The following is an excerpt from an article by George Arnett, published by The Guardian on 18 June 2014. The original article can be found here.
The world has become less peaceful each year since 2008 according to 2014’s Global Peace Index (GPI), put together by the Institute for Economics and Peace. The continued conflict in Syria, deteriorating situation in Ukraine and civil war in South Sudan helped contribute to the trend.
The last year’s fall in global peace was mostly attributable to drops in four of the 22 indicators used to put together the index: terrorist activity; number of internal and external conflicts fought; number of displaced people as a percentage of the population; and number of deaths from organised internal conflict. The ongoing civil war in Syria has made it into the world’s least peaceful nation, with the country dropping below Afghanistan who held the spot last year.
Just above those two is South Sudan, which registered the biggest fall in peace of any this year following the internal violence that began last December. It registered the worst score in several of the indicators including political instability and ease of access to small arms. South Sudan’s deterioration in peace was twice as bad as Egypt, the country judged to have the second biggest fall in the index. The internal violence in the Central African Republic and Ukraine also place them in the list of top fallers.
Georgia had the most improved score, suggesting ever-increasing stability as it continues to recover from its 2008 conflict with Russia. It showed higher levels of both internal and external peace, with relations even beginning to thaw with Russia itself. Ivory Coast and Libya were second and third most improved respectively, with both countries emerging from conflict in the past few years.
The top five most peaceful nations were completely unchanged from the previous year’s study, with Denmark, Austria, New Zealand and Switzerland again runners up to Iceland. Europe remained the most peaceful region as a whole although the United Kingdom ranked 47th, France 48th and Turkey 128th. Continue reading here.