Global crisis affected just about every corner of the globe this year from Asia to Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Inside the United Nations, top diplomats said the organization’s capacity to diffuse conflict has been tested, and some said, it’s failed. CCTV America’s U.N. correspondent Liling Tan reported this story from New York.
Here’s a look at the top ten global crises that made 2014 one of the worst years in recent memory.
Top ten global crises of 2014Global crisis affected just about every corner of the globe this year from Asia to Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Inside the United Nations, top diplomats said the organization's capacity to diffuse conflict has been tested, and some said, it's failed. CCTV America's U.N. correspondent Liling Tan reported this story from New York.
The al-Qaida splinter group has taken over large swaths of Iraq and Syria, incorporating tactics so violent that even al-Qaida has distanced itself.
ISIL has been most visible through videos showing beheadings of Western journalists and aid workers, and through social media.
In response, the U.N. Security Council is cracking down on the recruiting of foreign fighters, while a U.S.-led coalition of countries has conducted air strikes against ISIL strongholds. It is by far, the most common enemy among nations.
2. Syria’s devastating civil war, now in its fourth year.
A barely successful U.N. joint mission to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile has done little to stem the tide of violence and instability that has allowed extremist elements to flourish.
Islamic militants have redefined Syria’s borders, massacred thousands of Syrians, and displaced millions more.
The resulting humanitarian crisis has been described as the greatest tragedy of our time.
3. The Ebola outbreak
The outbreak, centering around Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia, has killed more than 7,500 people as the number of cases has passed 20,000 so far.
It’s the only disease, other than AIDS, that has been discussed at the U.N. Security Council as a threat to international peace and security.
4. The Israel-Gaza conflict
The 50-day war during the summer between Israeli forces and Hamas saw the firing of rockets overhead and the bombing of tunnels underground.
Observers put the death toll at more than 2,000, mostly Palestinian civilians and children.
About 20,000 homes in Gaza were destroyed and about half-a-million people displaced.
5. The Ukraine crisis
Widespread protests in Kiev this February led to the ouster of the Russian-backed president, and then Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in the worst standoff between Russia and the West since the Cold War
Fighting between pro-Russian separatists and government forces spread eastward, as Western nations accused Russia of stoking tensions and sending in troops. Sanctions were slapped on Moscow.
In the midst of the fighting, Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down over rebel-held territory and all 298 people on board died.
6. The South Sudan war
Born from a peace deal that ended Africa’s longest-running civil war the world’s newest nation is no stranger to conflict.
Ongoing clashes between supporters of President Salvar Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar, both locked in a power struggle, have seen thousands of people killed and millions displaced.
The year-old war is threatening the country’s valuable oil production, prompting China to ready 700 troops and weapons for deployment to help the U.N. peacekeeping force on the ground. China is heavily dependent on South Sudan’s oil.
7. Sectarian violence in the Central African Republic
The chaos started when northern, predominantly Muslim Seleka rebels took control of the majority Christian country back in March of 2013. This prompted a backlash by the largely Christian ‘anti-balaka’ militia group in deadly tit-for-tat attacks and revenge killings.
Two years into the conflict, the U.N. refugee agency says one-fifth of the population remains displaced, while nearly 200,000 have fled to neighboring countries.
8. Nigeria’s extremist insurgency
Africa’s most populous country is up against the violent Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which seeks to establish a caliphate in northeast Nigeria under strict Shariah law.
Boko Haram drew global outrage in April with the abduction of more than 200 school girls and whose fate remains unclear.
2014 is said to be the deadliest in Boko Haram’s five-year insurgency, with as many as nine-thousand killed and nearly one-and-a-half million more displaced.
9. The political conflict in Libya
Three years after rebel groups toppled the country’s former leader, the late Muammar Gaddafi, they now battle for control of the North African state.
In August, Islamist militias took over the capital of Tripoli, prompting air strikes by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates and stoking fears of a regional conflict.
Now, two competing governments are vying for a country that sits on Africa’s largest oil reserves, and leaves World powers fearing the conflict will lead to a civil war.
10. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea made headlines again
The East Asian country, for the first time, found itself under U.N. Security Council scrutiny over alleged human rights violations against its own people including murder, torture, rape and forced starvation.
Until now, the council’s discussions on the DPRK had been limited to its nuclear weapons program.
The historic move came as the DPRK and the U.S. traded accusations over a cyberattack against a Hollywood movie studio over its comedy film “The Interview.”