Peace has slightly increased across the world, according to the 2019 Global Peace Index of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).
The 13th edition of this report, which measures peace in 163 countries and territories, shows a worldwide improvement for the first time in five years.
Iceland kept the status of the world’s most peaceful country. An honour it has held since 2008. New Zealand and Portugal were next .
It comes as no surprise that Afghanistan is in last place,then Syria whilst South Sudan is the third among the least peaceful countries.
For the first time in five years, the Global Peace Index (GPI) has improved slightly. The average score per country increased by 0.09%, with 86 countries showing improvement and 76 a decline.
Yet, the world seems less at peace than it was ten years ago, with an average decrease of the index by 3.78% since 2008.
The potential impact of climate change on peace was also analysed. Global warming will impact the availability of resources, migration, livelihoods, which will increase the likelihood of violent conflict. Approximately 971 million people live in areas (very) highly exposed to global warming, of which 41% are in countries that already show low scores in peace.
Four of the nine regions in the world improved in peacefulness in 2019: Russia and Eurasia, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Europe maintained its position as the most peaceful region in the world, which it has held for every year of the GPI. MENA remained the least peaceful region for the fifth year in a row, although it did become more peaceful last year.
While most of Russia and Eurasia remains less peaceful than the global average, it showed the largest regional improvement. Central America and the Caribbean had the largest regional deterioration.