The UAE has jumped 12 places in the annual Global Peace Index (GPI) report, produced by The Institute for Economics and Peace, an international think tank.
The GPI revealed that the world is less peaceful today than at any time in the last decade but the UAE rose from 56th to 44th, and up to second out of 20 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region.
The rise was one of the most significant recorded in this year’s edition and came despite the Middle East and North Africa remaining the world’s least peaceful region in 2018.
The largest contributors to the deterioration in the last year were the escalations in both interstate and internal armed conflicts, rise in political terror and reduced commitment to UN peacekeeping.
Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Iraq and Somalia are the least peaceful countries whilst Iceland, New Zealand, Austria, Portugal and Denmark are the most peaceful countries.
Despite retaining its position as the most peaceful region in the world, Europe deteriorated for the third successive year. For the first time in the history of the index, a Western European country experienced one of the five largest deteriorations with Spain falling 10 places in the rankings to 30th, owing to internal political tensions and an increase in the impact of terrorism.
The economic impact of violence on the global economy in 2017 was $14.8 trillion in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms, according to the report, equivalent to 12.4 percent of the world’s economic activity, or $1,988 for every person.
The economic impact of violence increased by 2 percent during 2017 due to increases in the cost of conflict and internal security expenditures, with the largest increases being in security spending occurring in China, Russia and South Africa.
Steve Killelea, founder and executive chairman of the IEP, said: “We have progressed on many fronts in the last decade but reaching greater peacefulness in the world has remained elusive.
"Ongoing conflicts such as those in Syria, Yemen, Libya and Afghanistan have, in the past decade, contributed towards a significant rise in battlefield deaths, a surging refugee population and an increase in terrorism.”
The report also showed that the US score continued to decline, driven by increased political instability, despite reductions in the impact from terrorism and militarisation.
The US is now one of the seven G20 members amongst the 50 least peaceful countries in the world, along with Mexico, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, India, Turkey and Russia.
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