India ranked below Burkina Faso in global peace index

10 Jun 2016


India ranks a low 141 in a Global Peace Index of 163 countries - making it less peaceful than countries like Burkina Faso, Burundi and Serbia - with violence taking a $680-billion toll on its economy in 2015.

Compiled by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), the Global Peace Index ranks Syria as the least peaceful, followed by South Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.

The GPI ranks Iceland as the world's most peaceful country, which is followed by Denmark and Austria. Other countries that are free from conflict include Botswana, Chile, Costa Rica, Japan, Mauritius, Panama, Qatar, Switzerland, Uruguay and Vietnam.

The world is becoming a more dangerous place and there are now just 10 countries which can be considered completely free from conflict, says the authors of the 10th annual Global Peace Index.

According to GPI, there are now fewer countries in the world which can be considered truly at peace - in other words, not engaged in any conflicts either internally or externally - than there were in 2014.

India has moved up two position, from 141st last year, but the study said the country's peace score has ''deteriorated'' over the past year -- which means the slight rise in ranking could be due to worse performance of others.

The report said that in the last decade, India's position deteriorated when it came to peace ''by 5 % largely due to deteriorations in the indicators measuring UN peacekeeping funding and the level of political terror''.

Within South Asia, Bhutan was ranked best (13th overall rank), while India was fifth followed by Pakistan at sixth (overall 153rd) and Afghanistan at sixth place (global 160th).

The report said, ''India's scores for ongoing domestic and international conflict and militarisation have deteriorated slightly. The country remains vulnerable to acts of terror and security threats at its shared border with Pakistan.

''As such, the number of deaths caused by externally organised terror strikes has risen over the year.''

However, Sri Lanka once the hotbed of conflict, saw the greatest upswing in its score in the region and the report attributed the country's increased peacefulness to ''better relations with neighbouring countries, particularly India''.

The GPI 2016 ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness.

According to GPI, violence impacted India's economy by $679.80 billion in 2016, 9 per cent of India's GDP, or $525 per person.

''In 2015, violence containment expenditure in India totalled $679.8 billion PPP, an increase of 7 per cent from 2008. At 9 per cent of GDP this was ranked 65th in the world,'' IEP founder and executive chairman Steve Killelea said.
The economic impact of violence on the global economy touched $13.6 trillion or 13.3 per cent of gross world product. The amount is also equivalent to 11 times the size of global foreign direct investment, it added.

According to the report, world became a less peaceful in 2016, mainly on account of increased terrorism and higher levels of political instability.

Rankings of 81 countries have improved while the rankings of 79 others deteriorated.

Killelea said increasing internationalisation of internal conflicts has coincided with UN peacekeeping funding reaching record highs in 2016.

However, peace building and peacekeeping spending remains proportionately small compared to the economic impact of violence, representing just two per cent of global losses from armed conflict, he noted.

Addressing the global disparity in peace and achieving an overall 10 per cent decrease in the economic impact of violence would produce a peace dividend of $1.36 trillion. This is approximately equivalent to the size of world food exports, adds the report.

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