress since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and formulating further measures to be taken.

      August 14–27 (Vienna, Austria). First Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. Examined the practical benefits to be derived from space research and exploration as well as how the United Nations might help make those benefits widely available and enable nonspace powers to cooperate in international space activities.


      January 11–February 21 (Vienna, Austria). Conference for the Adoption of a Protocol on Psychotropic Substances. Adopted the instrument after renaming it a convention.

      September 6–16 (Geneva, Switzerland). Fourth International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy. Discussed the ramifications of the rapid increase in nuclear power generation.


      June 5–16 (Stockholm, Sweden). Conference on the Human Environment. Resulted in establishment of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).


      December 3–15 (New York, New York). Third UN Conference on the Law of the Sea; reconvened for ten additional sessions, the last in three parts in 1982, March 8–April 30 and September 22–24 (New York) and December 6–10 (Montego Bay, Jamaica). Drafted and adopted the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).


      May 20–June 14 (New York, New York). Conference on Proscription (Limitation) in the International Sale of Goods. Adopted Convention on the Limitation Period in the International Sale of Goods.

      August 19–30 (Bucharest, Romania). World Population Conference. Adopted, as the first international governmental meeting on population (previous World Population Conferences were for scientific discussion only), the World Population Plan of Action, including guidelines for national population policies.

      November 5–16 (Rome, Italy). World Food Conference. Adopted the Universal Declaration on the Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition and called on the General Assembly to create the World Food Council to coordinate programs to give the world (particularly less developed states) more and better food.


      February 4–March 14 (Vienna, Austria). Conference on the Representation of States in their Relations with International Organizations (of a Universal Character). Adopted convention of the same name.

      May 5–30 (Geneva, Switzerland). Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Reaffirmed support for the treaty and called for more effective implementation of its provisions.

      June 19–July 1, 1975 (Mexico City, Mexico). World Conference of the International Women’s Year. Adopted the Declaration of Mexico on the Equality of Women and Their Contribution to Development and Peace, 1975, and the World Plan of Action for the Implementation of the Objectives of the International Women’s Year.


      January 5–8 (Dakar, Senegal). International Conference on Namibia and Human Rights. Condemned South Africa’s occupation of Namibia.

      May 31–June 11 (Vancouver, British Columbia). Conference on Human Settlements. Issued recommendations for assuring the basic requirements of human habitation (shelter, clean water, sanitation, and a decent physical environment), plus the opportunity for cultural and personal growth.

      June 14–17 (Geneva, Switzerland). World Employment Conference. Adopted, subject to reservations by some countries, a Declaration of Principles and a Program of Action regarding employment and related issues.


      January 10–February 4 (Geneva, Switzerland). Conference of Plenipotentiaries on Territorial Asylum. Failed to adopt a convention defining groups of people to be covered by a proposed convention within this category or on the allowable activities of refugees in the country of asylum.

      March 14–25 (Mar del Plata, Argentina). Water Conference. Approved resolutions dealing with water use, health, and pollution control as well as training and research in water management.

      April 4–May 6; reconvened July 31–August 23, 1978 (Vienna, Austria). Conference on the Succession of States in Respect to Treaties. Adopted a convention elaborating uniform principles for such succession.

      May 16–21 (Maputo, Mozambique). International Conference in Support of the Peoples of Zimbabwe and Namibia. Drafted a Declaration and Program of Action to mobilize international support for the right to self-determination by the people of the two territories.

      June 20–July 1 (Geneva, Switzerland). Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Emplacement of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction on the Seabed and the Ocean Floor and in the Subsoil Thereof. Reaffirmed interest in avoiding an arms race on the seabed and concluded that signatory states had faithfully observed the conditions of the treaty, which was concluded by a non-UN conference in 1970 and entered into force in 1972. (Similar conclusions were reached by review conferences in Geneva on September 12–23, 1983, and on September 19–28, 1989.)

      August 22–26 (Lagos, Nigeria). World Conference for Action against Apartheid (cosponsored by the Organization of African Unity). Called for international support for efforts to eliminate apartheid and enable the South African people to attain their “inalienable right” to self-determination.

      August 29–September 9 (Nairobi, Kenya). Conference on Desertification. Adopted a plan of action addressing desertification, improvement of land management, antidrought measures, and related science and technology.


      February 12–March 11; reconvened March 19–April 8, 1979 (Vienna, Austria). Conference on the Establishment of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a Specialized Agency. Recommended such establishment and adopted a constitution for UNIDO.

      March 6–31 (Hamburg, Federal Republic of Germany). Conference on an International Convention on the Carriage of Goods by Sea. Adopted a convention designed to balance the risks of carriers and cargo owners.

