Global Newsstand: The end of the INF Treaty is a global concern, and more

A roundup of global commentary for the Feb. 4, 2019 weekly magazine.

Russian Defense Ministry Press Service/AP/File
A Russian Iskander-K missile is launched during a military exercise at a training ground at the Luzhsky Range, near St. Petersburg, Russia, in this undated file photo obtained Sept. 19, 2017.

The Globe and Mail / Toronto

The end of the INF Treaty is a global concern

“The world is about to lose one of the most important nuclear disarmament agreements ever made – and distressingly, Canada is silent,” write Ernie Regehr and Douglas Roche. “The 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, signed by then-U.S. president Ronald Reagan and former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev, marked the beginning of the end of the Cold War.... The stakes are very high.... This is not simply a European or U.S.-Russia matter. Canada definitely has a stake in averting the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the use of any nuclear weapon. As the great Canadian diplomat George Ignatieff once said, ‘No incineration without representation....’ Silence is an abrogation of responsibility.”

Business Day / Johannesburg, South Africa

The world needs to include Africa in the next industrial revolution

“The theme for this year’s edition of the World Economic Forum ... is ‘Globalisation 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution’...,” writes Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. “There is no question that the fourth industrial revolution is upon us.... The biggest unknown is the size of the seismic change ahead of us and its impact on the developing world, particularly the African continent. The disruptions that digital technology will bring are expected across industries.... Previous industrial revolutions heightened and increased regional divisions and marginalised the most vulnerable societies in the world. It is imperative that governments shape the current globalisation trends to ensure inclusivity and fairness of the fourth industrial revolution through collaboration and partnerships.”

Dawn / Karachi, Pakistan

Removing US forces from Afghanistan will have to be done delicately

“Expectations of an end to America’s long military adventure in Afghanistan have unleashed multiple moves to shape the country’s future,” writes Munir Akram. “Current diplomacy may lead to either a political settlement which brings a semblance of peace to Afghanistan and the region or a unilateral or disorderly US-Nato withdrawal which sets the stage for the next iteration of Afghanistan’s 40-year civil war.... An interim or neutral government in Kabul, pending presidential polls, accompanied by a time-bound ceasefire, may provide the space for an intra-Afghan agreement on a power-sharing formula as well as an orderly withdrawal of US-Nato forces from Afghanistan.”

The Chosun Ilbo / Seoul, South Korea

Lack of Trump-Moon rapport could threaten South Korean security

“China and North Korea showed off their rock-solid alliance with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s latest trip to Beijing...,” states an editorial. “The two are standing shoulder-to-shoulder because they hope for a reduced U.S. military presence in South Korea.... U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis has stepped down.... Without the ‘adult in the room,’ [President] Trump could end up wreaking havoc on South Korea’s national security.... But while Kim and [Chinese President Xi Jinping] put on a big show of friendship, and friendly letters were exchanged between Trump and Kim and [South Korean President Moon Jae-in], there has been no news of any engagement between the leaders of South Korea and the U.S.”

The Daily Star / Dhaka, Bangladesh

Retailers are unnecessary middlemen in the path from factory to consumer

“Apparel supplier factories everywhere in the world are operating in a hugely competitive market where buyers hold all the cards...,” writes Mostafiz Uddin. “After [the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse] when global apparel brands and retailers were under intense scrutiny, there is evidence to show they still continued to drive suppliers down on ... prices.... [I]t is time for apparel factories to think outside the box.... What if ... factories could sell their products directly to consumers using smart digitisation technology and through creation of their own brands? Such a strategy brings many potential benefits – better margins, faster way to reach market, and less waste are three of the most obvious advantages.”

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