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Botswana still ranked among the world's most peaceful countr...
09/06/11

(Gaborone, 27/5/11) - The just released 2011 Global Peace Index (GPI) has ranked Botswana as one of the world's most peaceful countries, as well as the most peaceful country in Africa. Botswana's worldwide ranking in the Index was 35 out of the 153 countries measured in the survey, which taken together comprise some 99’% of the world’s population.

According to the survey's authors “Botswana fares best [in Africa] for the third successive year.”

Iceland was ranked as the world's most peaceful nation, followed by New Zealand, Japan, Denmark and the Czech Republic.

Among the Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council, Botswana ranked just above France (36) and below the UK (26), while the other three – China (80), USA (82) and Russia (147) – were well behind.

On the continent Botswana was followed by Malawi (39), which was among this year’s most improved, Ghana (42), Tunisia (44) and Mozambique (48).

Botswana’s rank continues to stands in contrast with that of neighbouring states South Africa (118) and Zimbabwe (140), which were once again singled out as numbering among the world's least peaceful societies.

Somalia replaced Iraq as the world’s least peaceful country, followed from the bottom by Sudan and Afghanistan. Not surprisingly Libya fell the most in this year’s rankings joining the list of nations said to be suffering from severe conflict. Other “top fallers” were Bahrain, Egypt, North Korea and Madagascar.

The Global Peace Index is maintained by the Institute for Economics and Peace and developed in consultation with an international panel of experts with data collected and analysed by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The Index is composed of 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from respected sources, which combine internal and external factors ranging from a nation’s level of military expenditure to its relations with neighbouring countries and the level of respect for human rights. These indicators were selected by an international panel of academics, business people, philanthropists and members of peace institutions.

In addition to the Economist Intelligence Unit, organizations engaged in the study include the United Nations Survey of Criminal Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems, International Institute for Strategic Studies, University of Uppsala Conflict Data Programme, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Bonn International Centre for Conversion and the International Centre for Prisons Studies.

The Index is further said to have been tested against a broad range of “drivers” or potential determinants of peace, including levels of democracy and transparency, education and material wellbeing, which were collected from such additional sources as Amnesty International, the World Bank and Reporters without Frontiers.

The Global Peace Index was originally the brainchild of Australian entrepreneur and philanthropist Steve Killelea, who argues that it "is a wake-up call for leaders around the globe." It has been endorsed by such individuals as Kofi Annan, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, economist Jeffrey Sachs, and Nobel Laureates such as Martti Ahtisaari, Mary Robinson and Jimmy Carter.

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