      August 14–25 (Geneva, Switzerland). First World Conference to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination. Adopted a declaration and program of action recommending comprehensive and mandatory sanctions against South Africa, as well as measures to prevent multinational corporations from investing in territories “subject to racism, colonialism, and foreign domination.”

      August 30–September 12 (Buenos Aires, Argentina). Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries. Discussed, but did not endorse, the proposed creation of an independent, but UN-funded, body to foster technical cooperation among developing countries.

      October 16–November 11; reconvened six times through 1985 (Geneva, Switzerland). Conference on an International Code of Conduct on the Transfer of Technology.


      July 12–20 (Rome, Italy). World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development. Adopted a declaration of principles and a program of action to abolish poverty and hunger.

      August 20–31 (Vienna, Austria). Conference on Science and Technology for Development. Endorsed recommendations to promote financial and institutional arrangements for freer technology flow to developing nations.

      September 10–28; reconvened September 15–October 10, 1980 (Geneva, Switzerland). Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects. Adopted a convention banning such weapons.

      November 12–30; reconvened May 24, 1980 (Geneva, Switzerland). Conference on International Multimodal Transportation. Adopted a convention on the legal obligations of multimodal transport operators.

      November 19–December 8; reconvened April 8–22, 1980 (Geneva, Switzerland). Conference on Restrictive Business Practices. Adopted the Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices.


      March 3–21 (Geneva, Switzerland). First Review Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction. Reaffirmed commitment to the convention (signed in 1972 and entered into force in 1975) and declared a “determination to exclude the possibility of bacteriological agents and toxins being used as weapons.”

      March 10–April 11 (Vienna, Austria). Conference on Contracts for International Sale of Goods. Adopted a convention to govern the sale of goods between parties in different countries, replacing the two Hague conventions of 1964.

      July 14–30 (Copenhagen, Denmark). World Conference of the UN Decade for Women: Equality, Development, and Peace. Adopted a program of action for the second half of the decade.

      August 11–September 7 (Geneva, Switzerland). Second Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Failed to agree on a final document.


      April 9–10 (Geneva, Switzerland). First International Conference on Assistance to African Refugees. Urged that international priority be given to the African refugee problem and received $560 million in pledges to assist the estimated 5 million people in that category.

      May 20–27 (Paris, France). International Conference on Sanctions against Racist South Africa. Proposed sanctions against South Africa and discussed the situation in Namibia.

      August 10–21 (Nairobi, Kenya). Conference on New and Renewable Sources of Energy. Promoted the development and utilization of nonconventional energy sources, particularly by developing countries.

      September 1–14 (Paris, France). Conference on the Least Developed Countries. Adopted a substantial new program of action to assist the economies of the world’s 31 poorest states.


      July 26–August 6 (Vienna, Austria). World Assembly on Aging. Adopted an international plan of action aimed at providing the growing number of older people with economic and social security.

      August 9–21 (Vienna, Austria). Second Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. Recommended that the General Assembly adopt measures to accelerate the transfer of peaceful space technology, to expand access to space and its resources for developing countries, and to establish a UN information service on the world’s space programs.


      March 1–April 8 (Vienna, Austria). Conference on the Succession of States in Respect of State Property, Archives, and Debts. Adopted a convention on the subject.

      April 25–29 (Paris, France). International Conference in Support of Namibian People for Independence. Reaffirmed Namibia’s right to independence.

      June 27–29 (London, United Kingdom). International Conference for Sanctions against Apartheid in Sports. Reviewed progress in the campaign for a sports boycott of South Africa.

      August 1–12 (Geneva, Switzerland). Second World Conference to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination. Adopted a program of action against racism, racial discrimination, and apartheid.

      August 29–September 7 (Geneva, Switzerland). International Conference on the Question of Palestine. Adopted the Geneva Declaration on Palestine and a Program of Action for the Achievement of Palestinian Rights.


      July 9–11 (Geneva, Switzerland). Second International Conference on Assistance to African Refugees. Declared that caring for African refugees was a global responsibility and proposed long-term solutions to the problem.

      July 16–August 3 (Geneva, Switzerland); reconvened January 28–February 15, and July 8–9, 1985 (Geneva), and January 20–February 8, 1986 (New York). Conference on Conditions for the Registration of Ships. Adopted a convention designed to assure “genuine links” between ships and their flags of state.

      August 6–14 (Mexico City, Mexico). International Conference on Population. Adopted Mexico City Declaration on Population and Development covering a wide range of population policy proposals, including further implementation of the 1974 World Population Plan of Action.

