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Post at: Jul 20 2021

Global Peace Index, 2021

Recent Context
The 15th edition of Global Peace Index, 2021 was released on June 17, 2021.
About Global Peace Index (GPI)

  • It is released by the Institute for Economics & Peace (Founded by Steve Killelea), an international think tank.
  • The index ranks countries according to their levels of peacefulness and identifies potential determinants of peace.
  • The index also provides the comprehensive analysis of trends in peace of about 99.7% of the world (covering 163 countries and territories).
  • There are three thematic domains to rank countries according to their peacefulness. They are:
    • Level of societal safety and security 
    • Extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict
    • Degree of militarization
  • In 2021, the index incorporates the research on the possible effects of climate change on peace.


GPI 2021 Findings:

  • India ranked at 135th position (moved up by two positions from last year) with score of 2.553.
  • According to the index, top 5 peaceful nations (in decreasing order) are as follow:

Iceland (score: 1.1) > New Zealand > Denmark > Portugal > Slovenia.

  • The 5 nations (in increasing order) which are least peaceful are as follows: 
  • Iraq < South Sudan < Syria < Yemen < Afghanistan (score: 3.631)
  • The scores of countries in GPI ranges between scale of 1-5. The higher the score, the lesser the country is peaceful and the lower the score, the more the country is peaceful.
  • With respect to the South Asian countries performance in GPI, Bhutan, ranked at 22nd position, Sri Lanka 95th, Nepal 85th, Bangladesh 91st and Pakistan 150th.
  • Out of the 10 most peaceful countries in the world, 8 are from Europe.
  • Military expenditure as a percentage of GDP has increased in 105 countries, leading to deterioration in this indicator for the second straight year. US, China, India, Russia and Saudi Arabia are the top five countries with the largest total military expenditure.
  • Ranking of BRICS as follows: 
  • China 100th, South Africa 123rd, Brazil 128th, India 135th and Russia 154th.
  • Among the countries in the South Asian region, India ranked at 5th position, Bhutan 1st, Nepal 2nd and Pakistan at 6th. Pakistan witnessed most improvement in the region.
  • The economic impact of violence to global economy in 2020 was $14.96 trillion in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms.                              
  • Fifteen percent of people globally feel that crime, violence or terrorism is the greatest risk to their safety.
  • Climate change or extreme weather accounts for the five per cent of people who feel that it is greatest risk to their safety.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the level of conflict and violence in the world in 2020, with some of the effects likely to last for years to come.
  • Average level of global peacefulness deteriorated by 0.07 per cent. The largest deterioration occurred in North America due to civil unrest.
  • The largest improvement in peacefulness occurred in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) followed by Europe and South Asia. India witnessed slight improvement of 0.7 per cent over the past year.


Conclusion of the Report

Violence continues to have a significant impact on world’s economic performance. The key to building peacefulness in times of conflict and uncertainty is ‘Positive Peace’. Countries must make effort to come out of ‘Positive Peace deficit’ by higher level of socio-economic development. In this light, it would be better to strenghthen Pillars of Positive Peace.

Abhay Pandey

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