Vietnam is among top 10 of the most peaceful countries


                                                                City street in Vietnam
According to the latest index of the annual Global Peace Index, Vietnam is among only 10 countries which are not engaged in any conflicts.
According to authors of the index, the world is becoming a more dangerous place and there are now just 10 countries which can be considered completely free from conflict. The worsening conflict in the Middle East, the lack of a solution to the refugee crisis and an increase in deaths from major terrorist incidents have all contributed to the world less peaceful in 2016 than it was in 2015.
And there are now fewer countries in the world which can be considered truly at peace - in other words, not engaged in any conflicts either internally or externally - than there were in 2014. According to the Institute for Economics and Peace, a think tank which has produced the index the past 10 years, only Botswana, Chile, Costa Rica, Japan, Mauritius, Panama, Qatar, Switzerland, Uruguay and Vietnam are free from conflict.
The IEP’s founder Steve Killelea said, the most remarkable result from this year’s peace index was the extent to which the situation in the Middle East drags down the rest of the world when it comes to peacefulness.
“If we look at the world overall, it has become slightly less peaceful in the last 12 months” Killelea said.
“But if we took the Middle East out of the index over the last decade - and last year - the world would have become more peaceful. It really highlights the impact the Middle East is having on the world.”
The index shows that 81 countries became more peaceful in the past year, while the situation deteriorated in 79. Unlike with previous years, however, the IEP noticed a clear trend where the more peaceful countries improved further while the less peaceful countries got even worse - producing what they called greater “peace inequality” across the world.
“The key reason behind it is our inability to solve the conflicts which are emerging,” Mr Killelea said. “The conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have been going for well over a decade, then it spilled into Syria in 2011, and afterwards into Libya and Yemen. That is really the key to the problem. If we take battlefied deaths for example, they are up at 112.000 -  a 20-year high. But again, if you took out Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, they count for 75 per cent of those deaths.”
Iceland was once again named the world’s most peaceful country, followed by Denmark, Austria, New Zealand and Portugal, the latter improving nine places. Syria was once again named the least peaceful country.
The IEP tries to define positive peace in numerical terms, giving countries scores for a range of factors including “acceptance of the rights of others”, “low levels of corruption”, “the free flow of information” and a “well functioning government”.
Finally, the index identified Europe once again as the most peaceful region in the world, and by some margin, home to seven of the top 10 countries on the list. Yet the continent is not immune to war - Britain, France, Belgium and others are heavily involved in external conflict in the Middle East, and face a growing threat to peace from international terrorism./.
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