Global peace hits 15-year low but Belgium moves up two places

Global peace hits 15-year low but Belgium moves up two places
Protest march to express support for the Ukrainian population, denouncing the Russian invasion, in Brussels, Sunday 06 March 2022. Credit: Belga / Nicolas Maeterlinck

The war in Ukraine and the economic situation following the Covid-19 pandemic are having a significant impact on world peace indexes, which have reached their lowest level in 15 years. Meanwhile, Belgium has moved up two places and now has ranked 22nd on the Global Peace Index.

The 16th edition of the Global Peace Index was published on Wednesday, constituting a list based on the level of peace in 163 countries across the globe.

The report shows that the average level of global peace has dropped by 0,3% compared to last year: 71 countries faced deterioration, while 90 countries showed improvement. However, the worldwide situation has deteriorated significantly since 2008, as the average has dropped by 3.2%.

War and Covid-19

The report indicates that the “ongoing conflict” domain is the main cause for the decrease in peace, as several indicators in that area have recorded significant increases.

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The “deaths due to external conflict” indicator saw the most significant change with an increase of more than 4%, particularly linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The two countries are among the five nations that have experienced the greatest deterioration in peace.

Another indicator was severely affected by Russia’s war on Ukraine, namely the “relations with neighbouring countries” factor, which reached its worst score since the creation of the Index, especially for countries bordering Russia.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy has also had consequences for world peace. Many countries, including Belgium, have seen outbreaks of protests and violence aimed at governments’ management of the health crisis, and the intensity of violent protests has increased in 126 out of 163 countries.

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