The Global Peace Index

Since 2008 there has been a Global Peace Index (GPI) which each year measures the degree of violence in the world and the degree of military spending. Last year the world spent $14.3tn as a result of conflicts, that represents 13.4% of the world’s GNP (Gross National Product) or the equivalent of the economic output of Brazil,Canada, France,Canada, France,Germany, Spain and the U.K. Military spending alone amounted to more than $3tn. Syria, as one would expect, led the list of least peaceful countries, followed by Libya, Ukraine, Niger, Djibouti and South Sudan. To keep all these statistics in perspective, it’s helpful to know that the index which track 23 indices in 162 countries, found that while 78 countries deepened their violence, 81 became more peaceful. The biggest deterioration of peace came as a result of the number of refugees. There are now more refugees (about 60 million) than there has been since after WWII. And not to be forgotten are the countries which showed improvement, particularly since some on the list are surprising, such as Ivory Coast, Egpyt, Tajikistan and Benin. Iceland topped the list of peaceful countries, followed by Denmark, Austria, New Zealand, Switzerland, Finland, Canada, Japan, Australia, and the Czech Republic. The U.S. was 94th and the U.K. 39th.
It’s unrealistic to think that next year will be better, regardless we must work toward, or at least hope, for the day when we all recognize that conflict and violence cost more than we should be willing to spend.