Sunday, August 28, 2016

The World Has Become Less Peaceful

It isn't just me saying it. It isn't just that we see more violence and instability on t.v. It is shown in research:

The Global Peace Index Records a Historically Less Peaceful and More Unequal World 

This research shows that the world is less peaceful in 2016, underlying a trend over the past decade.
These results also show a growing global inequality in peace, with the most peaceful countries continuing to improve  and the least peaceful are falling into greater violence and conflict. The world continues to spend enormous resources on creating and containing violence but very little on making and keeping peace.

We need to be building a holistic framework of the key attitudes, institutions and structures which build peace in the long term. The UN has a plan that is critical to focusing the international community onf the goal of creating a more peaceful world. This requires  greater investment and levels of cooperation.

 The "majority of the global deterioration is due to the developments in the Middle East and Africa (MENA), already the least peaceful region in the world.  So intense is the current concentration of violence and conflict in MENA that, when considered separately, the rest of the world’s average peace levels improved. Three of the five biggest country declines in peace occurred in the region: Yemen, Libya and Bahrain."

Worldwide terrorism and political instability have the greatest impact. "Deaths from terrorism increased by 80 per cent from last year’s report with only 69 countries not recording a terrorist incident. The intensity of terrorism also increased with the number of countries suffering more than 500 deaths from terrorist acts more than doubling, up from 5 to 11. The rise in political instability was globally distributed with large changes within many countries spread across many regions. Among the countries with the largest deteriorations were Djibouti, Guinea-Bissau, Poland, Burundi, Kazakhstan and Brazil."

Terrorism around the world accounts for a small percentage of the total number of violent deaths. However, terrorism has grown steadily over the past decade. The number of yearly incidents has almost tripled since 2011 and the number of deaths has increased to over 30,000. "There are signs that terrorism is becoming more common across the globe, with almost every region having an increase in its terrorism impact score from 2008 to 2016."

In 2014 battle deaths hit a 25 year high, "owing largely to the conflict in Syria but also the increasingly protracted conflict in Yemen, battle deaths hit a 25 year high. This number is likely to increase when 2015 data is released."
And all of this impacts the world in more ways than just the loss of life. The economic burden is enormous. But even greater is the emotional impact on those who witness this violence in person and via the media. The level of fear increases daily. And fear leads to further violence in the homes and communities worldwide.

There are signs of hope in the midst of the negatives. The indicator with the largest improvement is UN peacekeeping funding. This underscores the increasing commitment of the international community to maintaining adequate funding for peacekeeping operations. This needs to be supported with the energy so many utilize to support violence and division. It is through creating unity and connection that peace can be possible. 

And people and organizations are addressing the need for peacemaking. A few of those are listed at the end of this post. Check them out to get ideas of how you can be involved in creating a more peaceful world. 

Please add organizations and/or projects you are aware of  in the comments so that we share resources in our efforts.

The statistics in this post come from the Vision of Humanity Organization web page:


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