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World violence reaches new all-time high

The just-published 2016 Global Peace Index shows that the world would be growing more peaceful if it were not for the growing violence of Middle East conflicts. More than 100,000 people were killed in conflicts in 2014, up from almost 20,000 in 2008. Syria, with about 67,000 such deaths in 2014, accounted for most of that increase. The economic cost of violence in 2015 was $13.6 trillion, or 13.3 percent of global GDP— which is about 11 times the size of global foreign direct investment.

On the face of it, the world is becoming less and less peaceful, with the level of global violence reaching its highest level in the last twenty-five years – but: In fact, violence ranking do show that the world would be growing more peaceful if it were not for the growing violence of Middle East conflicts.

The just-published 2016 Global Peace Index, which measures and evaluates twenty-three indicators — including incidents of violent crime, levels of militarization, and imports of weaponry — said the increasing number of conflicts in the Middle East, and these conflicts’ intensifying violence, were mostly to blame for the rising levels of global conflict.

Most attacks categorized as “terrorist” attacks were concentrated in five countries: Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

“Quite often, in the mayhem which is happening in the Middle East currently, we lose sight of the other positive trends,” said Steve Killelea, founder of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), which produces the annual index.

“If we look in the last year, if we took out the Middle East … the world would have become more peaceful,” Killelea said.

The Telegraph reports that more than 100,000 people were killed in conflicts in 2014, up from almost 20,000 in 2008. Syria, with about 67,000 such deaths in 2014, accounted for most of that increase.

The UN said the number of displaced people had probably “far surpassed” a record sixty million in 2015. IEP notes that funding for UN peacekeeping operations reached record highs in 2016.

The economic cost of violence in 2015 was $13.6 trillion, or 13.3 percent of global GDP, according to the index. That is about 11 times the size of global foreign direct investment.

“However, peacebuilding and peacekeeping spending remains proportionately small compared to the economic impact of violence, representing just 2 percent of global losses from armed conflict,” Killelea said.

The Index shows that Europe mains safest and most peaceful part of the world, although the region’s peace score dropped in the wake of attacks in Paris and Brussels. Iceland is the world’s most peaceful country listed in the Index, followed by Denmark, Austria, New Zealand, and Portugal.

The United States was ranked 103rd most peaceful out of 163. Japan was ninth, Germany came in 16th, and Britain was 47th. After last year’s terror attacks, France dropped only one place to 46th.

The least peaceful country is Syria, followed by South Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia.

 

Source: Homeland Security News Wire