      September 10–21 (Geneva, Switzerland). Review Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques. Noted the effectiveness of the convention, which went into effect in 1978.


      March 11–12 (Geneva, Switzerland). International Conference on the Emergency Situation in Africa. Mobilized international aid to drought-stricken states in Africa.

      May 7–9 (Arusha, Tanzania). International Conference on Women and Children Under Apartheid. Condemned South Africa for the effects of its policies on black women and children.

      May 15–18 (Paris, France). Second International Conference on the Sports Boycott against South Africa. Supported the position that South Africa should not be readmitted to the Olympic games until apartheid ends.

      July 15–27 (Nairobi, Kenya). World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievement of the UN Decade for Women. Assessed steps taken over the past decade to improve the situation of women and drafted the Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies for the Achievement of Women.

      August 27–September 21 (Geneva, Switzerland). Third Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Called for resumption of talks toward a comprehensive multilateral nuclear test ban treaty.

      September 11–13 (New York, New York). Conference on the Intensification of International Action for the Independence of Namibia. Rejected U.S. policy of “constructive engagement” with South Africa and urged boycott of Namibian and South African products.

      November 4–15 (Geneva, Switzerland). Conference to Review All Aspects of the Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices. Failed to agree on proposals to improve and further develop the principles.

      November 13–18 (New York, New York). World Conference on the International Youth Year, 1985. Endorsed guidelines for youth and asked member states and other interested organizations to ensure that the year’s activities be reinforced and maintained.


      February 18–March 21 (Vienna, Austria). Conference on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations or between International Organizations. Adopted a convention delineating the manner in which international organizations should conclude, adopt, enforce, and observe treaties.

      June 16–20 (Paris, France). World Conference on Sanctions against Racist South Africa. Called for comprehensive economic sanctions against South Africa.

      July 7–11 (Vienna, Austria). International Conference for the Immediate Independence of Namibia. Called for the adoption and imposition of sanctions against South Africa and the implementation of the UN plan for the independence of Namibia.

      September 8–16 (Geneva, Switzerland). Second Review Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction. Adopted a final act designed to strengthen confidence in the convention, to reduce “the occurrence of ambiguities, doubts, or suspicion” involving bacteriological activities, and to enhance international cooperation in peaceful microbiology use.


      February 10–13 (Nairobi, Kenya). Safe Motherhood Conference (cosponsored by the World Bank, World Health Organization, and UN Fund for Population Activities).

      March 23–April 10 (Geneva, Switzerland). Conference for Promotion of International Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. Failed to reach consensus.

      June 17–26 (Vienna, Austria). International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Adopted a declaration committing all participants to “vigorous action” to reduce drug supply and demand and approved a handbook of guidelines to assist governments and organizations in reaching a total of 35 “action targets.”

      August 24–September 11 (New York, New York). International Conference on the Relationship between Disarmament and Development. Recommended that a portion of resources released by disarmament be allocated to social and economic development.


      August 22–24 (Oslo, Norway). International Conference on the Plight of Refugees, Returnees, and Displaced Persons in Southern Africa. Adopted a plan of action to improve the economic and social conditions of the populations under consideration.

      November 25–December 20 (Geneva, Switzerland). Plenipotentiary Conference to Adopt the New Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. Adopted the Convention.


      January 7–11 (Paris, France). Conference of States Parties to the 1925 Geneva Protocol and Other Interested States on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Called for early conclusion of a convention that would prohibit the development, production, stockpiling, and use of all chemical weapons and provide for the destruction of all such existing weapons.

      May 29–31 (Guatemala City, Guatemala). International Conference on Central American Refugees. Adopted a three-year, $380 million program to aid an estimated two million refugees, displaced persons, and returnees in seven countries.

      June 13–14 (Geneva, Switzerland). International Conference on Indochinese Refugees. Adopted a plan of action designed to promote a “lasting multilateral solution” to the problem of refugees and asylum-seekers from Laos and Vietnam.


      March 5–9 (Jomtien, Thailand). World Conference on Education for All: Meeting Basic Learning Needs. Adopted Declaration on Education for All.

      April 9–11 (London, United Kingdom). World Ministerial Summit to Reduce the Demand for Drugs and to Combat the Cocaine Threat (organized in association with the United Kingdom). Adopted a declaration by which 124 nations pledged to give higher priority to curtailing illicit drug demand.

      August 20–September 15 (Geneva, Switzerland). Fourth Review Conference of Parties to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Failed to reach agreement on a final declaration.

      September 3–14 (Paris, France). Second Conference on the Least Developed Countries. Adopted a new program of action stressing bilateral assistance in the form of grants or highly concessional loans from developed nations.

