The Philippines was among the least peaceful countries in the world, the recent survey from Global Peace Index revealed.
According Institute for Economics and Peace’s Global Peace Index (GPI) 2013 , the world became “less peaceful” compared to how it was five years ago. In the new index, 162 countries around the world were surveyed to determine the levels of securities in the socities, the extent of conflicts and the degree of militarization in the countries.
Based on their findings, the GPI reported that the level of peace in the world have fallen by five percent since 2008. It added that internal conflicts in countries have risen over the years and it also showed that 110 countries became less peaceful over the years.
Iceland, Denmark, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Austria, Ireland, Slovenia, Finland and Switzerland were the top 10 peaceful countries, the index reported. It explained that Iceland’s political stability, low crime rate and small prison population made it the most peaceful country in the world.
“Europe is the most peaceful region, with 13 of the top 20 most peaceful countries,” the index said and added that “the top three most peaceful countries [Iceland, Denmark and New Zealand]” made it to the top because of their “small and stable democracies.”
Meanwhile, Japan, the only Asian country that made it to top 10, were ranked six because of its good relations with its neighboring countries and its strict laws on possession of firearms, GPI said.
“The three least peaceful countries are Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria,” GPI report said.
“Syria’s score dropped by the largest margin, with the biggest ever score deterioration in the history of the GPI,” it added.
Afghanistan landed on the last spot because, the index said, it uses a political terror scale. It added that Afghanistan scored 3 out of 5 in military expenditures and 4.1 in terms of domestic and international conflict. Although there are less people killed in the country due to internal conflicts, the index said that the country failed to secure its people. The country scored 5 out of 5 in terms of society’s security.
“Embroiled in conflict and instability for much of the past two decades, Afghanistan remained far from peaceful during 2012. While two GPI indicators registered improvements [fewer people killed as a result of internal conflict and a drop in the number of refugees and displaced people], four deteriorated and the country returned to the foot of the GPI, below an improving Somalia,” it said.
Meanwhile, the Philippines is still among the less peaceful nations in the world based on the results of the index. The country ranked 129 in 162 countries surveyed. The index said that the country scored two out of 5 in terms of militarization, 3.1 in terms of society’s security and 3.2 out of five in terms of domestic and international conflict.
“Ranking among the least peaceful countries in AsiaPacific, Thailand, the Philippines and Myanmar all face ongoing internal civil conflict. Last year saw improved prospects for peace between the Philippines government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (the main rebel group on the southern island of Mindanao), when a framework deal for a potential peace agreement was signed. There are many obstacles to lasting peace, but negotiations appear to be on-track in 2013,” the index said.
Meanwhile, International Peace Advocate Lee Man Hee visited the Philippines to conduct a series of talks on how to achieve peace.
In a press conference at the Manila Hotel on Thursday, Lee said that the youth plays a significant role in achieving peace in a society. He said that the youth’s desire to achieve it can make a lot of difference in terms of attaining peace in a society.
Lee explained that the most common victims of war were the youth, especially the young children who are voiceless in turbulent times.
“It is the youth, the young soldiers, who fight and die in wars not the politicians who want the war,” Lee said.
Lee, now the Chairman of International Peace Youth Group, was a war veteran of the Korean war. Lee shared that as a young boy, he was forced to enter the military to fight for South Korea. He shared that upon seeing so many of his young comrade die in the battle, he promised himself that if he ever survive he will spend the rest of his life promoting peace.
Lee has been meeting with different Presidents and leaders around the world talking about drafting an international peace covenant that aims to end domestic and international wars in countries around the world.
“The whole world desires peace, even the people living in North Korea desires it,” Lee said.
Lee came to the Philippines to conduct a series of talk about peace and to discuss the peace covenant he was pushing to President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
FATIMA CIELO B. CANCEL