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How to measure world peace?

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peace-index

Most of the times we are interested in measuring performance in business context, either at organizational, operational or employee level. I would like to bring to your attention a different scenario, wider than usual, the global perspective with a sensitive topic: Peace!

Peace and stability must be at the heart of global development. They go hand in hand with the long-term human development. Shaping global goals for humanity’s future has never been an easy job.

Is world peace possible? I will let you give yourselves the answer to that. What we know for sure is that what gets measured gets done. But before measurement, peace is difficult to define. A simple approach translates peace into the harmony achieved by the absence of violence or the fear of violence.

Recently, The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) published the latest report on the Global Peace Index (GPI) that ranks 162 states of the world according to their level of peacefulness through 23 indicators clustered in 3 themes. Find below some of the indicators taken into account for this report:

  • The extent of domestic and international conflict
    • # Conflicts
    • # Duration of conflicts
    • # Deaths from organized conflicts
  • The level of safety and security in society
    • % Refugees and internally displaced people
    • # Global terrorism index
    • # Homicides per 100,000 people
    • # Jailed population per 100,000 people
    • # Internal security officers and police per 100,000 people
  • The degree of militarization
    • $ Military expenditure
    • $ UN peacekeeping funding
    • # Transfers of major conventional weapons per 100,000 people
    • # Armed services personnel per 100,000 people

Each country is rated on a scale of 1 to 5 for each indicator, where 1 represents the most peaceful. The composite index was formulated through a weight of 60 percent to the measure of internal peace and 40 percent for external peace, based on the idea that a greater level of internal peace is likely to lead to lower external conflict.

Where do you have to go to find peace? As top 10 most peaceful countries in the world, the Global Peace Index shows the following:

  1. Iceland
  2. Denmark
  3. Austria
  4. New Zealand
  5. Switzerland
  6. Finland
  7. Canada
  8. Japan
  9. Australia
  10. Czech Republic

Iceland is considered to be the most peaceful country in the world. Moreover, 6 out of the top 10 most peaceful countries in the world are located in Europe. The continent maintained the title of the most peaceful region in the world according to the report, and its peacefulness has increased every year for the last three years.

peace-index-1

On the other side of the story, we have the countries characterized by political instability and terror, violent crimes and conflicts. See below the least peaceful countries in the world:

  1. Syria
  2. Iraq
  3. Afghanistan
  4. South Sudan
  5. Central African Republic
  6. Somalia
  7. Sudan
  8. Democratic Republic of Congo
  9. Pakistan
  10. North Korea

Less than 500 million people live in the 20 most peaceful countries, while over two billion people live in the 20 least peaceful countries in the world. This illustrates the world’s most unattractive image that includes aggression, and conflicts on a large population scale.

Still, one of the most interesting facts about the index and today’s reality is the strong connection between the first and the last country appearing in the index, Iceland and Syria. Guess what?

Since the civil war in Syria has forced the population to leave the country, a huge wave of Syrians started their journey towards Europe. Iceland’s government intended to accept 50 Syrians under a humanitarian quota, but Icelanders have turned the number into 11,000. Iceland, the most peaceful county in the world opens its arms to the population of the least peaceful country in the world. Isn’t it a solid proof for the vision of humanity?

We have to admit, it is a bit curious to discuss about militarization, homicide and jails in the context of peace. The Global Peace Index Report comes up with a differentiation in order to clarify this image: negative and positive peace. Calculated as a different index, positive peace measures how a country acts to prevent conflict and negative peace is illustrated through the lack of conflict. Meaning that, making steps forward to take preventive actions positions countries under the umbrella of positive peace.

Regarding the world’s future, the long term trend in peacefulness is positive. Over the last years, the world has become more peaceful, and it continues the same way. Make sure you contribute and support it on its way as much as possible.

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