It’s no secret that the foreign-policy community is anxious about the coming Trump presidency, if only for the uncertainty. In many quarters the mood is, in a word, grim. But however the Trump administration plays out, there is much to feel positive about in global affairs these days. Despite the disasters in Syria and Venezuela, many things have gone well in the past 12 months. Here, in no particular order, is a short but certainly not exhaustive list of the bright spots for global politics.
Colombia. Yes, a failed vote on a peace deal this fall gave the country a case of the Brexits. But the cease-fire between rebels and the government has been extended, and the country's current and former presidents are working toward a new deal.
Cyprus. Another one in the almost-peace category: The two sides of the decades-divided island are within reach of a peace and reunification deal, according to the UN secretary-general. Despite the Turkish coup attempt—Ankara is the main backer of the isolated north—Cypriots on both sides have been pushing talks forward with an eye to a deal in 2016.
Antarctic Marine Area. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is visiting the Antarctic this week (what did he know?!) to celebrate the conclusion of a deal to designate a special marine reserve in the Ross Sea. Sounds like the type of thing Trump would rip up, right? Maybe, but the deal has a key backer: Russia, which vetoed it five times before deciding to make it happen this year.