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Global Peace Index: World has grown even MORE violent

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
June 12th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

It's very tragic news that the world needs to hear. The world as we know it has grown even more violent over the past several years. According to the Global Peace Index, the world, driven by increasing political instability has grown even more violent. A rising murder rate in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa and higher levels of military spending, are the other factors in the 2013 report.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Rebellions within states have risen both in number and intensity, contributing to the overall decline in peacefulness between 2008 and 2013, the Washington-based think tank Institute for Economics and Peace, or IEP reported.

Not surprisingly, Syria's ranking has plunged by 70 percent over the past six years, by far the biggest decline ever seen in the index. Syria was followed by Cote d'Ivoire. On a more positive note, the nations of Chad, Haiti and Georgia have seen the most improvement since 2007.

The Global Peace Index has declined by five percent in the 2008-2013 periods as the gap between peaceful and violent states has widened.

"Peace is becoming more unequal," IEP research director Daniel Hyslop says. "The bottom 10 countries have really separated out, and Iraq and Afghanistan have become less peaceful than they were in 2008."

The top 10 countries, mostly in northern Europe, plus Japan and New Zealand, have remained the most constant.

The report brings out one salient fact about nations that still grapple with internal strife and chaos. These states have failed to make much progress in spite of the billions of dollars of development aid funneled into them. Attempts to enforce peace through brute force - i.e., military interventions have also failed. These facts raise questions about the type of assistance for highly unstable environments, as Afghanistan, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo all have seen their scores deteriorate.

Improvements in the Positive Peace Index were also duly noted, which measures attitudes and institutional structures considered building blocks for a peaceful society.

The gains were led by countries that saw improvements in resources distributed more equitably, respect for the rights of others, the level of human capital, free flow of information and a well-functioning government.

These figures point to the importance of including peace measures in the next round of Millennium Development Goals. The United Nations is working on as the new yardstick for guiding development aid to impoverished countries from 2015.

Among other findings included in the report:

-- Europe remained the most peaceful region overall, with 13 of its countries in the top 20, though it slid somewhat in 2012, largely due to political upheaval from the euro-zone debt crisis.
-- South Asia was the least peaceful region.
-- Countries that have become more violent saw a 15 percent drop in official development aid.
-- Homicides rose by eight percent over the last year.



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