The End of an Era: December 2022 in One Look

Monthly recap dec 2022. © UN-aligned Design team.


Cyril Ramaphosa
Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo: GovernmentZA

13.12.22: South Africa. Scandal-engulfed President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is being investigated for serious violations and misconduct, survived a vote in parliament which could have set in motion impeachment proceedings that could have forced him out of office.

18.12.22: Tunisia. The electorate has given President Kais Saied a clear message by boycotting yesterday’s elections, with less than 9% turning up to vote. The President had suspended parliament on March 30, 2022 and revised the constitution in the hope that he could cling to power, a prospect that has now become more unlikely.

Kais Saied
Tunisian President Kais Saied in 2019. Photo: Houcemmzoughi © CC 4.0

24.12.22: South Africa. A tanker containing 60,000 litres of LPG gas got stuck under a bridge in the residential area of Boksburg near Johannesburg and exploded causing at least 15 fatalities.

25.12.22: Burkina Faso. At least 10 people were killed when their minibus hit a mine near the village of Bougui, close to the border with Niger. The incident has been blamed on Islamic militants operating in the area.

27.12.22: Sudan. At least 16 people were killed when a passenger bus crashed into a parked truck on a highway in the city of Omdurman.


Police barricade in front of the residence of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
Police barricade in front of the residence of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Photo:
Santiago Sito/Flickr

06.12.22: Argentina. Vice-president and former president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, has been sentenced to six years in prison following a $1bn fraud case related to public works. She has also been barred from ever holding public office again in Argentina.

07.12.22: Peru. President Pedro Castillo was deposed and arrested after having announced plans to dissolve Congress and install an emergency government, in an attempt to stave off a looming impeachment vote by lawmakers. He has been replaced by the Vice-President, Dina Boluarte, who became the country’s first female President.

07.12.22: Dominica. The Dominica Labour Party won a 5th consecutive term in office in Tuesday’s general elections, which were boycotted by the opposition parties. This leaves Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit’s party with 19 of the 21-seat parliament, two of which were won by independent candidates.

Brittney Griner
Basketball star Griner released from Russian prison in swap. Photo: Lorie Shaull

09.12.22: USA. Basketball star Brittney Griner returned home after ten months in Russian detention thanks to a prisoner swap with arms dealer Viktor Bout. She had been arrested for possession of cannabis oil.

13.12.22: USA. Researchers at the US National Ignition Facility in California confirmed a breakthrough in their experiments on nuclear fusion which could pave the way for abundant clean energy.

16.12.22: Peru. More than 20 people have been killed in protests following the arrest and ousting of President Pedro Castillo.

Donald Trump
Trump speaking at the UN General Assembly

19.12.22: USA. At the conclusion of a lengthy investigation into Donald Trump’s involvement in the violent Capitol insurrection that resulted in five deaths, the House Jan. 6 committee urged the Justice Department to bring criminal charges against the former president.

26.12.22: USA. The death toll of the exceptionally cold spell that has gripped many States has now passed 50, with 27 recorded in New York alone.

29.12.22: Brazil. The iconic Brazilian football player, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, has died of colon cancer aged 82.

Indonesian Parliament passing law
Indonesia’s parliament passes new criminal code that bans extramarital sex and punishes those who live together but are not married with up to one year in prison. Photo: The Official CTBTO Photostream/Flickr


06.12.22: Indonesia. Parliament voted unanimously to ban sex outside of marriage. The law will have to be approved by the president and may take months or even years to come into force; it will, however, affect foreign visitors as well as citizens.

Ulfatkhonim Mamadshoeva
Mamadshoeva, 65, is accused of conspiring against Tajik state and organizing a street protest. Photo: Frontline Defenders

09.12.22: Tajikistan. Prominent Pamiri civil society leaders, including journalist Ulfatkhonim Mamadshoeva, were sentenced to prison terms up to 21 years in the Gorno-Badakson Autonomous Oblast. The sentences were handed down despite a Human Rights Dialogue with the EU a few days earlier aimed at bolstering human rights.

14.12.22: Iran. The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) voted to remove Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) for the rest of its four-year term. The decision was reached in the light of the country’s crackdown on protests for justice and reform following the death in custody of Mahsa Amini.

14.12.22: Turkey. A court has sentenced Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu to jail for insulting public officials in a speech he made after winning the municipal election in Istanbul in 2019. The court also imposed a political ban on Imamoglu, who is viewed as a potential rival to President Tayyip Erdogan in the upcoming elections. The sentence and ban must be confirmed by an appeals court before they can be enforced.

16.12.22: Malaysia. A landslide at an illegal campsite north of Kuala Lumpur killed about 20 people as they slept; while many are still missing.

