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Political situation keeps Cyprus low on Peace Index

Photo: CNA

Cyprus was 63rd among 163 states and territories ranked globally according to their level of peacefulness, and the island ranked 30 out of 36 countries in Europe, a newly published Global Peace Index (GPI) reported.

Due to the ongoing political situation, the country was regarded slightly more peaceful, placed 61st globally, in the previous report.

Europe remains the most peaceful region in the world and it recorded a very slight improvement after several years of deterioration. Twenty-two of the 36 European countries recorded improvements in 2018, with the largest improvements occurring for political terror, terrorism impact, refugees and IDPs, and homicide rate indicators

Of the 36 countries in Europe, Cyprus is near the bottom on the list, ranked 33, followed by Greece, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovnia, Kosovo and in last place, Turkey. Iceland has the top spot for most peaceful country in Europe.

Cyprus is, however, one of the twenty-four countries which had a reduction in terrorism impact in 2019, as are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Spain, Denmark and Turkey. The island was also included in the ten countries affected by the economic cost of violence. The report said this was due to the large percentage of displaced population.

Produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), the GPI is the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness. This report presents the most comprehensive data-driven analysis to date on peace, its economic value, trends, and how to develop peaceful societies. The GPI covers 99.7 per cent of the world’s population, using 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators.

The results this year show that the average level of global peacefulness improved very slightly in the 2019 GPI. This is the first time the index has improved in five years. The average country score improved by 0.09 per cent, with 86 countries improving, and 76 recording deteriorations.

“Despite this improvement, the world remains considerably less peaceful now than a decade ago, with the average level of peacefulness deteriorating by 3.78 per cent since 2008,” the report concluded.

Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008. It is joined at the top of the index by New Zealand, Austria, Portugal, and Denmark. Bhutan has recorded the largest improvement of any country in the top 20, rising 43 places in the last 12 years. It is now ranked at number 15.

Afghanistan is now the least peaceful country in the world, replacing Syria, which is the second least peaceful this year. South Sudan, Yemen, and Iraq comprise the remaining five least peaceful countries.

Four of the nine regions in the world became more peaceful over the past year. The greatest increase in peacefulness occurred in the Russia and Eurasia region, followed by the Middle East and North Africa. In both of these regions, the number of deaths from conflict declined, owing to the de-escalation of violence in Ukraine and Syria respectively.

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