      September 29–30 (New York, New York). World Summit for Children. Adopted a ten-point program to promote the well-being of children through political action “at the highest level.”

      October 29–November 7 (Geneva, Switzerland). World Climate Conference. Urged developed nations to establish targets for the reduction in the emission of “greenhouse” gases, such as carbon dioxide, to curtail a possible warming of the global atmosphere.

      November 26–December 7 (Geneva, Switzerland). Second Conference to Review All Aspects of the Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices. Urged developing countries to adopt national legislation on restrictive business practices.


      January 7–18 (New York, New York). Amendment Conference of the States Parties to the 1963 Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space, and Under Water. Decided further work was needed before a proposed amendment could be adopted that would convert the treaty into a comprehensive test ban treaty.

      September 9–17 (Geneva, Switzerland). Third Review Conference of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction. Called for full implementation of the convention without the placement of constraints on economic and technological development and international cooperation in peaceful biological activities.


      June 3–14 (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). UN Conference on Environment and Development. Adopted Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and several other documents designed to promote global environmental cleanup and “sustainable” development.

      October 15–16 (New York, New York). International Conference on Aging. Reviewed progress on the 1982 International Plan of Action on Aging.


      June 14–25 (Vienna, Austria). World Conference on Human Rights. Adopted nonbinding Declaration and Program of Action affirming the “universal nature” of human rights and recommending, among other things, that the General Assembly appoint a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

      July 12–30; reconvened March 14–31 and August 15–26, 1994, and March 27–April 12 and July 24–August 4, 1995 (New York, New York). UN Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks. Adopted global treaty (opened for signature December 4, 1995) binding signatories to adopt measures to conserve and otherwise manage high-seas fisheries and to settle fishing disputes peacefully.

      October 5–6 (Tokyo, Japan). International Conference on African Development (sponsored in conjunction with Japan and the U.S.-based Global Coalition of Africa). Adopted a declaration intended to “refocus” attention on African problems, such as heavy debt burden, rapid population growth, drought, hunger, and political instability.


      April 25–May 6 (Bridgetown, Barbados). Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States. Adopted a program of action to guide the environmental and development policies of small island states and issued the “Barbados Declaration” calling on the international community to support those states in combating rising sea levels, the loss of reefs and rain forests, shortages of fresh water, and import dependency.

      May 23–27 (Yokohama, Japan). World Conference on Natural Disaster Reduction. Adopted the Yokohama Strategy for a Safer World: Guidelines for Natural Disaster Prevention, Preparedness, and Mitigation, designed to put recent technological advances at the service of disaster-prone regions of the world.

      September 5–13 (Cairo, Egypt). International Conference on Population and Development. Adopted a program of action aimed at stabilizing the world’s population at about 7.27 billion in 2015.

      October 18 (New York, New York). International Conference on Families. Convened by the UN General Assembly to discuss activities in regard to the International Year of the Family, 1994.

      November 21–23 (Naples, Italy). World Ministerial Conference on Organized Transnational Crime. Adopted the Naples Political Declaration and Global Action Plan, proposing, among other things, the establishment of an international convention on transnational crime, greater cooperation among national law enforcement agencies, and greater “transparency” of banks and other financial enterprises that can be used to “launder” money.


      March 6–13 (Copenhagen, Denmark). World Summit for Social Development. Adopted the Copenhagen Declaration and Program of Action recommending measures to be taken by national governments, the United Nations, and other international organizations in pursuit of “social development and social justice.”

      April 7–May 12 (New York, New York). Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Agreed to extend treaty “indefinitely” and strengthen its review process.

      September 4–15 (Beijing, China). Fourth World Conference on Women. Adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action delineating nonbinding guidelines for national policies designed to enhance the status of women and to promote international cooperation in the same regard.

      September 25–October 13 (Vienna, Austria); reconvened April 22–May 3, 1996 (Geneva, Switzerland). Review Conference of States Parties to the 1980 Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects. Failed to reach agreement on a proposed complete ban on land mines but adopted stricter controls on their use and export and agreed to extend the provisions of the convention to domestic conflicts; banned the use of blinding laser weapons.


      June 3–14 (Istanbul, Turkey). Second UN Conference on Human Settlements. Adopted a declaration urging national governments to implement policies designed to meet their citizens’ “right to adequate housing” and to establish comprehensive plans to manage urban development.

      November 13–17 (Rome, Italy). World Food Summit. Adopted a declaration asserting the “fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger” and recommending national policies that will guarantee “access to safe and nutritious food.”

