Don't Look Now, But This Think Tank Ranks the PH Below Azerbaijan in Its Global Peace Index

Don't worry, trolls, the U.S. is ranked lower too.

philippines global peace index
PHOTO BY Shutterstock ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) It's no surprise that the ongoing pandemic is largely affecting global peace and security. Deteriorating economic conditions because of quarantine restrictions are causing periods of unrest in various nations. And the Institute for Economics and Peace has highlighted this in their latest Global Peace Index, which ranks 163 independent states and territories based on their "level of peacefulness." Iceland remains on top as the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008. The Philippines is at 127th place, just 36 notches above the least peaceful country, Afghanistan.

Also read: The Philippines Has Been Named Least Safe Country in the World

The annual Global Peace Index (GPI) was first launched in 2006 by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), which is headquartered in Sydney with offices in New York, The Hague, Mexico City, Brussels, and Harare. IEP is an "independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank" that hopes to shift the world's focus to peace as a "positive, achievable, and tangible measure of human well-being and progress." GPI 2021: Measuring Peace in a Complex World was released through their website Vision of Humanity in June.

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According to IEP, the GPI is "the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness." They present "the most comprehensive data-driven analysis to-date on trends in peace, its economic value, and how to develop peaceful societies" by using 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators. The scores are based on three domains: the level of societal safety and security, the extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict, and the degree of militarization. Unlike Global Finance Magazine's list of "World's Safest Countries," they didn't include natural disaster risk as a fundamental factor as well as a nation's COVID-19 response.

GPI used a color-coded State of Peace spectrum, which ranges from "Very High" (green) to "Very Low" (red). Some of the countries in the green zone are Iceland, New Zealand, Denmark, Portugal, and Slovenia; while the bottom-ranking, red-zoned nations are Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and Afghanistan, which is at the lowest spot.

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philippines global peace index
PHOTO BY Institute for Economics & Peace
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philippines global peace index
PHOTO BY Institute for Economics & Peace

The Philippines is in the "Low" (orange) zone with a score of 2.417 at the 127th rank, three notches higher than the country's previous ranking, out of 163 countries. Within the Asia-Pacific, the country is at 17th place out of 19 countries.

They also pointed out that experience of violence is low in the Asia-Pacific, but the actual experience of violence is highest in the Philippines compared to the rest of the region. "Over 28 % of people [in the Philippines] reported suffering serious harm from violent crime, or knowing someone who had, in the last two years," their research found. In terms of ongoing domestic and international conflict, the country is found to be less peaceful than Israel, Azerbaijan, Rwanda, and Honduras. We are just 28 notches higher the most conflict-ridden nation, which is Syria. For societal safety and security, the Philippines is still among the low-ranking countries, just 35 notches above the Afghanistan. For militarization, the country is one of the middle-ranking countries.

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IEP maintained that violence remains one of the most pressing issues for people globally. They believe that "the key to building peacefulness in times of conflict and uncertainty is positive peace." This can be achieved if a society's attitude leans towards making violence less tolerated, when institutions are more responsive to a society's needs, and structures that support non-violent solutions towards grievances are created.

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