‘Give peace a chance’, sang The Beatles.
And according to a latest study, it seems that it’s true as levels of peace around the world have improved slightly for the first time since the Syrian war began in 2012.
The Global Peace Index 2017, by the Institute of Economics and Peace has found that the global level of peace has improved slightly, by 0.28 per cent in score. A total of 93 countries improved, while 68 countries deteriorated.
Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, holding the position it has occupied since 2008. It is followed by New Zealand, Portugal, Austria and Denmark.
At the other end, Syria remains the least peaceful country in the world, joined by Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, and Yemen.
Here’s an overall look at the index scores, covering 99.7 per cent of the world’s population:
According to the study, Iceland maintained its position as the world’s most peaceful country, a title it has held since 2008, while New Zealand and Portugal replaced Denmark and Austria in second and third positions.
The study used 23 indicators to gauge ongoing domestic and international conflict, safety and security in society, and the degree of militarisation in countries and territories. As per this, Syria was ranked the least peaceful country, with Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen completing the bottom five.
The study shows that India is ranked at 137 out of 163 countries with a global peace index score of 2.541. The study states, "India has moved up four positions in the overall ranking from 141 to 137. This has largely been due to a reduction in level of violent crime, driven by increased law enforcement. Meanwhile, unrest in Kashmir in mid-2016 raised tensions between India and its neighbour Pakistan, with the number of deaths from external conflict increasing in both countries. The unresolved dispute over Kashmir remains the central issue in Indo-Pakistani relations."
The chart below shows the change of India's global peace index scores from 2008 to 2017. In 2008, India ranked 137 with a score of 2.437. India's score was the highest in 2011 at 2.699 with a rank of 144. In 2017, the score fell to 2.541 and it was ranked at 137.
The study found that there has been a fall in the number of lives lost to terrorism. This is the first drop since 2011 which is the year that corresponded with the start of the Syrian war and the start of ISIL’s territorial gains in Iraq.
In the diagram given below, the impact of terrorism on India is shown.
In the graph below are the countries which have been most affected by terrorism in 2017.
Looking at the economic impact of conflict, the global economic impact of violence was $14.3 trillion purchasing power parity in 2016 or 12.6 per cent of the world's GDP. That means the incidents of violence cost $5.40 (Rs 348) per day, per person globally.
(Please note the figures in the graph are in trillion dollars)
The single largest component was global military expenditure at $5.6 trillion PPP, or 39 per cent of the economic impact of violence in 2016.