Qatar retained its position as the most peaceful country in the Middle East in the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2016 released yesterday. Qatar is ranked 34 in the Index, slipping four places from last year. Other GCC states came far behind — Kuwait at 51, UAE 61, Oman 24, Saudi Arabia 129 and Bahrain 132.
Iceland is ranked as the most peaceful country globally, followed by Denmark and Austria, in the second and third positions, respectively.
The study, by international think-tank the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) finds that peace declined at a faster rate than in the previous year. Of the 163 countries ranked by the report, 81 improved their status, while the condition deteriorated in another 79 countries.
The 10th edition of the GPI highlights a stark and growing inequality in global levels of peacefulness as the gap between the most and least peaceful countries continues to widen.
Qatar has had fairly stable levels of peace, with little change in the last decade due in part to its relatively high levels of internal peacefulness; Qatar performs in the best band for low levels of internal conflict, said an IEP statement.
“In 2015, violence containment expenditure in Qatar totalled $18.2 billion PPP, an increase of 1.5 times from 2008. At 7 per cent of GDP, this was ranked 93rd in the world. Addressing the global disparity in peace and achieving an overall 10 per cent decrease in the economic impact of violence would produce a peace dividend of $1.36 trillion. This is approximately equivalent to the size of world food exports,” said Steve Killelea, Founder and Executive Chairman of the IEP.