First Published: 2007-05-30

 
Study: Iraq least peaceful country in world
 

Iraq comes bottom in Global Peace Index just below Sudan, with Israel only two places from bottom.

 

Middle East Online

By Michael Thurston – LONDON

Mass funerals every day

Norway is the most peaceful country in the world and Iraq the least, according to a study launched Wednesday, which notably puts Japan near the top and Russia and Israel close to the bottom.

The Global Peace Index, published a week before a Group of Eight (G8) summit in Germany, rates 121 countries from Algeria to Zimbabwe on some 24 factors including levels of violence, organised crime and military expenditure.

While most European countries including Britain rank in the top, more peaceful half of the league table, the United States is nearer the bottom in 96th place, while Russia is fifth from last on 118th.

"This is a wake-up call for leaders around the globe," said Steve Killelea, who commissioned the study from the Economist Intelligence Unit, which is linked to the news weekly The Economist.

"Countries like Japan and Germany can give hope and optimism to countries further down the index that there can be light at the end of what may seem at the moment like a very dark tunnel," he added.

Norway, the peace-promoting Scandinavian country which brokered the 1993 Oslo Mideast accords and has also sought to resolve fighting in Sri Lanka -- is followed by New Zealand in second place and neighbouring Denmark in third.

Iraq, which has been gripped by growing violence since the 2003 US-led invasion of the country, comes bottom just below Sudan, with Israel only two places from the bottom on 119th place.

The index is backed by international figures including the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former US President Jimmy Carter and US economist Joseph Stiglitz, all winners of the Nobel peace prize. It is also supported by Queen Noor of Jordan.

Overall the study found that small, stable countries which are part of regional blocs such as the 27-nation European Union are most likely to be more peaceful.

Income and education are crucial in promoting peace, it said, while also noting that countries which had turbulent times in the 20th century, such as Ireland and Austria, have emerged as "peace leaders" in the 21st century.

"I believe there is a link between the peacefulness and the wealth of nations and therefore business has a key role to play in peace," said Killelea.

The Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Buddhist leader who fled China after an aborted uprising in 1959, said the launch of the index could be a useful tool for policymakers.

"Compiling and maintaining an index of which countries are the most peaceful and publishing the results will undoubtedly make the factors and qualities that contribute to that status better known, and will encourage people to foster them in their own countries," he said.

Organizers say the plan is to publish the index annually for the next two years, while after that the frequency with which it is updated will be reviewed.

Here are the top 10 and bottom 10 countries in the index:



TOP 10 BOTTOM 10

1. Norway 112. Angola

2. New Zealand 113. Ivory Coast

3. Denmark 114. Lebanon

4. Ireland 115. Pakistan

5. Japan 116. Colombia

6. Finland 117. Nigeria.

7. Sweden 118. Russia

8. Canada 119. Israel

9. Portugal 120. Sudan

10. Austria 121. Iraq.

 

Iraq rejects US criticism of security forces over defeat in Ramadi

Soldier kills comrades in Tunisia barracks shooting

Fierce fighting rocks Yemen as peace hopes fade out

Fukushima nuclear plant wins Qatar contract

UAE launches strategic framework for national space agency

Netanyahu names rightist ally as new Foreign Ministry chief

Hezbollah captures hilltops from Qaeda wing in Syria

Saudi Shiites hold mass funeral for victims of mosque bombing

Sudan targets newspapers in major media crackdown

Iran looks forward to total lifting of sanctions

Syria regime launches air raids around Palmyra

Hezbollah urges broad support for ‘existential battle’ in Syria

Olmert sentenced to eight months for corruption

Nobel Prize-winning John Nash killed in car crash

Blow to Yemen peace efforts as UN conference postponed

US accuses Iraq forces lacking will to fight IS

Weakened by war, Syria regime appears ready for ‘de facto partition’

Iran army ‘needs bigger budget to counter IS’

Saudi Shiites refuse to be provoked by deadly mosque bombing

Iran denies agreement on inspection of military sites

Emirati aid shipment arrives in Yemen port city of Aden

GCC denies air campaign against IS terrorists has failed

Tripoli leaders use migrant issue as they yearn for recognition

‘Islamic State’ takes full control of Iraq-Syria border crossing

Saudi king vows to punish those behind bombing at Shiite mosque

Sudan's Islamists protest against el-Sisi

Saudi mosque attack intended to fan sectarian tension

Islamic State claims Saudi mosque bombing

Israel solicits Platini to sway FIFA

Islamic State reinforces ‘caliphate’ with control of borders

Israeli deputy FM: 'All of it is ours'

Iraqi forces to launch Ramadi offensive

Tunis asks Rome to extradite terror suspect

Suicide bomb attack on Saudi Shiite mosque

Saudi-led coalition warplanes pound Sanaa outskirts

Shebab gunmen raid Kenya village

Kuwait businessman Khorafi dies at 75

IS fighters attack Iraq forces east of Ramadi

Obama offers Tunisia closer security ties

Yemen air strikes continue as Iran calls for talks

Israeli court orders release of Khalida Jarrar

Netanyahu meets with Arab leader Ayman Odeh

U.S. sanctions two companies linked to Iran's plane purchases

Iran supports Yemen talks, denounces foreign interference

IS militants call for attacks on Egypt's judges