      November 25–December 6 (Geneva, Switzerland). Fourth Review Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction. Supported continuing work by an ad hoc group designing a verification protocol for the convention.


      June 23–27 (New York, New York). Second UN Conference on Environment and Development. Reviewed implementation (or lack thereof) of commitments made at the 1992 conference.

      December 1–11 (Kyoto, Japan). Third Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Issued Kyoto Protocol in which 38 industrialized countries agreed to cut the emission of greenhouse gases to combat global warming.


      June 15–July 18 (Rome, Italy). UN Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court. Voted to establish an International Criminal Court under UN auspices.

      August 8–12 (Lisbon, Portugal). World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth. Adopted the Lisbon Declaration on Youth Policies and Programs, pledging to act on youth participation, development, peace, education, employment, health, and drug and substance abuse.


      July 19–30 (Vienna, Austria). Third Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. Adopted the Vienna Declaration on Space and Human Development.


      April 24–May 19 (New York, New York). Review Conference of the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Concluded with a commitment by China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States to the “total elimination” of their nuclear arsenals.

      September 6–8 (New York, New York). Millennium Summit. Adopted the Millennium Declaration, which reaffirmed the role of the United Nations and its charter as “indispensable foundations of a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world.”

      November 13–25 (The Hague, Netherlands). World Conference on Climate Change. Failed to conclude a treaty to meet the greenhouse gas emissions requirements called for by the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

      December 12–15 (Palermo, Italy). High-Level Political Signing Conference for the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. Opened for signature the first legally binding UN convention on crime.


      May 14–20 (Brussels, Belgium). Third Conference on the Least Developed Countries. Adopted a plan of action for 2001–2010 that emphasized good governance, capacity-building, the role of trade in development, environmental protection, and the mobilization of financial resources.

      July 9–20 (New York, New York). UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects. Adopted a program of action to prevent, combat, and eradicate illicit trade in small arms and light weapons (SALW) at national, regional, and global levels.

      August 31–September 7 (Durban, South Africa). World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance. Adopted the Durban Declaration and Program of Action, in which states were urged to end enslavement and slavery-like practices, to promote and protect human rights, and to prosecute perpetrators of racist and other discriminatory acts against Africans, indigenous peoples, migrants, refugees, and other victims.

      November 19–December 7; reconvened November 11–22, 2002 (Geneva, Switzerland). Fifth Review Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction. Adopted a three-year work plan focusing on national measures to implement prohibitions; enhancement of international capabilities in responding to, investigating, and mitigating the effects of biological attacks and suspicious disease outbreaks; and adoption of a code of conduct for scientists.

      December 11–21 (Geneva, Switzerland). Second Review Conference of the States Parties to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects. Addressed various proposals to strengthen the convention, including extending its application to domestic as well as international conflicts and exploring how to deal with such explosive remnants of war as cluster bombs, shells, and munitions.


      March 18–22 (Monterrey, Mexico). International Conference on Financing for Development. Adopted the Monterrey Consensus on promoting development through such means as increasing foreign direct investment and official development assistance, improving market access, fighting corruption, and reducing debt.

      April 8–12 (Madrid, Spain). Second World Assembly on Aging. Adopted the International Plan of Action on Aging 2002, which identified three priority areas: older persons and development, the extension of health and well-being into old age, and enhancement of enabling and supportive environments for the aged.

      June 10–13 (Rome, Italy). World Food Summit: Five Years Later. Reviewed the “disappointingly slow” progress since the 1996 summit and called for an international alliance against hunger.

      August 26–September 4 (Johannesburg, South Africa). World Summit on Sustainable Development. Set new targets for sustainable development in a variety of areas.


      August 28–29 (Almaty, Kazakhstan). International Ministerial Conference of Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries and Donor Countries and International Financial and Development Institutions on Transit Transport Cooperation. Adopted the Almaty Program of Action, addressing rail, road, and air transportation, as well as communications, pipelines, and means of facilitating international trade.

      December 9–11. (Merida, Mexico). High-Level Political Conference for the Signature of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. Ninety-four countries signed the Convention Against Corruption (previously approved by the General Assembly) requiring signatories (upon ratification) to criminalize a range of corrupt activities and to cooperate with other signatories in combating corruption.

      December 10–12 (Geneva, Switzerland). World Summit on the Information Society (Phase One). Adopted the Geneva Declaration of Principles and Geneva Plan of Action in support of the creation of a “people-centered, inclusive, and development-oriented information society,” with a particular emphasis on reducing the “information gap” between developed and developing countries.


      February 9–20 (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Addressed the biological diversity of mountain ecosystems, technology transfer and cooperation, and the proposed reduction of the rate of loss of biodiversity.

