Report: ‘Iceland World’s Most Peaceful Nation’
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – Iceland is the most peaceful country in the world, followed by New Zealand and Ireland, according to the latest Global Peace Index (GPI).
The United States, long regarded as the leader of the free world, now ranks 129 making it even less peaceful than Azerbaijan (128), which fought a bitter war with neighbor Armenia.
Produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, the GPI ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness.
Denmark, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Czechia, and Singapore complete the top ten list globally. The Netherlands, where children where International reports once ranked children “the most happiest in the world” is not in the top ten.
Yet, Europe remains the most peaceful region and is home to four of the five most peaceful countries in the world, the GPI said.
Iceland again tops the list in Europe, followed by Ireland, which is up from the seventh place in the region last year. Denmark, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Hungary, and Finland make up the remaining top ten most peaceful countries in Europe.
Hungary’s ranking was expected to surprise skeptics as the country has suffered political and social turmoil amid the rule of law concerns raised by the European Union.
The Global Peace Index found peacefulness “has fallen” in the past 14 years, with the average country score deteriorating by 3.2 percent. “Although slight, this is the eleventh deterioration in peacefulness in the last fourteen years,” the GPI explained.
Of the 163 countries, 84 recorded deteriorations, while 77 documented improvements, and two recorded no change in their score.
The most significant regional deterioration in peacefulness was Russia and Eurasia, followed by North America. The authors noted that the war between Russia and Ukraine led to a considerable rise in conflict deaths.
They also expected further deterioration in indicators such as refugees and internally displaced people, political instability, and political terror.
The Ukrainian conflict caused the displacement of millions of Ukrainian citizens. The country now features among the ten worst scores for refugees and internally displaced persons.
Other conflicts also influenced the fall in peacefulness, with political and economic instability resulting in five coups occurring within the past year. These occurred in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Chad, Sudan, and Mali.
The index said that the COVID- 19 pandemic continues to significantly impact both the US and Canada, with Canada reaching over 3.7 million cases and the US recording over 82 million patients as of April 2022.
The pandemic hampers economic and social activity in both countries.
Both nations recorded a deterioration in political terror and violent demonstrations since the beginning of the pandemic, the GPI noticed.
Five of the nine regions in the world have become more peaceful over the past year. “The largest improvements occurred in South Asia and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region,” the researchers concluded.
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