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Index indicates declining global peace

May 27, 2011

Published by the Institute for Economics & Peace, Global Peace Index 2011 reveals that the world had become less peaceful for the third year in a row. The index emphasises that terrorism continues to be a threat for global peace.

Global Peace Index, 2011

Published by: Institute for Economics & Peace

The Global Peace Index, is out and sees dramatic falls in middle east countries after the Arab spring - and unexpected rises in others.

Published by the Institute for Economics & Peace, the index tries to measure peace. This year has seen the world become less peaceful for the third year in a row - and highlights what it says is a continuing threat of terrorism.

It's made up of 23 indicators, ranging from a nation's level of military expenditure to its relations with neighbouring countries and the level of respect for human rights. The index has been tested against a range of potential "drivers" or determinants of peace—including levels of democracy and transparency, education and national wellbeing. The data comes from various sources, including the International Institute for Strategic Studies, The World Bank, various bits of the UN offices and Peace Institutes and the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The index provides a unique insight into peace around the world. The 2011 data shows that:

• Libya (143) saw the most significant drop – falling 83 places; Bahrain (123) dropped by 51 places – the second largest margin; while Egypt (73) dropped 24 places

• Despite the decade long War on Terror, the likelihood of terrorist attacks has increased in the past year in 29 countries

• Levels of military expenditure as a % of GDP are down and relations between neighbouring states have improved

• 40% of the world's least peaceful countries, including Sudan (151) and Somalia (153) at the bottom, are in Sub-Saharan Africa

• Iraq is no longer at the bottom, for the first time in five years

Intriguingly, the index also finds the monetary value of peace: they estimate that for 2010, the world could have saved $8.12tn from the cessation of violence.

Even at the most peaceful end, there have been changes. The UK was ranked 26th, up from 31st in 2010 and 49th when the GPI was first compiled in 2007. Ireland was in 11th place, compared to 15th for Germany, 36th for France and 82nd for the USA. Iceland returned to the top spot as most peaceful country in the world, after dropping in the rankings in 2009 and 2010 because of violent demonstrations linked to the collapse of its financial system.

Source : Guardian
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