The Institute for Economics and Peace released their annual report on world peace last week. Although Australia comes out OK, it paints a bleak picture for the world at large.
Globally, peace is at its lowest point in the last decade. And the results have been in a downtrend for four years running now.
There are a lot of factors contributing to the fall.
Some of the largest dips in peace are due to ongoing conflict and the impact of terrorism.
According to Bloomberg, the founder of the institute cited ‘Increased numbers of refugees, terrorism, and heightened political tensions’ as major factors in the downtrend.
In Europe, we’ve seen a 61% drop in peace over the last 10 years. This is unsurprising given the impact the European migrant crisis has had in the last few years.
In the first half of 2017, 105,000 refugees entered Europe. Even though 2017 saw a significant drop in refugee intake compared to 2016, the strain on their resources is still creating serious tension.
But the issue isn’t solely with Europe.
Across the 163 countries considered in this report, 92 saw a drop in their peacefulness score.
Russia scored in the bottom 10 countries. According to Business Insider, the report comes within 48 hours of Putin claiming ‘A third world war could be the end of civilisation’.
Trump and Kim to meet
Meanwhile, the world is preparing for a showdown between Trump and Kim Jong-un that kicks off tomorrow.
Both of those countries scored in the bottom 50 rankings on the peacefulness scale. However, North Korea’s place in the ranking was unchanged, while the US moved up one spot.
It will be interesting to monitor how they interact at their meeting, and what affect that could have on their individual rankings and the global peace rating.
Australia has remained steady at rank 13, with New Zealand coming in second place overall.
That’s not bad for our corner of the world. But this lack of peace across the globe came at a steep cost.
The report estimates that in 2017 alone, the decline in peace cost US$14.8 trillion. That’s over 12% of total global economic activity last year.
Looking back on the first half of this year, it’s hard to say whether next year will continue the decline.
A lot could be resting on the meeting between ‘Trump the Peacemaker’ (as he was dubbed by Bloomberg) and his meeting with Jong-un.
Or perhaps the biggest catalyst of next year’s result may not be in our line of vision, just yet.
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