The bottom line on Trump’s Kim Jong-un meeting, How the West should deal with the Russian nerve gas attack, Francis Fukuyama was wrong on liberal democracy, Australian gun control did stop mass killings, Gender equality is not a zero-sum game

A roundup of global commentary for the March 26, 2018 weekly magazine.

Toby Melville/Reuters/Pool/File
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May visits the city where former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with a nerve agent, in Salisbury, Britain March 15, 2018.

The Jordan Times / Amman, Jordan

The bottom line on Trump’s planned meeting with Kim Jong-un 

“It is finally happening, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will be meeting face-to-face in May after months ... of bellicose posturing that brought the world to the brink of a nuclear war...,” states an editorial. “Who or what gets the credit for these fast moving steps is open for conjecture. It could be the combination of several factors.... Trump may suggest that [it was] his hard line policy on Pyongyang.... Kim Jong-un can ... claim ... that [it was] his success in the missile and nuclear spheres.... Whatever are the reasons ... the main thing is to have President Trump meet face-to-face with Kim Jong-un and come up with a solution that may ... save the world a nuclear war.” 

The Guardian / London

How the West should deal with the Russian nerve gas attack

“The safety of the people is the highest law, said Cicero...,” writes Tony Brenton. “[I]t is a core duty of the British government to deal effectively with a nerve gas attack on our streets.... The authorities have swiftly identified the poison used in the attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal as Russian.... I was British ambassador in 2006 when Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned in Moscow.... We introduced sanctions.... With hindsight, those sanctions were not enough. We should be tougher this time.... We will need allied support to make an impact.... Finally, once we have responded forcefully and legitimately to the Salisbury provocation, ‘the safety of the people’ would be better guaranteed through cooperation than confrontation.” 

Times of India / Mumbai

Francis Fukuyama was wrong on the spread of liberal democracy

“Nobody got it more wrong than political philosopher Francis Fukuyama, who predicted at the end of the Cold War that liberal democracies were on a roll and illiberal regimes would be washed away by the tide of history,” states an editorial. “[Recently] the Chinese parliament reversed a 35-year-old rule limiting the president to two terms, handing virtually unlimited power to President Xi Jinping. Opposition to President Vladimir Putin is scarcely possible in Russia; Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has trampled democratic norms; Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi replaced a fledgling democracy with military rule.... Cyberwarfare and fake news plants to inflame India’s internal divisions ... are a distinct possibility. To combat this possibility, political parties must stop ... demonising everyone opposed to them.” 

The Sydney Morning Herald / Sydney, Australia

Australia’s gun control reforms did stop mass killings

“Just 12 days after the [1996] Port Arthur massacre [in Tasmania, Australia] where 35 died and another 23 were seriously injured, the Australasian Police Ministers’ Council adopted the National Firearms Agreement,” writes Simon Chapman. “The centrepiece ... was the outlawing from civilian ownership [of] rapid-firing, mass-killing machines.... Today, 22 years on, Australia still has not experienced a mass shooting.... [I]n the wake of the Parkland, Florida, school killings, The New York Times put the US National Rifle Association’s response to the Australian lesson this way: ‘Such episodes are rare enough that it would be statistically incorrect for gun control supporters to draw a cause-and-effect conclusion.... In research published [March 13] in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, [two colleagues and I] have tested this ‘rare events are still rare’ dismissal.... As our research shows, many lives have been saved.” 

The New Times / Kigali, Rwanda

Gender equality is not a zero-sum game

“International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8, is a worldwide event that celebrates women’s achievements, from political to social spheres, while calling for gender equality across [the] board...,” writes Fred K. Nkusi. “On Women’s Day we recognise the accomplishments of women, having moved forward in leaps and bounds over the decades. Apart from these accomplishments, we also recognise and celebrate our constitutional right to dignity, equality and fundamental freedoms – not necessarily as women or men, but as equals before the law and society. Gender equality is, however, not a zero-sum game – the ... realisation of the rights enshrined in international human rights instruments is a gain for all.” 

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