Middle East is the Leader in Global Violence: Peace Index
According to the 2016 Global Peace Index, the world has become increasingly violent with conflict-related deaths at a 25-year high, terrorist attacks at an all-time high and more people displaced than at any time since World War Two.
The annual index, which measures 23 indicators including incidents of violent crime, countries’ levels of militarisation and weapons imports, said intensifying conflicts in the Middle East were mostly to blame.
Syria Seems to Be the Least Peaceful
The economic cost of violence over the past decade was $137 trillion– greater than the global GDP in 2015, the IEP showed.
More than 120,000 UN peacekeepers are currently deployed in 16 operations worldwide. The largest are in Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan’s Darfur region, South Sudan, Mali, Central African Republic and Lebanon.
Another improvement in peace is a 10 percent fall in global military spending in the last three years, IEP said.
Building Lasting Peace
Europe is the most peaceful region in the world, although the region’s peace score dropped in the wake of attacks in Paris and Brussels. Deaths from such attacks in Europe have more than doubled over the last five years.
Last year, world leaders agreed to “significantly reduce all forms of violence” by 2030 and find lasting solutions to conflict and insecurity, as part of a set of Sustainable Development Goals to fight inequality and extreme poverty.
Building lasting peace takes more than just improving security, Killelea said.
Iceland is the world’s most peaceful country listed in the index, followed by Denmark, Austria, New Zealand and Portugal.
The least peaceful country is Syria, followed by South Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.
(This article has been published as a special arrangement with Reuters)