Ukraine records largest increase in peacefulness globally in 2020

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Ukraine’s score in Global Peace Index in 2020 improved by 0.22 or 7.6%, to 2.66, which recorded the largest increase in peacefulness globally among 163 countries, according to the Global Peace Index (GPI) report posted by the London-based Institute for Economics and Peace on Thursday.

“Indictors that improved included violent crime, violent demonstrations, political instability and the intensity of internal conflict,” the authors of the report said.

The country rose six places in the GPI to 142 GPI rank between Iran and Israel.

“Although Ukraine had the largest increase in peacefulness, concerns remain about the outbreak of future conflict. Russia massed troops on its border with Ukraine in the early part of 2021… Despite the withdrawal of troops from the border region, tensions are likely to remain high for the foreseeable future,” according to the study.

The worst deterioration was shown by Burkina Faso (0.254) and Belarus (0.183), which took 134th and 117th ranks.

Belarus recorded the largest deterioration in the region and the second largest deterioration globally as Belarus experienced the largest anti-government protests in its history, organised by the opposition in response to President Lukashenko seeking a sixth term in office.

Russia is the least peaceful nation in the region and is one of the least peaceful countries in the world on the 2021 GPI, with an overall rank of 154.

In the past year, 87 countries recorded an improvement in peacefulness, while 73 countries recorded a deterioration, and the average level of global peacefulness deteriorated by 0.07% in the 2021 Global Peace Index – the second lowest indicator of change in 15 years of calculating the index.

“It is still too early to fully gauge the long-term effects of the pandemic on peace. However, the changing economic conditions in many nations increases the likelihood of political instability and violent demonstrations,” the study said. Over 5,000 pandemic related violent events were recorded between January 2020 and April 2021

Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008 with GPI of 1.1. It is joined at the top of the index by New Zealand, Denmark, and Portugal.

Afghanistan is the least peaceful country in the world for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Yemen, Syria, and South Sudan.