Qatar has come on top of the Mena region with a rank of 31 in the Global Peace Index (GPI) released Wednesday.
With a score of 1.696, Qatar rose 25 places from the previous year to leave behind other countries in the Gulf region as Kuwait was ranked 43, the UAE 53 and Oman 69. The UAE dropped 8 points in the new assessment year while Saudi Arabia retained its position at 129 as of last year. Bahrain was ranked 124 and Egypt 136.
The GPI captures the absence of violence or the fear of violence across three domains: safety and security, ongoing conflict, and militarisation. The GPI report is produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace and developed in consultation with an international panel of peace experts from peace institutes and think tanks.
Overall, Qatar had the third largest improvement in the Mena region in terms of score change, based on reductions in political terror, the homicide rate, the intensity of internal conflict and the impact of terrorism.
In the Societal Safety and Security domain, Qatar was ranked the 20th best in the world and best in Mena.
At the global level, the Safety and Security domain improved on average, with 85 countries showing gains and 74 deteriorating. The largest improvement occurred on the Political Terror Scale indicator, which had 41 countries improve and 27 deteriorate. Every region in the world, bar South America, recorded an improvement or no change on this indicator, with the largest improvements occurring in Costa Rica, Guinea-Bissau, Qatar, Somalia and The Gambia.
Qatar was also ranked first in the Middle East and North Africa region from 2009 to 2017, according to earlier reports.
Global peacefulness has improved for the first time in five years, but the world continues to be less peaceful than a decade ago, the survey has found.
The average level of global peacefulness improved very slightly last year on the 2019 GPI. This was the first time that the index improved in the last five years. The average country score improved by -0.09%, with 86 countries improving and 76 recording deterioration.
Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008. It is joined at the top of the index by New Zealand, Austria, Portugal, and Denmark. Bhutan has recorded the largest improvement of any country in the top 20, rising 43 places in the last 12 years. Afghanistan is now the least peaceful country in the world, replacing Syria, which is now the second least peaceful. South Sudan, Yemen, and Iraq comprise the remaining five least peaceful countries.
This is the first year since the inception of the index that Yemen has been ranked amongst the five least peaceful countries. Four of the nine regions in the world improved in peacefulness in 2019: Russia and Eurasia, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East and North Africa (Mena).
Europe maintained its position as the most peaceful region in the world, which it has held for every year of the GPI. Mena remained the least peaceful region for the fifth year in a row, although it did become more peaceful last year. While most of Russia and Eurasia remains less peaceful than the global average, it showed the largest regional improvement. Central America and the Caribbean had the largest regional deterioration.
Despite the improvement this year, the world remains considerably less peaceful now than a decade ago, with the average level of peacefulness deteriorating by 3.78% since 2008. Global peacefulness has only improved for three of the last 10 years.
A wide range of factors drove the fall in peacefulness over the past decade including increased terrorist activity, the intensification of conflicts in the Middle East, rising regional tensions in Eastern Europe and northeast Asia, increasing numbers of refugees, and heightened political tensions in Europe and the US.
Mena remained the world’s least peaceful region. It is home to four of the ten least peaceful countries in the world, with no country from the region ranked higher than 30th on the GPI. However, despite ongoing armed conflict and instability in the region, it did become marginally more peaceful last year. The bulk of the improvement occurred in the Safety and Security domain, with average improvements in score for the homicide rate, incarceration rate, terrorism impact, Political Terror Scale, and violent crime indicators.