Austria, Japan, Mexico, Turkey, and Uganda assume their seats on the United Nations Security Council.
Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir is appointed as the new Prime Minister of Iceland, becoming the world's first openly lesbian head of government
The first trial at the International Criminal Court is held. Former Union of Congolese Patriots leader Thomas Lubanga is accused of training child soldiers to kill, pillage, and rape
Morgan Tsvangirai is sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Zimbabwe following the power-sharing deal with President Robert Mugabe signed in September, 2008
The President of Guinea-Bissau, João Bernardo Vieira, is assassinated during an armed attack on his residence in Bissaau
A 6.3 magnitude earthquake strikes near L'Aquila, Italy, killing nearly 300 and injuring more than 1,500
The Fourth East Asia Summit is postponed after Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva declares a state of emergency in Bangkokand surrounding areas
July 22 – The longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century, lasting up to 6 minutes and 38.8 seconds, occurs over parts of Asia and the
Pacific Ocean; it is figured to be the most widely observed total eclipse in human history.
Bolivia becomes the first South American country to declare the right of indigenous people to govern themselves
As a step toward total independence from the Kingdom of Denmark, Greenland assumes control over its law enforcement, judicial affairs, and natural resources. Greenlandic becomes the official language
An 8.3-magnitude earthquake triggers a tsunami near the Samoan Islands. Many communities and harbors in Samoa andAmerican Samoa are destroyed, and at least 189 are killed.
At the G-20 Pittsburgh summit, world leaders announce that the G-20 will assume greater leverage over the global economy, replacing the role of the G-8, in an effort to prevent another financial crisis like that in 2008
The Czech Republic becomes the final member-state of the European Union to sign the Treaty of Lisbon, thereby permitting that document's initiation into European law