Climate change presents us with a choice, Seeking an end to the Ukrainian conflict, Balancing Beijing’s displeasure and missile defense, The people should be consulted on ‘Brexit’, The importance of girls’ education

A roundup of global commentary for the March 20, 2017, weekly magazine.

Efrem Lukatsky/AP
People pass by a tank in Kiev that has been used by pro-Russian separatists in the country's east and then brought to the Ukrainian capital as a symbol of the current conflict, February, 2015.

La Tercera / Santiago, Chile

Climate change presents us with a choice

“Climate change today constitutes a threat to the well-being of our country, and not to confront it would be to put at risk the future of our children...,” writes Marcelo Mena, Chile’s vice minister of the environment. “The challenge that remains for us [in Chile] is in transportation, which accounts for 28.9 percent of our emissions.... The green tax means that vehicles will become more efficient, but it’s clear that public transport is the way forward.... We have two choices. We can ignore climate change and bear witness each successive year to our sputtering growth, or we can seize this as an opportunity to create a more inclusive and sustainable society, with clean energy and transport.”

The Moscow Times / Moscow

Seeking an end to the Ukrainian conflict

“The United Nations International Court of Justice [recently] began hearings for Ukraine’s lawsuit against Russia...,” writes Nikolai Epple. “Ukraine (as the plaintiff) requests that the court demand Russia exert greater control over the border.... Ukraine also requests that the court demand Russia stop discriminating against Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians in Crimea.... Russia cannot be forced to execute a decision of the court because it can block the ruling at the UN Security Council. But a long public discussion of the Ukrainian lawsuit in the International Court of Justice might prove a very effective PR campaign in the promotion of Kiev’s political interests.”

The Korea Times / Seoul, South Korea

Balancing Beijing’s displeasure and missile defense

“The [South Korean] government and the ruling party [have] agreed ... to consider filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization over Beijing’s economic sanctions against Seoul’s deployment of a U.S. missile defense system...,” states an editorial. “Some Korean companies fear that Seoul’s legal actions might irritate Beijing and backfire.... What is certain is that Korea must not respond in kind even though China is stubborn. It is necessary to refrain from emotional responses and persuade China to comply with our decision logically. It’s long overdue to minimize China risks by diversifying our export markets and foreign visitors. If these attempts come to a successful close, the latest [missile shield] conflict with China will turn out to be a blessing in disguise.”

The Independent / London

The people should be consulted on ‘Brexit’

“What does the [British] public want from Brexit?...” asks an editorial. “There is ... a substantial majority either for simply continuing membership [in the European Union] or for additional rounds of renegotiation until Parliament is content with the deal that [Prime Minister] Theresa May and her ministers manage to agree [to].... The wider point, that no one knows what the terms of a new deal may be, and thus were not in a position to pass judgement last June [in the referendum on leaving the EU], is ... underlined by our poll.... Through their representatives in the House of Commons, or directly through a referendum on the terms of Brexit, they have the right to be consulted on this most momentous of changes.”

This Day / Lagos, Nigeria

The importance of girls’ education

“About 60 per cent of [out-of-school children in Nigeria] are girls...,” states an editorial. “[T]he unsuitability of sanitary facilities, such as water and toilets contribute to keeping girls away from school.... Early marriage has also been identified as a major mitigating factor.... While the government has been making efforts to reduce illiteracy rates ... it is obvious that such efforts are not enough.... The benefits of keeping the girl child in school are enormous. Education empowers them to claim their rights, besides preparing them for leadership role[s] in society.... An educated woman is also likely to ensure some basic level of education for her children, leading to a reduction in national illiteracy rates, and poverty levels in the long term.”

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