Canada remains one of the most peaceful countries in a world where the overall level of security is declining. It ranks sixth in the 2018 World Peace Index (IPI), produced by the Institute for the Economy and Peace, an independent think-tank based in Sydney, Australia.
IPM class 163 independent states, which represent 99.7% of the global population, according to 23 indicators from various sources, including the United Nations, the magazine’s Intelligence Unit The Economist and Program conflict data from the University of Uppsala , Sweden. A score of 1 to 5 (very low to very high risk) is given for each indicator for each country, and these are then ranked by average.
The 2018 IPM, based on data from 2017, shows that the world situation was then worse than at any other time than in the 10 years that preceded. The average index has thus risen for the fourth year in a row, now standing at 2.102.
The Institute for the Economy and Peace found that many of the conflicts and crises that have emerged over the last decade have remained unresolved, particularly in the Middle East , contributing to a gradual and sustained decline in peace.
And between 2016 and 2017, no fewer than 92 countries saw their security situation deteriorate, while 71 countries saw it improve.
Iceland is at the top of the podium Followed by New Zealand and Austria.
In contrast, Syria (163rd) is in last place for five years now.
Syria has been torn apart since 2011 by the war against IS and the internal conflicts that have claimed more than 360,000 lives and some 12 million internally displaced persons or refugees, according to UN figures, while its total population is about 18 million people.
It is preceded by Afghanistan (162), where much of the territory remains under the control of the Taliban or IS, and where civilian casualties are enormous.
The number of civilians killed in this country “continues to record levels” and should exceed in 2018 that found in Syria, says a report released by the United Nations in recent days. At least 8050 civilians were reportedly killed between January and September of this year.
In 161st place is South Sudan, where a peace agreement has just been signed to end a civil war in which belligerents used tactics such as the recruitment of child soldiers or rape.
“Girls as young as 12 are chosen as wives for the military,” says another recent UN report. They must march in front of them and the soldiers choose any one of them. They are obviously raped and subjected to sexual slavery.”
The US ranks 12th
The United States ranks 121st, just one step above Myanmar.
The worst score, 5, has been attributed to our neighbor to the south for indicators of nuclear and heavy weapons possession, arms exports, involvement in external conflicts and the large number of detainees in its prisons, or 2.2 million, with the US prison system being one of the most overcrowded in the world.
The authors of the 2018 World Peace Index: Measuring Peace in a Complex World report themselves on the limitations of their scoring system.
For several years, the United States has achieved the worst possible rating in many areas … which prevents us from showing that the situation continues to worsen in these areas.
From the 2018 World Peace Index: Measuring Peace in a Complex World
Moreover, “a deterioration in political stability, reflecting the increasingly partisan nature of the debates, has offset the improvement in the impacts of terrorism,” the report said.
Nevertheless, over the last 10 years, the number of deaths in external conflicts has decreased by 35%, with Washington reducing its presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the same time, the number of homicides has been steadily declining and is now 7% lower than in 2008.
France is in 61st place, while the United Kingdom is 57th. Here again, the possession of nuclear and heavy weapons and the export of arms played a role, such as – to a lesser extent – their military presence abroad, the terrorist attacks that were committed there and the incidence of crime.
The problems in Mexico (140th place) concern mainly crime, in particular homicides and other violent crimes, as well as internal conflicts.
Haiti is 88th, close to the middle of the standings. The Institute for the Economy and Peace reports a fairly high number of killings and other crimes, as well as violent demonstrations.
Russia is 154th and China 112th.
Spain fell from 20th to 30th in the country rankings, largely because of the tensions surrounding Catalonia’s unsuccessful attempt to gain independence .
The average MPI in Europe has risen for the third year in a row, although this region of the world remains the most peaceful in the last 10 years. Twenty of the top 30 countries are European.
The price of insecurity
The Institute for the Economy and Peace establishes the monetary costs of insecurity in 2017 at 14,760 billion US dollars in terms of purchasing power parity, or 12.4% of gross world product. It’s almost $ 2,000 for every person on Earth for a single year.
“For 10 years, countries that have improved their security levels have seen their gross domestic product grow almost seven times faster than those whose security level has deteriorated,” said Steve Killelea, founder and president of the company. Institute for the Economy and Peace.
Over the last 70 years, per capita economic growth has been three times higher in the most peaceful countries than in those with insecurity.
“These are unequivocal data that underscore the magnitude of the economic benefits of peace,” he added.
Thus, not only do the inhabitants of the least stable countries live with the direct consequences of violence and crime, but they continue to grow poorer, victims of a vicious circle that is always more difficult to break.
Edwin Santos was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He has contributed to Discovery Magazine, Details and the Huffington Post. Edwin has also served as a commentator for NPR and MSNBC. As a journalist for Oak Tribune, Edwin mostly covers national news. Aside from earning a living as a freelance journalist, Edwin also works as photographer.