In a world full of people and nations with different sentiments and perceptions, it is only normal to expect conflicts to happen once in a while. These conflicts could either be internal; that is within countries, or external; among countries. Global Peace Index (GPI) is the leading global measure of national peacefulness. The GPI is produced by Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP), an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organisation, which is dedicated to shifting the world’s focus to peace as a positive, achievable and tangible measure of human wellbeing and progress, to measure the relative position of nations’ and regions’ peace. It ranks 172 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness.
The GPI is developed in consultation with an international panel of peace experts, using data from Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), The Military Balance, IISS, SIPRI, UN, IEP, UNODC CTS, World Prison Brief, Amnesty International, US State Department, UNHCR and IDMC. It measures peace with twenty-three (23) qualitative and quantitative indicators. These indicators are:
• Number and duration of internal conflict, Number of deaths from external organized conflict, Number of deaths from internal organized conflict; Number ,duration and role in external conflict,
• Intensity of organized internal conflict, Relations with neighbouring countries, Level of perceived criminality in society, Number of refugees and displaced persons as percentage of population, Political instability, impact of terrorism, Political terror,
• Number of homicides per 100,000 people, Level of violent crime, Likelihood of violent demonstrations, Number of jailed persons per 100,000 people, Number of internal security officers and police per 100,000 people, Military expenditure as a percentage of GDP, Number armed-service personnel per 100,000,
• Volume of transfers of major conventional weapons as recipient (import) per 100,000 people, Volume of transfers of major conventional weapons as supplier (exports) per 100,000 people, Financial contribution to UN peacekeeping missions, Nuclear and heavy weapons capability, and Ease of access to small arms and light weapons
The top five most peaceful countries are as follows;
• New Zealand
The least peaceful countries are;
• South Sudan
Other popular countries were ranked as follows;
• Russia – 154th
• United States of America – 121st
• United Kingdom – 42nd
• Spain – 38th
• Canada – 6th
• Germany – 16th
• Qatar – 27th
Ghana was ranked 43rd globally and 3rd in Africa, coming behind Mauritius (1st) and Botswana (2nd).
For the year 2020, the GPI reported that, on the average, the level global peacefulness deteriorated by 0.34%, which is the ninth deterioration in the past twelve (12) years. However, eighty-one (81) countries improved on their previous scores while eighty (80) recorded a decrease in their scores over the past year. According to the GPI, 2020 represents a world in which the conflicts and crises of the past decade has begun to fade away only to be replaced with a new wave of tension and uncertainty, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Also the gap between the most peaceful and least peaceful countries continue to grow as the years go by.
The five (5) countries that recorded the highest improvements in peace are;
• Armenia (18 places), Azerbaijan (12 places), Bahrain (9 places), Honduras (4 places) and South Africa (3 places).
The global economic impact of violence was $14.5 trillion PPP in 2019, which is equivalent to 10.6% of the worlds’ GDP or $1,909 per person. The average economic cost was equivalent to 41% of GDP, in the ten (10) countries, that are most affected by violence economically. On the other hand, the average economic cost is 3.9% of the GDP of the ten (10) most peaceful countries.
The regional GPI results from 2019 – 2020 was reported as follows;
2. North America
4. Central America and the Caribbean
5. South America
6. Sub-Saharan Africa
7. Russia and Eurasia
8. South Asia
9. Middle East and North Asia
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Source: Wikipedia, Visionofhumanity.org
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