June 18, 2015
The Global Peace Index (GPI) is implemented by organization called Vision of Humanity, which groups together a number of interrelated initiatives focused on global peace. As its mission Visions of Humanity brings a strategic approach to raising the world’s attention and awareness around the importance of peacefulness to humanity’s survival in the 21st century. Now on May Vision of Humanity published its new edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI). It has been expanded to rank 162 independent states and updated with the latest-available figures and information for 2013-14.
The index is composed of 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from respected sources, which combine internal and external factors, such as violent crime, political stability and military expenditure, correlated against a number of social development indicators such as corruption, freedom of the press, respect for human rights and school enrolment rates and relations with neighbouring countries. These indicators were selected by an international panel of academics, business people, philanthropists and members of peace institutions.
- Vision of humanity, its expert panel and GPI are representing mainly western methodology, approach and values
- GPI is based to data available of different indicators and as such a compromise
- The 2015 scores are based information collected mainly information for 2013-2014 so there is some delay
With these reservations I however find GPI both interesting and useful and anyway I haven’t seen any better global survey.
To the table below I have collected the GPI rankings from the Balkans and Eastwards on countries analysed in 2015 report. In addition I have included to table also top-3 and worst-3 countries, the BRIC countries and USA. Besides 2015 ranking I show also rankings and score in 2010 [when available] to see trend during last years as this may help to track when and how some countries become more or less peaceful. Countries most at peace are ranked first. My source – Vision of Humanity Org, GPI results, full list of 149 countries, methodology and other explanations and scores per country/indicator can be found from here! Besides my table one can also explore the data on the interactive Global Peace Index map.
- Since last year, 81 countries have become more peaceful, while 78 have deteriorated.
- Many countries in Europe, the world’s most peaceful region, have reached historically high levels of peace. 15 of the 20 most peaceful countries are in Europe.
- Also Balkans has bacome more peaceful as all countries of this region made better ranks between positions Slovenia – 15 to Macedonia (FYROM) -71.
- All ranks of BIRC countries as well USA went down.
- In general the world is less peaceful today than it was in 2008. The indicators that have deteriorated the most are the number of refugees and IDPs, the number of deaths from internal conflict and the impact of terrorism. Last year alone it is estimated that 20,000 people were killed in terrorist attacks up from an average of 2,000 a year only 10 years ago.
- Due to an increase in civil unrest and terrorist activity, the Middle East and North Africa is now the world’s least peaceful region for the first time since the Index began. The best in Mideast ranks was Jordan -71 following Saudi Arabia -95, Egypt -137, Iran -138, Lebanon -145, Israel -150 and on the bottom Iraq -161 and Syria -162.
- The country that suffered the most severe deterioration in peace was Libya, which now ranks 149th of 162 countries. Ukraine suffered the second largest deterioration, from 97 to 150: following a revolution which brought down the administration of Viktor Yanukovych, Russia supported regions of East Ukraine agains Kiev regime, meaning it scored poorly on organised conflict indicators.
- Globally the intensity of internal armed conflict has increased dramatically, with the number of people killed in conflicts rising over 3.5 times from 49,000 in 2010 to 180,000 in 2014.
- The economic impact of violence reached a total of US$14.3 trillion or 13.4% of global GDP last year.
Peace and global challenge
“The world is over-armed and peace is under-funded” (Ban Ki-moon )
Related to the economic impact of violence one esily can see that peace has also its monetary value in terms of business growth and economic development. However also war has its monetary value and in short term business – especially inside military-industrial-complex – world the profits from war can be more attracting than those from peace. In my previous articles “Arms Trade: The Crux Of The MIC“, “BTW MIC Still Rules“ and “Peacemaking – How about solving Conflicts too?”.
Global challenges, such as climate change, decreasing biodiversity, lack of fresh water and overpopulation, call for global solutions and these solutions will require co-operation on a global scale unparalleled in history. Peace is the essential prerequisite because without it the level of needed co-operation, inclusiveness and social equity necessary to solve these challenges will not be achieved. The big challenge at global, regional and state level is to strengthen factors – or “drivers” of peace in social structures and attitudes.