The ten-year perspective on the 2017 Global Peace Index (GPI) finds that global peacefulness has deteriorated by 2.14% since 2008, with 52% of GPI countries recording a deterioration, while 48% improved. Furthermore, the study found that the toll on sustaining violence and conflict surpasses a yearly estimate of a trillion euros.
The GPI is the leading study on global peace, and it is produced annually by the Institute for Economics and peace (IEP), an independent nonprofit think tank focused on tangible measurements of peace headquartered in Sydney, Australia.
The index gauges global peace and ranks 163 countries around the world, or 99.7% of the population, based on 3 factors: the level of safety in society, the extent of conflict (internal and external), and the level of militarization.
While the world has seen some improvements in global peace, the planet has seen a total decrease in peacefulness of 2.14% in the last 10 years. The index acknowledges that the main drivers of this decrease are the continuous conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa, which resulted in a large increase in battle deaths, terrorism deaths and the number of refugees and internally displaced persons. The areas also presented the most deterioration in the 2017 index.
The increase in deaths from terrorism is estimated at 247% since 2008, and the number of deaths in battle rose 408% between 2007 and 2015. Meanwhile, the number of displaced persons of concern to the UNHCR, including refugees and IDPs, has doubled, with an estimated number of almost 64 million in 2016.
The report further points out the alarming cost of sustained violence. In terms of the global economic impact of violence, it is estimated that the majority of it is comprised by government spending on security, 29%, and military, 39%, with 14% spent to address homicides and the remainder spend on various forms of conflict and violence.
The total impact of violence in global economy in the year of 2016 adds up to 12.8 trillion euro, which is equivalent to 12.6% of the world GDP. This includes military, internal state security, crime and interpersonal violence and armed conflict, which have heavier to lighter impact in that order.
Individually, the index found, the cost of violence is of 4,83 € per person a day. That adds up to a yearly bill of 1758,12 € per person to sustain violence around the globe.
On the positive side, there have been some specific sector-specific improvements. 72% of countries surveyed in the index have seen a decrease in the size of their armed forces rate, and 65% of countries saw a reduction in military expenditure as a percentage of their GDP. Furthermore, global homicide rates dropped in 67% of countries.
According to the study, the global community could save 1.28 trillion euro by decreasing world violence by just 10%. That is 10 times the amount invested in global official development assistance in the year of 2016, and three times the total climate finance in the year 2014.