Iceland the most peaceful country

peacefulA new index created by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies has ranked 140 countries around the world in terms of their peacefulness in the hopes of promoting a more scientific approach to achieving global peace. Scandinavian countries did well in the rankings, with Iceland scoring first place.

“Peace building is tough,” said Rick Barton of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. He said that ‘peace building’ could be facilitated by using the Global Peace Index (GPI) as a tool for understanding contributing factors to peace, including both political and cultural elements.

The GPI uses 24 indicators to rank 98 per cent of the world’s population. The GPI takes into account art exports, military expenditure, prison population, political instability, internal conflict, human rights adherence, displaced persons, UN deployments and the potential for terrorist acts.

According to Barton, the results are intended to “help countries, businesses, and international organisations move towards peace.”

Iceland led the rankings while Iraq came in last place. Clyde McConaghy, president and CEO of GPI, explained the findings. He said the “profile of a peaceful nation – and this is characteristic of the top quartile of the countries [in the Index] – is the country tends to have a well-functioning government, low violence within its borders, low corruption, and good relations with its neighbours.”

Of the top 20 countries on the list, 16 are democracies in western or central Europe and the majority belong to the European Union. Denmark came in second place and the United States, with its high levels of military spending and troops abroad, was ranked 97 out of 140 countries.

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