25.12.22: Nepal. Former Maoist leader, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who likes to go by his nom de guerre, Prachanda, meaning ‘fierce’, will be the new Prime Minister for the first half of the five-year term following a deal that was struck after last month’s elections resulted in a hung parliament. He has already held the office of PM on two previous occasions. 

28.12.22: Cambodia. About 20 people have died in a fire that swept through a hotel-casino in Poipet, on the border with Thailand.


Eva Kaili
Kaili’s arrest, a Vice President of the European Union parliament, caused a political uproar during Qatargate operations for her alleged involvement in flagrante delicto, her lawyers claim that she was coerced during interrogation. Photo: euranet_plus/Flickr

07.12.22: Germany.  Police have arrested twenty-five people from the extreme right, including aristocrat Heinrich XIII, as they were suspected of planning a coup that would have involved storming the Reichstag parliament building and seizing power.

09.12.22: EU. Eva Kaili, the Vice-President of the European Parliament has been arrested with five other suspects, accused of taking large amounts of money from Qatar in exchange for influencing EU decisions.

15.12.22: Slovakia. The coalition government led by Eduard Heger has lost a vote of no-confidence that was called by a former coalition partner, the Freedom and Solidarity party, which had pulled out of the government in September. The government was accused of losing its drive in tackling corruption. President Zuzana Caputova will either appoint a new prime minister, or ask Heger’s administration to remain in office until early elections can be held.

The AquaDom in Germany
The AquaDom, in 2005. Photo: Stefan Le Breton/Flickr

16.12.22: Germany. The AquaDom, an almost 16m high aquarium in the lobby of the Radisson Blu in Berlin, exploded injuring two people and killing about 1,500 tropical fish.

16.12.22: France. A fire in a residential building on the outskirts of Lyon left 10 people dead, half of whom were children.

29.12.22: UK. Vivienne Westwood, the fashion designer, businesswoman and activist, who played a major role in bringing modern punk and new wave fashions into the mainstream, has died in London aged 81.

31.12.22: The Vatican. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who was the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 19 April 2005 until his resignation on 28 February 2013 has died aged 95.


hand holding a cigarette
New Zealand raises smoking age to prevent under 14s from legally buying cigarettes, in world-first legislation to end smoking for the next generation. Photo: Greg Jordan/Flickr

13.12.22: New Zealand. The government has introduced a law to stop those aged 14 and under from ever being able to legally buy cigarettes, with the introduction of an annually rising smoking age, ensuring tobacco cannot be sold to anyone born on or after 1 January 2009.

24.12.22: Fiji. A coalition of parties voted to install Sitiveni Rabuka as the new prime minister after elections resulted in a hung parliament. The move spells the end of Frank Bainimarama’s 16 years in power following a coup in 2006.


09.12.22: The World Health Organisation published the Global antimicrobial resistance and use surveillance system (‎GLASS)‎ report: 2022, which paints a worrying picture of increased resistance to treatment with regards to common bacterial infections.

twitter app logo
57.5% of Twitter users vote for Musk to step down as CEO, no successor designated yet.

19.12.22: About 57.5% of Twitter users voted against Elon Musk’s staying on as Chief Executive of the social media platform. Earlier Musk had said that he would abide by the poll, although no successor has yet been publicly designated.

19.12.22: Huang Runqiu, the Chinese COP15 president, closed the proceedings in Montreal, Canada, with a deal to preserve the Earth’s biodiversity. The deal, however, was immediately called into question as it did not have the backing of all members, including that of the delegate of the Democratic Republic of the Congo that has one of the largest rainforests in the world. It was nevertheless allowed to stand after a flurry of diplomatic activity acknowledged the concerns, reservations and disagreements.


10 Antonio Guterres@0.5x edited
Antonio Guterres

“With our bottomless appetite for unchecked and unequal economic growth, humanity has become a weapon of mass extinction. We are treating nature like a toilet. And ultimately, we are committing suicide by proxy. Because the loss of nature and biodiversity comes with a steep human cost. A cost we measure in lost jobs, hunger, diseases and deaths.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his speech to the CO15 delegated on December 6, 2022.

“All the talk about migrants and corruption is just smoke and mirrors. The truth is that northern Europeans don’t want the Roma.”
24 Chasa, the Bulgarian daily newspaper on Austria’s veto blocking Bulgaria and Romania from being admitted to the Schengen area on December 8. Croatia, a popular tourist destination, was the only applicant admitted.

“Make no mistake, the European Parliament, dear colleague, is under attack. European democracy is under attack.”
President Roberta Metsola, while addressing the scandal involving parliamentary officials that erupted on December 9.

“You all are informed to implement the mentioned order of suspending education of females until further notice.”
The Minister for Higher Education, Neda Mohammad Nadeem, in a letter on December 20, ordering government and private universities to bar all women from university education.

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