Fernando Vergara/AP
A boy shows his hand with the word "yes" in Spanish painted in the colors of the Colombian flag, in Bogotá, Sept. 30, 2016. Days later, a peace deal between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia was narrowly rejected in a referendum.

Let ‘Brexit’ begin, weighing up the death penalty, stopping the violence in Burundi, what a Trump administration could mean, Colombia's quest for peace

A roundup of global commentary for the Oct. 17, 2016 weekly magazine.

Prospect / London

Let 'Brexit' begin

“I am enthusiastic and optimistic about Britain’s prospects outside the [European Union],” writes Gerald Howarth, member of Parliament for the Conservative Party. “I and my colleagues in ‘Leave Means Leave’ want to see our departure secured as swiftly as possible, partly to maintain faith with the electorate but also because we know industry and commerce want certainty.... Current discussion seems to centre on whether we should ... remain members of the ‘single market’.... As for free movement of people, that is simply non-negotiable; the people of Britain voted for control of their borders under arrangements agreed by their sovereign Parliament.... [Prime Minister] Theresa May has already shown her commendable mettle of boldness. There is much to do, and we need to get the formula right, but we cannot allow discussions to drag on.”

The Straits Times / Singapore

Weighing up the death penalty

“In clockwork fashion since 2008, the United Nations General Assembly has deliberated every two years the question of a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, with a view to abolishing it,” writes Eugene K.B. Tan, associate professor of law at the Singapore Management University School of Law. “As the death penalty remains in our statutes, Singapore is a prominent retentionist state in the serious debate on the death penalty.... Singapore has not ignored or disregarded the international developments. While there is still no international consensus against the death penalty, the list of abolitionist states grows slowly but surely, suggesting that there might be inexorable movement towards its abolition.”

The East African / Nairobi, Kenya

Stopping the violence in Burundi

“On September 20, the United Nations released a report saying that agents of the Burundi government were involved in systematic gross human rights violations, torture and executions,” writes Christopher Kayumba of the University of Rwanda. “The report added that in ‘some instances... those gross human rights violations amount to crimes against humanity’ and that ‘Given the country’s history, the danger of genocide also looms large’.... [N]ow that the UN has publicly acknowledged that crimes against humanity may have been committed and genocide a high possibility, will the UN and the international community act?... [T]he precedent in Burundi is that once regional powerbrokers – Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda – unambiguously line [up] behind negotiations, protagonists normally listen and buy into the initiative.”

The Sydney Morning Herald / Sydney, Australia

What a Trump administration could mean

“Trump unloaded on America’s allies during the candidates debate, reprising a complaint he’s made before. ‘We defend countries,’ Trump fumed, but ‘they do not pay us...,’ ” writes Daniel Flitton. “In foreign policy circles there are hopes – perhaps wishful thinking – that serious people will be appointed to temper his administration.... Australia’s leaders like to boast that over the 65-year history of the [Australia, New Zealand, and United States Security Treaty], we’ve fought in every major war alongside Americans.... [T]he alliance with the US has won Australia influence in turn.... But all that might change if the Australian people decide the next big threat to be Trump’s America.”

El Mercurio / Santiago, Chile

Colombia's quest for peace

“Colombia and the international community were surprised by the unexpected result of the referendum on the peace agreement with the FARC guerrillas...,” states an editorial. “The now-senator [Álvaro Uribe, ex-president and vocal critic of the accords] knows he has a good opportunity to introduce changes and renegotiate the agreement, something that before the referendum was not an option.... The one whose duty it is to find a way to rescue the situation is President [Juan Manuel] Santos, who has gambled his political capital on achieving an end to the conflict.”

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Let ‘Brexit’ begin, weighing up the death penalty, stopping the violence in Burundi, what a Trump administration could mean, Colombia's quest for p...
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today