The Cable

Here, Have Some 2017 New Year’s Resolutions, Countries

If the world follows these New Year’s resolutions, 2017 will be a lot less awful than 2016.

world-crop

As 2016 drags its miserable carcass across time’s cold, cruel finish line, many are left wondering if 2017 will bring more of the same, worse, or better.

In order to encourage the latter, Foreign Policy put together a list of New Year’s resolutions countries around the world can strive for in 2017, that they might not repeat the mistakes of this year past.

You’re welcome, world.

Austria: Resolve to keep not voting for members of a party that was literally founded by a Nazi shortly after World War II. Even if that party just got a bunch of money from Moscow.

China: Now that you’re the one calling for “responsible” global players, resolve to abide by international law in the South China Sea. You may want to move your sole aircraft carrier out of the area to make this easier for yourselves. Or maybe the missiles. Or the fishermen.

France: Resolve to take your upcoming elections seriously. Really. You all need to make a choice that’s in the best interest of your country’s — and Europe’s — future.

Germany: Same!

India: Resolve to keep up the good macro economic work, but this time maybe try not to cause a cash crisis for your citizens by making most cash in circulation worthless.

Japan: Resolve to finally sign that peace treaty with Russia to formally end World War II. You didn’t resolve that spat over the disputed islands this year, but maybe 2017 will be different.

NATO countries that are not currently paying the recommended 2 percent of GDP on defense (which is most of them): With President-elect Donald Trump’s suggestion that freeloaders won’t get protection, it is probably prudent to resolve to find a way to start paying something closer to 2 percent of GDP on defense.

New Zealand: Stock up on avocados to avoid another fruit shortage-fueled crime wave.

Pakistan: Please, we beg of you, resolve to not start a nuclear war over fake news. Or at all, really.

Poland: Resolve to respect your own constitution.

Romania: Well, your president just prevented your first ever female, Muslim prime minister from coming to power, so resolve to do something progressive in 2017.

Russia: Where to begin!? Resolve not to (allegedly) hack other countries’ elections. Resolve not to annex territory that is not yours. Resolve not to purge senior government officials in the dark of night. Resolve not to threaten journalists’ lives. Alternatively: You’re back! Resolve to enjoy it.

Turkey: Stop jailing journalists. You beat out China, Egypt, and Eritrea for the country with the most jailed journalists worldwide — a pretty dubious honor.

Ukraine: Resolve, finally, seriously this time — no, but for real — to fix the rampant corruption plaguing your government.

United Nations: Try to break that glass ceiling. And quit trying to rely on Wonder Woman to do it for you.

United Kingdom: You arguably threw your country’s global role off a cliff in 2016, so resolve to enjoy the fall.

United States: Resolve not to start a trade war. Or a nuclear war. Or the third Intifada. Or neuter the Federal Reserve. Or deport millions “immediately.” Or ignore climate change. Also, maybe start doing something about that fake news problem.

Photo credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Emily Tamkin is a foreign affairs reporter at BuzzFeed. She was a staff writer at Foreign Policy from 2016-2018. @emilyctamkin

Robbie Gramer is a diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy. @robbiegramer

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