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RP ranks 114th in Global Peace Index

By Lito Katigbak

WASHINGTON The Philippines is 114th among 144 countries in the world rated for their state of peace in the face of global recession and growing political instability.

This was based on the 2009 Global Peace Index prepared by the Institute for Economics and Peace.

The report showed that the world was less peaceful last year due to the effects of rapidly rising food and fuel prices early in 2008 as well as the dramatic global economic downturn in the final quarter of the year.
New Zealand topped the list as the worlds most peaceful country with a score of 1.202, followed by Denmark and Norway.

The Philippines, at 114th place, has a score of 2.327. In the previous year it was in 113th spot with a score of 2.385. The GPI was collated and calculated by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

It said rising unemployment, pay freezes and falls in the value of house prices, savings and pensions caused popular resentment in many countries with political repercussions that have been registered by the GPI through various indicators measuring safety and security in society.

Singapore in 23rd place was rated as Southeast Asias most peaceful country, followed by Malaysia, 26th; Vietnam, 39th, Laos, 45th, Indonesia, 67th, and Cambodia, 105th.
Thailand was in 118th place and Myanmar (Burma) ranked 126th.
The United States was in 83rd place with a score of 2.015.

The Index looks at 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators of external and internal measures of peacefulness, ranging from a nations level of military expenditure to its relations with neighboring countries and the level of respect for human rights.

Internally, these include homicides, percentage of the population in jail, availability of guns, and level of organized crime.

External indicators include the size of the military, exports and imports of arms and battlefield deaths.
A study released alongside the 2009 GPI estimated the economic impact of lost peace on the global economy at $7.2 trillion per year.

Iraq was again the worlds least peaceful country in 2008, remaining in 144th place. Afghanistan, Somalia, Israel and Sudan were the next least peaceful, ranking 143rd to 140th respectively.

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