      June 24 (New York, New York). Global Compact Leaders Summit. Participants (including more than 1,200 corporations as well as representatives from labor and civil society) recommitted themselves to the Global Compact (introduced by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in 1999 to promote responsible “corporate citizenship”) and agreed to add anticorruption efforts (particularly aimed at extortion and bribery) to the compact’s guiding principles.

      November 29–December 3 (Nairobi, Kenya). First Review Conference of the State Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production, and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on their Destruction. Adopted a 70-point action plan for the coming five-year period.


      January 18–22 (Kobe, Japan). World Conference on Disaster Reduction. Addressed the issues of investing in disaster preparedness and enhancing risk assessment, particularly in view of the devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

      April 18–25 (Bangkok, Thailand). Eleventh UN Conference on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. Addressed organized crime, terrorism, human trafficking, money-laundering, corruption, cyber-crime, and “restorative” justice.

      May 2–27. (New York, New York). Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Failed to reach consensus on proposed steps for strengthening the treaty despite the recent increase in the spread of nuclear weapons.

      September 14–16. (New York, New York). World Summit. Adopted a compromise declaration regarding proposed UN reform and steps to be taken in pursuit of a broad range of security and development goals.

      September 21–23 (New York, New York). Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty. Reiterated that cessation of all nuclear weapon tests remains necessary in the pursuit of nuclear disarmament, despite the lack of progress toward the treaty entering into force (ratification from 11 countries still required).

      November 16–18. (Tunis, Tunisia). World Summit on the Information Society (Phase Two). Monitored progress regarding the action plan approved in 2003 and endorsed the creation of an advisory body (comprised of representatives from government, business, and civil society) to review issues surrounding the Internet.


      March 20–31 (Curitiba, Brazil). Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Addressed threats posed by genetically-modified trees and urged caution in applying that technology.

      November 7–17 (Geneva, Switzerland). Third Review Conference of the States Parties to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects. Welcomed the entry into force of a protocol requiring signatories to mark and clear mines and other “explosive remnants of war.”

      November 20–December 8 (Geneva, Switzerland). Sixth Review Conference of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction. Approved a general framework for future discussions and negotiations regarding the effective implementation and strengthening of the Convention.

      December 10–14 (Amman, Jordan). Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, first session. Adopted a self-assessment plan (in view of criticism regarding a perceived lack of implementation of the Convention) and pledged additional aid to developing countries to combat corruption.


      July 5–6 (Geneva, Switzerland). Second Global Compact Leaders Summit. Adopted a 21-point declaration designed to enhance implementation of the Global Compact regarding corporate citizenship.

      October 1–3 (Davos, Switzerland). Second International Conference on Climate Change and Tourism. Agreed that the tourism industry must “respond rapidly” to climate change by curbing greenhouse gas emissions and urged tourists to assess the environmental impact of their travels.

      December 3–14 (Bali, Indonesia). United Nations Climate Change Conference. Launched negotiations on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.


      January 28–February 1 (Bali, Indonesia). Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, second session. Reviewed implementation of the convention and discussed asset recovery procedures, the need for mutual legal assistance mechanisms, various ways to strengthen coordination and enhance technical assistance, and the issue of bribery as it relates to officials of public international organizations.

      June 3–6 (Rome, Italy). High-Level Conference on World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy. Called upon the international community to increase food assistance, particularly to the least developed countries and those adversely affected by escalating food prices.

      November 29–December 2 (Doha, Qatar). Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus. Adopted the Doha Declaration on Financing for Development, which affirmed the Monterrey Consensus and called on the UN to examine how the ongoing world financial and economic crisis is affecting development.


      April 20–24 (Geneva, Switzerland). Durban Review Conference. Evaluated progress towards goals set by the 2001 World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance and called for greater “political will” to combat racism. (Canada, Israel, the United States, and five other countries boycotted the conference out of concern over possible anti-Israeli and/or anti-Western “polemics”, while additional countries walked out of the conference during a controversial speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.)

      June 24–30 (New York, New York). Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Development. Called for reform of “deficiencies” in the regulation and supervision of the international financial system.

      September 24–25 (New York, New York). Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty. Called upon China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, and the United States (who have signed but not ratified the treaty) and North Korea, India, and Pakistan (who have not signed the treaty) to complete accession to the treaty, which cannot enter into force without their ratification. (The delegation from the United States, attending such conferences for the first time in a decade, announced plans for the Obama administration to seek Senate ratification of the treaty.)

      November 16–18 (Rome, Italy). World Food Summit on Food Security. Adopted declaration pledging to promote greater domestic and international funding for agriculture in an effort to combat hunger, estimated to affect 1 billion people; few leaders from the world’s wealthy nations attend.

