Despite unrest in the middle east 2011 was a more peaceful year around the world as countries came together during a time of economic crisis and military spending began to decrease.
The Global Peace Index which is produced by the Australia and U.S.-based Institute for Economics and Peace examined various conditions around the world and found that peace levels had improved for the first time in two years. Not all areas were in harmony, the study found that North Africa and the Middle East were now considered less peaceful than sub-Saharan Africa.
To reach the study’s conclusion researchers examined 23 indicators for peace in 158 countries. Those measures included civil unrest, crime rates, military spending, involvement in armed conflict, relations with neighboring countries and other variables.
According to survey founder Steve Killelea military spending has been generally down and relations between countries have reached better terms which has allowed diplomacy to beat out violence.
In an interview with Reuters Killelea notes:
“The improvement in relation with the states and a greater reluctance to resort to war is very profound, particularly in Africa. You’ve seen a very significant reduction in conflict … When I first went to Uganda 15 years or so ago, for example, they were fighting four wars. Now they are fighting none.”
The biggest hiccup in the peace index was Syria where human shields have been used by forces attempting to control militia movements and citizen uprisings.
Even some areas seen as trouble spots in the past were receiving new revived peace, specifically Venezuela and Colombia.
While a growing arms race between China and the United States has drawn some concern the index found that spending on defense measures between the two countries was mostly flat in 2011.
In some areas “peace” has been more subjective, for example Greece officials are not slaughtering their people but civil unrest has continued to intensify over the last year as Greece moves ever closer to complete and utter economic collapse.
Despite the complete collapse of its currency Iceland still remains the world’s most peaceful country and Canada is also relatively peaceful.
Are you surprised by the peace indexes results?