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Oman moves up in global peace index

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Muscat: The Sultanate of Oman moved up nine places to be ranked among the top five Arab countries in the Global Peace Index for the year 2022.

Globally, Oman has been ranked 64 with a score of 1,889 points. Other Arab countries in the Index are Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan and the UAE.

Produced by the international think-tank the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), the 16th edition of the annual Global Peace Index (GPI) report, the world’s leading measure of peacefulness, reveals that the average level of global peacefulness deteriorated by 0.3 per cent in 2021.

“This is the eleventh deterioration in peacefulness in the last 14 years, with 90 countries improving and 71 deteriorating, highlighting that countries deteriorate much faster than they improve”, the report says.

The countries were judged on the basis of 23 parameters, including domestic and international conflict, safety and security in society and the degree of militarisation.

Eight countries that appeared among the highest rankings in last year’s report remained among the top 10 again this year. Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008. Iceland is followed by New Zealand, Ireland, Denmark and Austria.

Singapore and Japan, which were ranked ninth and 10th, respectively, climbed the rating list this year, pushing Switzerland and Canada outside of the top 10, into 11th and 12th place, respectively.

“The average level of global peacefulness deteriorated by 0.3 per cent in 2021”, an IEP report says, adding, “the levels of political terror, bitter bilateral relations, refugees and internally displaced people are at their worst since the inception of the index in 2008”. The report emphasises that global peace reached its lowest level in 15 years, due to the economic uncertainty after Covid-19 and the Ukraine-Russia war.

​​​​​​​According to the report, the decline of terrorism continued to improve, as 70 countries did not record any attacks in 2021. This is the best result since 2008. “The economic cost of violence globally amounted to $16.5 trillion in 2021, equivalent to 10.9 per cent of the global gross domestic product, or $2117 per capita”, the report reveals. The global price hike has led to increased food insecurity and political instability worldwide, with Africa, South Asia and the Middle East being the greatest threat. Seven of the 10 countries at the top of the GPI are in Europe. Turkey is the only country in this region to be ranked outside the top half of the index. Two of the five countries that saw the largest deterioration in peacefulness were Russia and the Ukraine. The report noted that peace across the world had declined to the lowest level in 15 years amid uncertainty over post-Covid economic recovery and Russia’s war in Ukraine. The US, at 129th spot, recorded its lowest peacefulness rank since 2008, with the report citing “civil unrest” continuing to be the “primary driver of the deterioration”. The UK is up two positions to rank at 34. For the fifth consecutive year, Afghanistan is the least peaceful country, followed by Yemen, Syria, Russia and South Sudan. Among South Asian nations, Bhutan topped the peace index securing 19th rank. Bhutan is followed by Nepal with 73 points, Sri Lanka 90 and Bangladesh with 96. While India moved up three places to rank 135, Pakistan has been ranked 147th on the index. The report said the rise in food and fuel costs had increased food insecurity and political instability globally, especially in South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. While commenting on the report, Steve Killelea, Founder & Executive Chairman of IEP, said, “Last year, we warned about the economic fallout from Covid-19. We are now experiencing supply chain shortages, rising inflation and food insecurity that have been compounded by the tragic events in Ukraine. The political and economic consequences of this will reverberate for years to come”. According to him, the economic value of lost peace reached record levels in 2021. “There is a need to reverse this trend, and the GPI has shown that those countries that implement the attitudes, institutions and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies, witness an improved economic outcome’’, he said.

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