      December 7–18 (Copenhagen, Denmark). Climate Change Conference (Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Parties to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol). Adopted the Copenhagen Document, which called for cooperation in reducing greenhouse gases and for greater assistance to developing countries to pursue clean energy but which did not include specific, legally binding targets.


      May 3–28 (New York, New York). Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Focused on promoting and strengthening safeguards; advancing the peaceful use of nuclear energy, safety, and security; strengthening the review process; and engaging with civil society to promote NPT norms and disarmament education.

      September 20–22 (New York, New York). Summit on Millennial Development Goals. Reaffirmed the 2015 Millennial Development Goals and adopted an action plan for achieving them. Heads of state and government and representatives of the private sector, civil society, foundations, and various international organizations pledged $40 billion over five years to improving the health of women and children.

      October 18–29 (Nagoya, Japan). Tenth Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. In support of the International Year for Biodiversity, reviewed progress toward the 2010 goals and revised the Strategic Plan. Focused in-depth attention on inland waterways, marine and coastal areas, mountains, protected areas, the sustainable use of biodiversity, and the relationship of biodiversity to climate change.

      November 9–12 (Vientiane, Laos). First Meeting of Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Approved a 66-point action plan committing signatories to “implement fully all of the obligations under the convention,” which had entered into force on August 1, and specified deadlines, budgets, and targets related to such matters as stockpile destruction, clearance and risk education, and transparency.


      May 9–13 (Istanbul, Turkey). Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries. Reviewed progress on the 10-year Least Developed Countries (LDC) Plan approved at the 2001 Third UN LDC Conference in Brussels, Belgium. The 2011 conference called for the number of LDCs to be reduced from 48 to 24 by 2020.

      June 20–24 (Vienna, Austria). International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety. Approved a declaration on nuclear safety that incorporated lessons learned in the aftermath of the March 11, 2011, Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster.

      September 19–20 (New York). High Level Meeting on Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases. Approved declaration calling for governments to take action to reduce deaths from non-communicable diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes. The declaration urged governments to reduce tobacco consumption and unhealthy dietary patterns through economic measures such as increased taxes and limitations on advertising, while encouraging healthy lifestyles.

      November 28–December 9 (Durban, South Africa). Climate Change Conference (Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Parties to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol). Reaffirmed a commitment to establish the Green Climate Fund that would provide $100 billion annually to help lesser developed countries mitigate climate change. Attendees also agreed to finalize a new global climate change treaty by 2015, to be implemented in 2020.


      January 25–29 (Davos-Klosters, Switzerland). World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. Focused on rebalancing and deleveraging the global economy. Developed a plan by which developed countries may prevent recession and emerging countries may curb inflation, avoiding future economic bubbles.

      June 18 (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). First BioTrade Congress. Focused on biodiversity and the role of the Green Economy in relation to sustainable development and poverty alleviation. Sought increased political support for sustainable development.

      June 18–19 (Los Cabos, Mexico). G20 Summit. Focused predominantly on the European financial crisis. Leaders agreed upon various plans to promote strong, sustainable, balanced growth for the faltering European economy as well as for the global economy. Also discussed food security and environmental issues pertaining to the economy.

      July 22–27 (Washington, D.C.). XIX International AIDS Conference. Placed new emphasis on preventing transmission of the disease as a new strategy to complement treatment and care initiatives. Focused on the use of microbicides to kill the virus and help prevent the spread of AIDS.

      November 9. Milo Djukanović is nominated prime minister of Montenegro.

      November 17. In Sierra Leone, Ernest Koroma wins a second term as president while his party, the All People’s Congress, strengthens its majority in the parliament.

      November 26–December 7 (Doha, Qatar). The UN Climate Change Conference (also known as COP18) is held in Doha. After two weeks of contentious negotiation and frequent deadlock, delegates to COP18 resolved to keep the Kyoto protocols in effect until 2020, with the goal of limiting global warming to 2°C.

      December 7. Ghana reelects President John Mahama, of the National Democratic Congress.

      December 11. Cheick Modibo Diarra, prime minister of Mali, and his cabinet are forced to resign in what is described as a “mini-coup.”

      December 16. Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party, led by former prime minister Shinzo Abe, wins an overwhelming majority, returning the party to power after three years as the opposition.

      December 19. Park Geun Hye of the New Frontier Party becomes the first woman to be elected president of the Republic of Korea.

      December 21. A new government is formed in Romania. Incumbent prime minister Victor Ponta returns to his job with an expanded cabinet.

