World less peaceful in past decade

Global Peace Index 2017

The 2017 Global Peace Index finds that the world became more peaceful in the last year, however, over the last decade it has become significantly less peaceful.

The 2017 GPI provides a comprehensive analysis on the state of peace. It shows that amidst continuing social and political turmoil, the world continues to spend enormous resources on creating and containing violence but very little on peace. The key to reversing the decline in peace is through building Positive Peace – a holistic framework of the key attitudes, institutions and structures which build peace in the long term. The 2017 GPI finds:

  • The world slightly improved in peace last year but has become less peaceful over the last decade
  • There has been a decline in militarisation over the past three decades
  • Globally, the economic impact of violence on the economy is enormous
  • Current peacebuilding spending focused on building peace is well below the optimal level
  • Falls in Positive Peace make countries susceptible to populist political movements

Most of the nations in the GPI became more peaceful over the last year. 93 countries improved while 68 deteriorated. Over the longer run however, there has been an increase in ‘peace inequality’, with most countries having only small increases in peacefulness, while a handful of countries have had very large deteriorations in peace.

Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008. It is joined at the top of the index by New Zealand, Portugal, Austria, and Denmark, all of which were ranked highly in the 2016 GPI. There was also very little change at the bottom of the index. Syria remains the least peaceful country in the world, followed by Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, and Yemen.

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