SA rises up global peace index despite internal woes

SA rises up global peace index despite internal woes

by Staff Writer  2016-06-08 20:23:29.0

THE 2016 Global Peace Index rewards SA for reducing spending on weapons but warns of political and social instability to come.

SA was a top-five improver, rising seven places year on year — although it still ranks a lowly 126th worldwide — driven by an improvement in the political terror scale‚ as well as a reduction in arms trade and military spending‚ according to the index‚ issued on Wednesday.

Panama recorded the largest score improvement‚ rising 24 positions to 49th in the rankings. It was followed by Sri Lanka, which was up 18 places to 97th while Thailand rose nine positions to 125th. Mauritania was the next best improver‚ gaining eight positions to 123rd.

Across the top risers‚ there was an improvement in internal peace‚ with indicators related to internal conflict improving in Mauritania‚ SA and Sri Lanka‚ and a reduced likelihood of violent demonstrations in Panama‚ Sri Lanka and Thailand‚ the report stated.

The report noted‚ however‚ that notwithstanding increased levels of internal stability‚ in some cases this was not accompanied with a strengthening of democracy – SA‚ Thailand and Mauritania all deteriorated in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index.

The report states: “SA’s domestic situation improved strongly in 2015‚ lifting the overall score and pushing the country up seven places in the ranking. Improvements in the intensity of organised internal conflict and the Political Terror Scale were the main drivers of growing levels of internal peace‚ even though‚ in absolute terms‚ the scores for these indicators are weaker than the global average and the country still suffers from major institutional deficiencies that could hinder further consolidation of peace.”

SA’s overall rank of 126th is the lowest among the five biggest risers. There was some evidence of reduced militarisation‚ including reduced weapons imports and exports as well as lower military expenditure.

“Risk of underlying unrest remained high in 2015‚ and was exacerbated by the country’s high crime rate which was also reflected in a rise in the number of jailed people per 100‚000 population. Consolidation of power by the ruling ANC and a weak and mistrusted security apparatus will weigh on internal stability‚ which means the country may find it hard to build on its progress going forward.”

Overall‚ the economic impact of violence on the global economy in 2015 was $13.6-trillion in purchasing power parity terms‚ according to the index.

This figure represents 13.3% of the world’s economic activity (gross world product) or $1‚876 for every person in the world. It is approximately 11 times the size of global foreign direct investment.

The largest regional improvement occurred in Central America and the Caribbean‚ recording an average improvement of 1%. South and North America made progress as well‚ while the Middle East and North Africa experienced the largest deterioration‚ followed by sub-Saharan Africa‚ Europe and the Asia-Pacific.

A 10-year-long deterioration in peace has largely been driven by the intensifying conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa region. Terrorism is also at an all-time high‚ battle deaths from conflict are at a 25-year high‚ and the number of refugees and displaced people are at a level not seen in 60 years.

There are nine countries with more than 10% of their population classified as refugees or displaced persons, with more than 60% of Syrians displaced and more than 20% of the populations of Somalia and South Sudan being displaced.

Child soldiers sit with their rifles at a ceremony of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration in Pibor overseen by UNICEF and partners. Warring forces in South Sudan have abducted as many as a thousand more child solders in the latest abuses in the 18-month long civil war, military monitors said on June 25. Picture: AFP PHOTO/CHARLES LOMODONG

Child soldiers sit with their rifles at a ceremony of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration in Pibor, South Sudan, overseen by UNICEF and partners. Picture: AFP PHOTO/CHARLES LOMODONG

THE 2016 Global Peace Index rewards SA for reducing spending on weapons but warns of political and social instability to come.

SA was a top-five improver, rising seven places year on year — although it still ranks a lowly 126th worldwide — driven by an improvement in the political terror scale‚ as well as a reduction in arms trade and military spending‚ according to the index‚ issued on Wednesday.

Panama recorded the largest score improvement‚ rising 24 positions to 49th in the rankings. It was followed by Sri Lanka, which was up 18 places to 97th while Thailand rose nine positions to 125th. Mauritania was the next best improver‚ gaining eight positions to 123rd.

Across the top risers‚ there was an improvement in internal peace‚ with indicators related to internal conflict improving in Mauritania‚ SA and Sri Lanka‚ and a reduced likelihood of violent demonstrations in Panama‚ Sri Lanka and Thailand‚ the report stated.

The report noted‚ however‚ that notwithstanding increased levels of internal stability‚ in some cases this was not accompanied with a strengthening of democracy – SA‚ Thailand and Mauritania all deteriorated in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index.

The report states: “SA’s domestic situation improved strongly in 2015‚ lifting the overall score and pushing the country up seven places in the ranking. Improvements in the intensity of organised internal conflict and the Political Terror Scale were the main drivers of growing levels of internal peace‚ even though‚ in absolute terms‚ the scores for these indicators are weaker than the global average and the country still suffers from major institutional deficiencies that could hinder further consolidation of peace.”

SA’s overall rank of 126th is the lowest among the five biggest risers. There was some evidence of reduced militarisation‚ including reduced weapons imports and exports as well as lower military expenditure.

“Risk of underlying unrest remained high in 2015‚ and was exacerbated by the country’s high crime rate which was also reflected in a rise in the number of jailed people per 100‚000 population. Consolidation of power by the ruling ANC and a weak and mistrusted security apparatus will weigh on internal stability‚ which means the country may find it hard to build on its progress going forward.”

Overall‚ the economic impact of violence on the global economy in 2015 was $13.6-trillion in purchasing power parity terms‚ according to the index.

This figure represents 13.3% of the world’s economic activity (gross world product) or $1‚876 for every person in the world. It is approximately 11 times the size of global foreign direct investment.

The largest regional improvement occurred in Central America and the Caribbean‚ recording an average improvement of 1%. South and North America made progress as well‚ while the Middle East and North Africa experienced the largest deterioration‚ followed by sub-Saharan Africa‚ Europe and the Asia-Pacific.

A 10-year-long deterioration in peace has largely been driven by the intensifying conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa region. Terrorism is also at an all-time high‚ battle deaths from conflict are at a 25-year high‚ and the number of refugees and displaced people are at a level not seen in 60 years.

There are nine countries with more than 10% of their population classified as refugees or displaced persons, with more than 60% of Syrians displaced and more than 20% of the populations of Somalia and South Sudan being displaced.

Leave a Reply