Adressing the global refugee crisis, Kenya's role in Somalia, negotiating with North Korea, Afghanistan and Pakistan unite against terror

A round-up of global commentary for the May 4, 2015 weekly magazine.

Ciro De Luca/Reuters
A migrant sits after been disembarking from the Italian Navy ship Chimera in the southern harbour of Salerno April 22, 2015. The EU must coordinate efforts to resettle refugees and regulate migrant mobility if the deaths by sea are to stop, François Crépeau, UN special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, told The Guardian in an interview.

The Age / Melbourne, Australia
Addressing global refugee crises through international cooperation
Jane McAdam, law professor at the University of New South Wales, Australia, writes, “As the head of the British Refugee Council said: ‘People fleeing atrocities will not stop coming if we stop throwing them life-rings.... The answer isn’t to build the walls of fortress Europe higher; it’s to provide more safe and legal channels for people to access protection.’ As long as asylum policies are conditioned on national interests, we will never achieve a sufficiently harmonised approach to the global reality of displacement. International co-operation, not unilateralism, is the only way forward.”

Spiegel Online / Hamburg, Germany
Europe should create better asylum procedures
“The mass deaths of refugees at Europe’s external borders are no accidents – they are the direct result of European Union policies...,” writes German journalist Maximilian Popp. “European politicians lament the refugee drama. But then they continue to seal the borders – the very act which is the precondition for the disaster. The leaders of the EU member states and their interior ministers can no longer be allowed to continue to get away with the status quo.... The EU should create asylum procedures at the embassies of its member states in the same way Switzerland has done. This would mean that in the future, refugees could apply for asylum at the embassies of EU member states outside of Europe. This would spare them the potentially deadly path across the borders.”

The Standard / Nairobi, Kenya
Kenya’s dilemma: to pull troops out of Somalia or not
“The debate on calls to pull Kenyan troops out of Somalia after the massacre of 148 Garissa University College students by Al-Shabaab terrorists has gathered pace and is influenced by partisan politics,” states an editorial. “Government supporters say pulling the Kenya Defence Forces ... out of the troubled ... nation will not halt terror attacks in Kenya and will only undermine national security. But many in the Opposition argue the troops’ presence in Somalia has become costly, both in lives lost and materially, while moderates advocate for a review of military strategy while keeping boots on the ground.... Siaya Senator James Orengo said history shows that even powerful countries like the US withdrew troops from hotspots like Afghanistan and Iraq. ‘We know very well the consequences of war of occupation and it will cost us...,’ he said.”

The Japan Times / Tokyo
‘Obama Doctrine’: Is there hope for negotiating with North Korea?
“The most important question for a national decision maker is not how or when to intervene in a conflict, but how to end one ... and ensure that national interests are met,” states an editorial. “It is a lesson that [President] Obama has been forced to focus upon because his predecessors did not take it to heart.... Obama has aimed to reset relations with Russia, attempted to forge a more durable relationship with China and has now reached out to Iran and Cuba. The one significant omission from this list is North Korea. In fact, however, the Obama administration reached out to Pyongyang and even appeared to have succeeded with the Leap Day agreement of February 2012. That deal collapsed within two weeks ... after the North violated its terms by launching a satellite.... Washington has signaled that it is ready to resume a dialogue with North Korea.... Hopefully success with Iran and Cuba will remind Pyongyang of the possibilities if it honors its promises.”

Dawn / Karachi, Pakistan
A call for an Afghan-Pakistani united front against terrorism
“Thanks to the US-sponsored jihad against the Soviet forces, the [Pakistan-Afghanistan] re­gion has become a familiar stomping ground for insurgents and obscurantists of all hues,” writes Kabul-based Pakistani journalist S. Mudassir Ali Shah. “Afghan, Pakistani, Chechen, Uzbek and Arab guerrillas have literally held the two nations hostage.... If Pakistan and Afghanistan join hands against terrorists and focus on sustained good-neighbourly relations, the region can be assured of a stable security environment....”

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