Stories

A collection of commentaries on important events and trends
A collection of commentaries on important events and trends

Global Voices

Individuals of many cultures, nationalities, religions, and beliefs are actively involved with Initiatives of Change. These commentaries represent the views of the writer and not necessarily those of Initiatives of Change as a whole. If you would like to contribute a commentary, please email us. We welcome feedback that contributes to the stated aim of this website which is to build relationships of trust across the world's divides. The editors reserve the right to refuse contributions that use intemperate language or vilify others and which do not in our view encourage productive dialogue.

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Maria del Corral
06-Sep-2016

After four years of peace talks, and a lot of criticism from every side, official negotiators and FARC leaders have finally been able to reach a detailed agreement, which will allow FARC to abandon their armed fight and become a political party. However a democratic consultation has to be voted next October, to legalise the agreement... What makes this deal special, and perhaps hopeful, is that none of the previous attempts implied such a lengthy and detailed analysis and political and social debate, nor did they include such a wide array of influence from international guests from countries with similar armed conflicts and peace deals such as Ireland and South-Africa, plus the intervention of the UN both during the talks and during the post-conflict and disarmament period.

01-Aug-2016

With extremism of all kinds on the rise, it is important to ask why this is happening. Extremism in its most negative form is impacting our sense of safety and challenging our beliefs about what is right as well as who is right.

Shoufeng Hsu
07-Jul-2016

Hsu Shoufeng recently visited Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu. 'The breathtaking magnificence of the Great Wall was only more prominent in the chilling downpour. Back in my hotel, I finally managed to climb over the Great Firewall to access my Facebook and gmail accounts. I was amused by the contrast between these two walls: one built to stop Mongolian invaders from getting in, and the other to stop Chinese netizens from getting out.'

Mike Smith
24-Jun-2016

There needs to be a long period of salutary reflection following the UK's Brexit vote. There were clear regional differences. London voted 60 per cent in favour of Remain; Scotland and Northern Ireland also voted for Remain. The constitutional implications for the United Kingdom as a whole are now unclear. They and we Londoners have been overruled by large swathes of the rest of the UK. But what about the generational divide? Seventy-five per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds voted to remain inside the EU, according to a YouGov poll. It is not surprising if the Millennial generation, decades younger than myself and who have grown up as member of the EU with all the internationalism that that implies, now feel overruled--betrayed even--by an older generation who voted for Brexit.

Séverine Chavanne
23-Jun-2016

In Great Britain, the media has provided us with plenty of opportunities to explore both the Remain and Leave arguments, especially in terms of economy, immigration and sovereignty, so I won’t revisit these over-discussed issues. Instead, I will highlight how the EU (and we, its citizens) have lost sight of its initial vision, and how it is not meeting our aspirations and on occasion making many of us, European citizens, unhappy with it as it is now. But I would also like to share how I feel the way forward is more – and different – union of Europe.

Charles Danguy
21-Jun-2016

Charles Danguy from France has written this letter to his British friends, as we enter an important week for the United Kingdom and the European Union.