This years’ edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI) for 2011 suggest that the world has become slightly less peaceful in the past year. The deterioration is smaller than that which occurred between the 2009 and 2010 editions of the GPI, when some nations experienced an intensification of conflicts and growing instability linked to rapid rises in food, fuel and commodity prices and the global economic downturn.
The 2011 GPI, which gauges ongoing domestic and international conflict, safety and security in society and militarisation in 153 countries, registered overall score increases for several indicators, the largest of which were in the potential for terrorist acts and the likelihood of violent demonstrations.
The indicator showing the most substantial year-on-year score decline (improvement) was military expenditure as a percentage of GDP, reflecting the impact of the global financial and economic crisis on defence budgets. While several countries experienced improved levels of peacefulness that appear to be linked with their economic recoveries, others, notably those in North Africa and the Middle East that have been swept up in the political turmoil of the “Arab Spring”, have experienced sharp falls in their peacefulness.
This is the fifth edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI). It has been expanded to rank 153 independent states and updated with the latest-available figures and information. The index is composed of 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from respected sources, which combine internal and external factors ranging from a nation’s level of military expenditure to its relations with neighbouring countries and the level of respect for human rights. These indicators were selected by an international panel of academics, business people, philanthropists and members of peace institutions.
Ghana scores 1.75 making it to be the 42nd Peaceful country in the world and 3 rd in Sub saharan Africa whilst Botswana leads at the number 1 peaceful country in Sub Saharan Africa and Malawi leads the chart ahead of Ghana with 1.69 and 1.74.
As before, we have explored the possibility of correlations between the GPI and other economic and societal indicators – including measures of democracy and transparency, education and material wellbeing. The GPI brings a snapshot of relative peacefulness among nations while continuing to contribute to an understanding of what factors help create or sustain more peaceful societies.
The GPI was founded by Steve Killelea, an Australian international technology entrepreneur and philanthropist. It forms part of the Institute for Economics and Peace, a global think tank dedicated to the research and education of the relationship between economic development, business and peace. The GPI is collated and calculated by the Economist Intelligence Unit, with whom this report is written in co-operation.
If the word had been 25% more peaceful over the past year there would have been an economic impact of US$2 trillion to the global economy .If the world had been 25% more peaceful over the past year the global economy would have reaped an additional economic benefit of just over US$2 trillion. This amount would pay for the 2% of global GDP per annum investment estimated by the Stern Review to avoid the worst effects of climate change, cover the cost of achieving the Millennium Development Goals, eliminate the public debt of Greece, Portugal and Ireland, and address the one-off rebuilding costs of the most expensive natural disaster in history – the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
For the fifth consecutive year, Western Europe is the most peaceful region with the majority of countries ranking in the top 20. Four Nordic countries are ranked in the top ten
North America demonstrated a slight improvement since last year Canada (8) jumped 6 places in this year’s rankings whereas the US’s (82) overall score remained unchanged although its ranking improved from 85th to 82nd.
Full report can be found at : http://www.visionofhumanity.org/info-center/global-peace-index-2011/
Presented by Own Correspondent /Peterking Quaye