      Appendix C: Membership of the United Nations and its Specialized and Related Agencies

      Table 229

      Appendix D: Serials List

      Africa Confidential

      Africa Research Bulletin (Economic Series)

      Africa Research Bulletin (Political Series)

      Asian News Digest

      Caribbean Insight

      CARICOM Reports

      Central America Report

      The Christian Science Monitor

      Constitutions of the Countries of the World

      The Economist

      The Europa World Year Book

      Financial Times

      IAEA Bulletin

      IMF Article IV Reports

      IMF Balance of Payments Statistics

      IMF Direction of Trade Statistics

      IMF Government Finance Statistics

      IMF International Financial Statistics

      IMF Survey

      IMF World Economic Outlook

      Indian Ocean Newsletter

      International Foundation for Electoral Systems, Election Guide

      Keesing’s Record of World Events

      Latin America Regional Reports

      Latin America Weekly Report

      Le Monde (Paris)

      NATO Review

      The New York Times

      People in Power

      Permanent Missions to the United Nations

      Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

      Reporters Without Borders Annual Report

      Statistical Abstract of the United States

      UN Chronicle

      UN Handbook

      UN Population and Vital Statistics Report

      UN Statistical Yearbook

      UNESCO Statistical Yearbook

      US CIA Heads of State and Cabinet Members

      US Department of State, Diplomatic List

      The Washington Post

      World Bank Atlas

      World Bank Country Reports

      World Development Report

      Publishing History of the Political Handbook

      A Political Handbook of Europe: 1927, ed. Malcolm W. Davis. Council on Foreign Relations.

      A Political Handbook of the World: 1928, ed. Malcolm W. Davis and Walter H. Mallory. Harvard University Press and Yale University Press.

      Political Handbook of the World: 1929, ed. Malcolm W. Davis and Walter H. Mallory. Yale University Press.

      Political Handbook of the World: 1930–1931, ed. Walter H. Mallory. Yale University Press.

      Political Handbook of the World: 1932–1962, ed. Walter H. Mallory. Harper & Brothers.

      Political Handbook and Atlas of the World: 1963–1967, ed. Walter H. Mallory. Harper & Row.

      Political Handbook and Atlas of the World: 1968, ed. Walter H. Mallory. Simon and Schuster.

      Political Handbook and Atlas of the World: 1970, ed. Richard P. Stebbins and Alba Amoia. Simon and Schuster.

      The World This Year: 1971–1973 (supplements to the Political Handbook and Atlas of the World: 1970), ed. Richard P. Stebbins and Alba Amoia. Simon and Schuster.

      Political Handbook of the World: 1975, ed. Arthur S. Banks and Robert S. Jordan. McGraw-Hill.

      Political Handbook of the World: 1976–1979, ed. Arthur S. Banks. McGraw-Hill.

      Political Handbook of the World: 1980–1983, ed. Arthur S. Banks and William R. Overstreet. McGraw-Hill.

      Political Handbook of the World: 1984–1995, ed. Arthur S. Banks. CSA Publications.

      Political Handbook of the World: 1995–1997, ed. Arthur S. Banks, Alan J. Day, and Thomas C. Muller. CSA Publications.

      Political Handbook of the World: 1998–1999, ed. Arthur S. Banks and Thomas C. Muller. CSA Publications.

      Political Handbook of the World: 2000–2002, ed. Arthur S. Banks, Thomas C. Muller, and William R. Overstreet. CSA Publications.

      Political Handbook of the World: 2005–2006, ed. Arthur S. Banks, Thomas C. Muller, and William R. Overstreet. CQ Press.

      Political Handbook of the World: 2007, ed. Arthur S. Banks, Thomas C. Muller, and William R. Overstreet. CQ Press.

      Political Handbook of the World: 2008, ed. Arthur S. Banks, Thomas C. Muller, and William R. Overstreet. CQ Press.

      Political Handbook of the World: 2009, ed. Arthur S. Banks, Thomas C. Muller, William R. Overstreet, and Judith F. Isacoff. CQ Press.

      Political Handbook of the World: 2010, ed. Arthur S. Banks, Thomas C. Muller, William R. Overstreet, and Judith F. Isacoff. CQ Press.

      Political Handbook of the World: 2011, ed. Thomas C. Muller, William R. Overstreet, Judith F. Isacoff, Tom Lansford. CQ Press.

      Political Handbook of the World: 2012, ed. Tom Lansford. CQ Press.

      (All editions published before 2007 were annual, except for 1982–1983 and 1984–1985, which were biennial, and 2000–2002 and 2005–2006, which were triennial.)

    Back to Top

    Copy and paste the following HTML into your website