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Global Peace Index: Portugal among the most peaceful, but there have not been so many countries at war since the Second World War

There have not been so many countries at war since the Second World War, revealed the 18th edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI), published this Tuesday. According to the report, prepared by the think tank International Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP), there are currently 56 conflicts taking place in the 163 countries on the list.

Globally, 97 countries registered a deterioration in peace levelsthe highest number since the creation of the GPI in 2008. The decline in peace was motivated particularly by conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine, responsible for almost three-quarters of the 162,000 combat deaths recorded in 2023 – the second highest number of deaths in 30 years.

Despite the instability of the present geopolitical context, Iceland continues to occupy the top position in the Global Peace Indexremaining the most peaceful country in the world since 2008. The top 5 also include, respectively, Ireland, Austria, New Zealand and Singapore – debuting among the five most peaceful countries.

Portugal is second least militarized

Portugal appears in seventh place, after Switzerland, having dropped one position compared to the previous report. In the tables that distinguish the five most and least peaceful countries in a given field, the country appears slightly better placed. In the field of “militarization†, it is in second place, after Iceland and ahead of Malaysia, Bhutan and Slovenia. In Europe, it ranks fifth, after Iceland, Ireland, Austria and Switzerland.

At the opposite end of the classification, Yemen ranks as the least peaceful country in the world, having replaced Afghanistan at the bottom of the table. Next are Sudan, South Sudan, Afghanistan and Ukraine. O The top 10 of these countries also includes Russia and Israel, ranked as the seventh and ninth least peaceful countries in the worldrespectively.

In addition to a concrete increase in the number of conflicts, these have become more international, with 92 countries participating in wars outside their borders, the highest figure since the founding of the GPI. The report also states that in the last five years, 100 countries were partially involved in some form of external conflict, compared to 59 registered in 2008.

Alongside the generalization and internationalization of conflicts, the report highlights their growing complexity, which “reduces the likelihood of finding lasting solutions†. “Ukraine and Gaza are examples of ongoing historical claims or ‘forever wars’ without clear resolutions,†points out the GPI.

Use of drones increased by 150%

Equally preponderant is the evolution of “asymmetric warfare technology†, which facilitates the participation of smaller countries or those with less military power, as well as non-state groups, in conflicts ongoing. According to the report, the number of states using drones as a weapon of war increased from 16 to 40 between 2018 and 2023 (+150%).

Generally speaking, the militarization increased in 91 of the 163 countries analyzed since the start of the war in Ukraine, the biggest increase since the start of the GPI, reversing the trend of the previous 15 years. To the transformations in war dynamicswhich began to integrate increasingly sophisticated technology, led 100 countries to reduce the number of personnel in their armed forces.

Nevertheless, global military capacity rose by more than 10%. “Taking into account the commitments made by many countries in terms of military expenditure, it is unlikely that the situation will improve in the coming years,†reads the report.

Observing factors such as military sophistication, technology and combat readiness, as opposed to traditional approaches that only count the number of personnel, the IEP concluded that “the US has a military substantially superior to that of China, followed closely by Russia†.

“The combination of these factors means that the likelihood of a new major conflict is higher than in any year since the start of the GPI,†warns the think tank.

As a result of active conflicts, more than 95 million people are currently refugees or internally displaced, with 16 countries currently hosting more than half a million refugees.

Source

Francesco Giganti

Journalist, social media, blogger and pop culture obsessive in newshubpro

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