Which countries are the most peaceful in the world?

Elias Hubbard
June 13, 2019

The Institute for Economics and Peace said the greatest increase in peacefulness occurred in the Russian Federation and Eurasia region, where "the number of deaths from conflict declined, owing to the de-escalation of violence in Ukraine", which rose two places to rank 150th out of 163 countries in the 2019 Global Peace Index.

"India together with the Philippines, Japan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Pakistan are the nine countries with the highest risk of multiple climate hazards".

"The Middle East has improved marginally in peacefulness", said Steve Killelea, founder and chief chairman of the IEP.

"Pacific Islands are going to be massively impacted by rising sea levels", Mr Killelea said, adding that they would be the first affected due to their proximity to the equator.

But, despite the positive change, new domestic and worldwide tensions have since unfolded.

"When you start to get massive effects from climate change you start to get large flows of refugees", Mr Killelea said, adding that this migration can increase instability and the impact of terrorism on host nations.

"Violence perpetuates itself and it is much harder for countries to recover in a post conflict period".

In 2017, over 60 per cent of total displacements around the world were due to climate-related disasters, while almost 40 per cent were caused by armed conflict.

Since April 2014, some 13,000 people have been killed in fighting between Ukrainian government forces and the Russia-backed separatists who control parts of Ukraine's eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Climate-induced migration is expected to continue to escalate, and in a region facing the highest risk, Australia could be heavily impacted.

Climate change poses a threat to peace in countries around the world in the coming decade, according to an annual peace index released on Wednesday that factored in the risk from global warming for the first time.

Military expenditure, violent protests and violent crime all decreased globally this year, particularly in Asia. India, the US, China, Saudi Arabia, and Russian Federation are the top five countries with the largest total military expenditure, it added. "There is still a high level of conflict there but it is starting to show an improvement in peacefulness through better governance but it's too early to say if the trend will be repeated in the long-term".

"While the conflicts that have dominated the past decade such as in Iraq and Syria have begun to abate, new conflicts have emerged".

The index assigns each country a score between one and five, where one is the most peaceful and five is the least, based on 23 indicators ranging from homicide levels to weapons imports.

Mohib Iqbal, a research fellow at the institute, told RFE/RL that Afghanistan "is now the world's most violent conflict with the highest number of deaths from war and terrorism" after Syria "experienced a decrease in violence after the defeat of [the extremist group Islamic State] and the localization of the ongoing conflict in the country".

This is the first year since the inception of the index that Yemen has been ranked amongst the five least peaceful countries, the statement said.

Bhutan is the most improved country in the top 20, rising 43 places in the past 12 years.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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