World is at peace even with unrest
Despite escalating conflict in Syria and mounting civil unrest in Europe, the world has become more peaceful in the last year, a study has revealed.
The Global Peace Index, produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, showed a first improvement in two years. For the first time, sub-Saharan Africa was no longer the world’s least peaceful region, losing that dubious distinction to the Middle East and North Africa in the aftermath of unrest.
The survey studied 23 indicators across 158 countries, ranging from measures of civil unrest and crime to military spending, involvement in armed conflict and relations with neighbours. Aside from the deterioration in the Middle East, every other region in the world showed at least some form of improvement.
Overall, survey founder Steve Killelea, an Australian entrepreneur who created the initial index six years ago, said there appeared to be several key drivers. One was global military spending, which is beginning to fall - in part a consequence of the global financial crisis - while relations between countries were also broadly improving, with leaders increasingly turning to diplomacy not violence.
“The improvement in relation with the states and a greater reluctance to resort to war is very profound, particularly in Africa,” he said.
The sharpest deterioration in peace took place in Syria, while Somalia is the world’s least peaceful place.