The world's most shameful events in 2009

Two weeks ago, readers sent in nominations for the "2009 Humanity's Shame List", a Top-10 highlighting the last year's events we, humanity as a whole, should be ashamed of.

I pulled all suggestions into a poll and for one week, readers could vote on this post. A total of 299 votes were cast before the deadline of Dec 31st midnight.

So without further delay, here are

The Top-10 "Shames on Humanity":

1st place:
the Gaza blockade, implemented by Israel and Egypt and endorsed by most governments, collectively punishes 1.5 million refugees by inhibiting education, reconstruction, health and nutrition to allow the people to break out of a vicious circle of abuse. Hamas is cruelly and strategically using the Gaza situation to its political advantage. Israel used the highest grade weaponry to indiscriminately kill civilians, target aid organisations and schools.

2nd place:
World hunger:
We allowed a record of 1 billion people to go hungry, while the world is producing sufficient food.

3rd & 4th place are shared between the US and DRC:
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC):
The international community ignored the widespread violence against civilians, mostly women and children. Meanwhile the largest UN Peacekeeping force in the world was unable to make a significant difference in the world's biggest human catastrophy.
US: Continued their short sighted armed interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, plunging any country they touch, into chaos. Further mixing humanitarian and military causes, continues to put the lives of aidworkers at stake.

5th place:
Where the world's political leaders failed to come up with a significant agreement to protect the environment.

6th and 7th place: shared between Sudan and the international community: (how ironic)
The international community failed to execute the international arrest warrant for the Sudanese President, accused of genocide and crimes against humanity. Non-action allowed the Darfur genocide to continue, tolerated the expulsion of a dozen NGOs on allegations of spying. Meanwhile Khartoum arms fractions in South Sudan, preparing for a new war.
The international community: for being schizophrenic at the cost of human suffering in Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, DRC, Myanmar and so on, and so on.

8th place:
GMO seed and food market manipulation:
Monsanto and Cargill further monopolized the seed market, using the US government to introduce GMO food and seeds into developing countries. Shame on Monsanto for single-handedly causing the autumn corn harvest in South Africa to fail.

9th, 10th and 11th place:
ex aequo Somalia, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan
The international community failed to stop the politicization of the civil war, with the US through its proxy Ethiopia, and some Arab states through their proxy Eritrea who did nothing but put oil on the fire. Meanwhile the donor community failed to provide sufficient aid to sustain the feeding centers and refugee camps.
The international community failed to pressure Zimbabwe's government to provide sufficient social security, social safety nets and proper social welfare to its citizens, turning what once was the breadbasket of Sub-saharan Africa, into a well of hunger and human suffering.
The international community and the UN underestimated the level of corruption during the elections, trying to cover it up while supporting Karzai, ignoring all reports of large scale fraud.

Here are the results, sorted by number of votes:

Nominee Votes
Palestine (Gaza blockade, Israeli attacks, Hamas politics) 35
World Hunger (over 1 billion hunger) 22
Democratic Republic of Congo (violence against civilians) 21
USA (wars in Iraq, Afghanistan) 21
Copenhagen Climate Summit (summit failure) 19
Sudan (violence against civilians, Darfur and South Sudan wars) 16
The international community (non-action) 16
GMO seed and food market manipulation 14
Afghanistan (corruption, failed elections) 13
Somalia (civil war) 13
Zimbabwe (failing social system) 13
Sri Lanka (civil war, crimes against humanity) 10
Pakistan (war in Swat, suicide attacks) 10
China (bypassing arms embargoes) 9
Iran (post-election violence) 9
LRA (violence against civilians) 9
Aid Agencies (failure of accountability) 9
Neocolonialism (land hogging in Africa) 8
Ethiopia (famine, civil war) 7
North Korea (civil rights) 6
Guinee (violence against civilians) 5
ASEAN (human rights) 3
Belgium (failure to cater for homeless) 2
Other answers... 9

Let's hope that 2010 will mean a fresh start for a better year. A year we, humanity as a whole can be proud of.

I know, I will be an optimist until the day I die...


John Jacobs,  05 January, 2010 13:48  

Lets hope 2010 brings a struggle to find 10 candidates. More than that, lets not lose hope, that would be the biggest shame of all.

Anonymous,  05 January, 2010 15:15  

What was 4th place?

Peter 05 January, 2010 15:33  

@John: let's hope!

@anonymous: 3rd and 4th were shared. I made it clearer in the post now.. Was a bit confusing, indeed.


Andrew Johnson 08 January, 2010 00:30  

Issues popular with the media will receive votes.. But for me one of the greatest shames is the on-going 47 years of US mining & sponsored genocide in West Papua. That's West Papua the nation, not the Indonesian province; the nation that held national elections in January 1961 and which the Netherlands traded like cattle to Indonesia for benefit of the New York Agreement.

John F Kennedy did not know about Papua's vast gold & copper wealth, but the Freeport corporation did, and it was Freeport director Robert Lovett who asked JFK to appoint McGeorge Bundy as the US National Security Adviser. Using the Cold-War & now the War on Terrorism, the US has maintained that it has been moral to support the mining & Indonesian genocide of West Papuan tribal nations.

Brian Barder 10 January, 2010 19:36  

What's this about a civil war in Ethiopia?

Peter 10 January, 2010 21:22  

@Brian: the conflict in Ogaden

Anonymous,  16 January, 2010 15:22  

Where's Haiti in this list??

John Bent 17 January, 2010 22:42  

Yes Haiti should be in the list as most of the countries just ignoring the big loss..

Noor al Haqiqa 23 January, 2010 02:36  

IGNORING Palestine goes on. Israel floods Palestine when the quakes destroy Haiti. No one even HEARS of Palestine because all are focused on Haiti. There is need in Haiti and the world works on it but they STILL ignore Palestine.

One thing of your list, the continued theft of body parts around the world. The worst countries are Israel, Pakistan and Moldavia. This is NOT a fantasy. It is real, very real. And you can bet some of that Israel is not being completely humanitarian in its work in Haiti.


Unknown 06 February, 2010 15:55  

Nothing will get better unless people repent and accept Jesus as their Savior and God. Man will only keep ruining this world, because man is full of sin. So don't expect that 2010 will be any better, because man just keeps "doing" things on his own and not following the Almighty God.

ecoptimism,  14 July, 2010 23:19  

Congo worse than Darfur?

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