The 2017 Global Peace Index places Switzerland in the top 10. The Global Peace Index, produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace ranks 163 countries covering 99.7% of the world’s population. The index looks at 23 indicators covering the level of safety and security in society, the degree of domestic or international conflict, and the level of militarisation.
Switzerland grabbed the ninth spot overall, scoring third for safety and security in society behind Iceland and Norway. It also made the top five for ongoing domestic and international conflict. Its relatively high level of militarisation was what kept it from scoring nearer the top. On this measure Switzerland was in the bottom third. Other countries near the bottom on militarisation included the UK, France and the US. This particular part of the ranking does beg the question of how stable and peaceful the world might be overall if these three nations retreated militarily leaving others to rule the roost?
The following World Economic Forum video runs through the top 10 countries.
Along with a number of other overall high scorers, Switzerland’s biggest decline (17.7%) over the ten years from 2005 to 2015 was on acceptance of the rights of others. Big sliders here were Norway (43.3%), Hungary (23%), Finland (21.7%) and Slovakia (19.5%). Norway’s drop was the result of a significant deterioration in the group grievances indicator, which fell in 2012 in the aftermath of the 2011 Norway terrorist attacks.
Areas where Switzerland improved were corruption and equitable distribution of resources.
Overall the report is gloomy. While the world in aggregate has become slightly more peaceful compared to last year, with 93 countries becoming more peaceful compared to 63 deteriorating, the gap between the leaders and trailers has widened.
And over a longer time frame a negative trend is clear. For example the number of deaths from terrorism has increased 247% since 2008.
Since 1999 there has been a dramatic rise in the number of UN peacekeepers deployed, particularly in the Middle East and Africa where 94% of peacekeeping personnel were deployed in 2016.
The authors estimate the global economic impact of violence was estimated at US$ 14.3 trillion in purchasing power terms in 2016, 12.6% of global GDP.
2017 Global Peace Index (in English)