Canada among most peaceful nations in the world: report
NationalPost.com – news/Canada
May 25, 2011. Postmedia News
Canada is once again among the Top 10 most peaceful countries in the world, according to a global survey.
The Institute for Economics and Peace, an international research body, says in its 2011 Global Peace Index that Canada is the eighth most peaceful country in the world in which to live, out of 153 countries measured.
Warmer foreign relations and a decrease to the lowest possible level on what the institute calls the “political terror scale”— a measure of a nation’s respect for human rights — all contributed to Canada’s position in the survey.
However, holding Canada from climbing higher on the index was an increase in the likelihood of violent protests, a reflection of the demonstrations in Toronto during last year’s G20 meetings.
Canada’s ranking in last year’s index was 14th. Over the past five years in which the institute has released the index, Canada has never scored higher than eighth place.
The index uses 23 quantitative and qualitative measures, such as military spending as a percentage of GDP, level of violent crime, likelihood of violent demonstrations, deaths from conflict and relations with neighbouring countries, to determine the level of peace within a given country.
Iceland ranked first in the survey, bumping New Zealand from the top spot. Iraq moved from the bottom of the survey for the first time, replaced by war-torn Somalia as the least peaceful country in the world.
The 2011 index also took into account the impact of democracy movements in the Middle East, with Libya, Bahrain and Egypt all falling in the rankings.
Economic instability led to declines in the peacefulness attributed to Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland. The United States was solidly in the middle of the pack in 82nd place, likely because it is the world’s leading military power and involved in at least two active wars.
Overall, the institute said the threat of terrorism and likelihood of violent demonstrations were the two leading factors that made the world less peaceful this year.
This decline in peace, the institute said, costs the world economy about $8.12-trillion.
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