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Date [ 2014-06-27, 05:00 ]

Peace has now been given quantified measurements.

Iceland the most peaceful country in the world.

(Kuala Lumpur=Koreanpress) Azmi Anuar= ‘PEACE’ - a word that is so often used, that it has lost its true meaning. The world's leading measure of national peacefulness, the Global Peace Index (GPI) measures peace according to 22 qualitative and quantitative indicators.

The GPI measures the state of peace in 162 countries. The index uses qualitative and quantitative data to gauge all levels of peace. The GPI Report provides an analysis of the data, identifying trends in peaceover time, the key drivers of peace and an economic calculation of the impact of violence to the global economy.

Peace is one of the most used words in the human language, but how much do we know about peace?Thus the Global Peace Index was created to position countries according to the level of peace they enjoyed. In the process a lot more details can be discovered about its governments, institutions and structures which make up its society.

On the hole, it is a discovery of the attitude of the country. Is it belligerent or peaceful? Without peace, modern society will not be able to progress any further,Eight essential pillars for peace have been identified. These are strongly interrelated and can and do affect one another. The pillars are sound business environment, a well-functioning government, an equitable distribution of resources, a free flow of information, very low levels of corruption, acceptance and respect of the rights of others, very high levels of education andmaintaining good relations with neighbouring countries.

Thus the Global Peace Index is positioning itself as the world's leading measure of peacefulness. It gauges the level of safety and security in a society, the extent of domestic or international conflicts, and how much it arms itself.

Peace is not really an abstract concept. It relates directly to everyone who is living on this planet. A raging forest fire in the Australian bushlands can affect fishing in the Pacific Islands. A nuclear leak in a reactor in Japan can make many fall sick in China. The countries on a world map are no more isolated entities, their borders closed to the outside world. Do so and the outside world is sure to intrude sooner or later. Thus maintaining PEACE is the responsibility of all of us.
 
A quick peek at the GPI shows the most peaceful country in the world is Iceland, followed by Denmark and New Zealand. That giant and world leader, the US, is in an embarrassing 99th position out of a total of 162 countries.

The most peaceful region of the world continues tobe Europe while the least peaceful region is South Asia.Afghanistan this year returns to the bottom of the GPI, partlydue to increases in political instability and terrorist activity. Itreplaces Somalia which experienced a slightly more peacefulyear and moved up from the lowest position in the GPI for thefirst time in two years.

Libya experienced the greatest improvement in its score,with a newly elected government and recovering institutionsfollowing the turmoil of the recent revolution and civil war. It however is still lowly ranked. No surprise that Syria’s descent into civil war hasresulted in not only the largest deterioration of the year, butalso the largest the GPI-score deterioration in the history of theIndex.

This has been followed by Cote d’Ivoire registering the second-most substantialdecline in peace while Burkina Faso suffered the third-largestdeterioration. These two countries are however by no meansindicative of Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole.

Other factors which accounted for a slide down the GPI wasthe escalation of the drug war in Central America; continued deterioration of peace in Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

There was trouble in European countries as well with violent demonstrations due to the economicdownturn in a number of European countries such as Greece.

On the positive side, the improvements in peace were mainly driven by declining rates of homicide in the US, Western and Eastern Europe. The scaling down of military operations inIraq and Afghanistan which resulted in less deaths on the battlefields, also helped...

Another bright spark is the lowering of the Political Terror Scale. This is an indicator measuring the presenceof state or government sponsored violence and terror. This aspect has decreased across the world. The exceptions being South Asia, Russia and Eurasia.

All the regions of the world have recorded declines in peacesince 2008, other than North America which has remainedstatic. Whilst regions like Europe and Asia-Pacific have seenvery small decreases in their GPI score, Russia, Eurasia, the Middle East, North Africa, Central America and the Caribbean have further deteriorated.

However there is hope for peace, as three countries have shown the greatest improvements in over the last six years. These are Chad, Georgia and Haiti, while sadly the three countries with the greatest deterioration are Syria,
Libya and Rwanda.

One of the more interesting trends is that countries withsmall and medium populations - one million to twenty fivemillion - consistently score the highest average level of peace.While very large countries, with populations over100 million,consistently record the lowest levels of peace.

abc@koreanpress.net

The Top 50 Countries.

1 Iceland 1.162
2 Denmark 1.207
3 New Zealand 1.237
4 Austria 1.250
5 Switzerland 1.272
6 Japan 1.293
7 Finland 1.297
8 Canada 1.306
9 Sweden 1.319
10 Belgium 1.339
11 Norway 1.359
12 Ireland 1.370
13 Slovenia 1.374
14 Czech Republic 1.404
15 Germany 1.431
16 Australia 1.438
16 Singapore 1.438
18 Portugal 1.467
19 Qatar 1.480
20 Bhutan 1.487
21 Mauritius 1.497
22 Netherlands 1.508
23 Hungary 1.520
24 Uruguay 1.528
25 Poland 1.530
26 Taiwan 1.538
27 Spain 1.563
28 Croatia 1.571
29 Malaysia 1.574
30 Romania 1.584
31 Chile 1.589
32 Botswana 1.598
33 Slovakia 1.622
34 Bulgaria 1.663
35 Italy 1.663
36 United Arab
Emirates 1.679
37 Kuwait 1.705
38 Estonia 1.710
39 Laos 1.724
40 Costa Rica 1.755
41 Latvia 1.772
41 Vietnam 1.772
43 Lithuania 1.784
44 United Kingdom 1.787
45 Oman 1.806
46 Namibia 1.807
47 South Korea 1.822
48 Zambia 1.832
49 Cyprus 1.840
50 Lesotho 1.840

Note: Singapore is 16th, Malaysia is 29th and South Korea is 47th.

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