- Conflict deaths at the highest level this century cause a decline in world peace, reveals the Global Peace Index
LONDON, June 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Today marks the launch of the 17th edition of the Global Peace Index from international think tank, the Institute for Economics
Impact of the war in Ukraine on peace
The 17th edition of the annual Global Peace Index (GPI), the world's leading measure of peace, reveals that the average level of global peace has deteriorated for the ninth consecutive year, with 84 countries recording improvement and 79 deteriorating. This demonstrates that deteriorations outweighed improvements, as post-COVID-19 increases in civil unrest and political instability remain high, while regional and global conflicts accelerate.
Iceland remains the most peaceful country, a position it has held since 2008, followed by Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand and Austria. For the sixth consecutive year, Afghanistan is the least peaceful country, followed by Yemen, Syria, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Highlighting the changing dynamics of the conflict, both Afghanistan and Syria registered improvements in peace.
Ukraine's overall score registered a 13% decline, the largest deterioration in the 2023 GPI, and is now ranked 157th in the Index. Libya experienced the biggest improvement in overall peace, improving by 7% and rising 14 places to 137.
The shift in the global distribution of conflict continued as major conflicts in the MENA region and South Asia subsided, while conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, and Asia-Pacific intensified. The region of Russia and Eurasia registered the greatest deterioration of peace in the world.
Ten of the 23 GPI indicators improved, 11 deteriorated, and two were unchanged. The greatest deterioration occurred in External Conflicts Fighted and Deaths due to Internal Conflict. Other notable deteriorations included relations between neighboring countries and political instability, where 59 countries deteriorated.
The impact of violence on the global economy increased by $1 trillion to a record $17.5 trillion. This is equivalent to 13% of world GDP, approximately $2,200 per person. This was due to increased military spending due to the Ukrainian war. The disparity in the economic impact of violence is stark: the ten most affected countries averaged 34% of GDP, compared to just 3% for the ten least affected.
Steve Killelea, Founder and Executive Chairman of IEP, commented: "The Global Peace Index 2023 highlights the contrasting dynamics of militarization and conflict. On the one hand, most countries are reducing their reliance on the military, while, on the other hand, an increasing number of conflicts are becoming international.Conflict deaths are the highest since the Rwandan genocide, which claimed more than 800,000 deaths and sparked a wave of global action.
"After the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria and now the war in Ukraine, it is obvious that the most powerful armies cannot prevail against a well-resourced local population. War has become almost unwinnable and an economic burden every This is highlighted by the impact of a potential economic blockade on Taiwan, which would result in a global economic downturn twice as impactful as the 2008 global financial crisis."
The rise of conflicts
79 countries deteriorated in the Ongoing Conflict domain, with conflict-related deaths increasing by 96% compared to the previous year. Conflict deaths are now at the highest level of this century. The Ethiopian conflict claimed the most lives in 2022 with new data finding battlefield deaths topped 100,000, while deaths related to disease and famine were conservatively estimated at more than 200,000. This conflict has been largely hidden from the media due to national media restrictions and internet blackouts. This has coincided with US and UN aid organizations halting food shipments due to corruption in food supply chains.
In sub-Saharan Africa, Mali recorded the greatest deterioration with conflict-related deaths rising 154%, while violence against civilians rose 570%. Eswatini experienced the next biggest drop in peace in the region.
The war in Ukraine has brought the total number of Ukrainians who were refugees or internally displaced from 1.7% before the conflict to over 30% and is likely to continue to rise. According to recent data, up to 65% of Ukrainian men between the ages of 20 and 24 have fled the country or have been killed in the conflict. The report estimates that 83,000 deaths are related to the conflict so far.
In contrast to the devastating effects of the war on the Russian population, other internal factors have improved, such as the incarceration rate, a decrease in violent demonstrations, and the impact of terrorism. The homicide rate inside Russia is now at its lowest level since the inception of the GPI in 2008. If it weren't for the Ukraine conflict, Russia would have been one of the most improved countries in peace on the GPI Index. anus.
The global number of refugees and internally displaced persons continues to rise; now there are 15 countries with more than 5% of their population displaced.
While China is not currently directly involved in any external conflict, it has become more assertive in the South China Sea and has stepped up air operations near Taiwan. The index indicates that if a Chinese blockade of Taiwan were to materialize, it would cause a drop in global economic output of $2.7 trillion, or 3% of global GDP in the first year alone.
Almost 60% of this loss would occur in China and Taiwan. The Chinese economy would shrink by about 7% and Taiwan's by nearly 40%. China's five major trading partners are established militarily aligned democracies: the United States, Japan, South Korea, Germany and Australia.
Militarization and Technology
Although the conflict is escalating, more countries are directing military spending toward other priorities, such as health care, education, infrastructure, and pandemic recovery. The improvements in militarization were widespread, with each region improving. However, total military spending has risen 17% since 2008, with the largest increases coming from China ($180 billion), the United States ($70 billion) and India ($40 billion).
Drones are increasingly being used in conflicts, including in Ukraine, Ethiopia and Myanmar. The total number of drone strikes increased 41% in 2022, and the number of different groups using drones increased 24%.
NOTES TO EDITORS
To learn more and download the 2023 Global Peace Index, visit visionofhumanity.org and economicsandpeace.org. The full GPI report, articles and interactive maps are available at: visionofhumanity.org
About the Global Peace Index (GPI)
Prepared by the international think tank Institute for Economics
Acerca del Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP)
IEP is an independent, international think tank dedicated to shifting the world's focus towards peace as a positive, achievable and tangible measure of human well-being and progress. It has offices in Sydney, Brussels, New York, The Hague, Mexico City and Harare.
 Source: UN World Population Prospects
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