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World Peace Index: Philippines up 3 notches
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World Peace Index: Philippines up 3 notches

BAGUIO CITY  , Philippines, July 12 ------ The Philippines improved slightly in the global list of most peaceful countries. Based on the 2019 Global Peace Index, the Philippines ranked 134th out of 163 countries, up three places from 137th in the previous GPI. Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world – a position it has held since 2008. It is joined at the top of the list by New Zealand, Austria, Portugal and Denmark as the most peaceful countries.

Strife-torn Afghanistan is the least peaceful country in the world, replacing Syria, which is ranked second least peaceful. Bhutan recorded the largest improvement of any country in the top 20, rising 43 places in the last 12 years.  South Sudan, Yemen and Iraq are the remaining five least peaceful countries.

In Asia Pacific, the Philippines ranked 18th as least peaceful country, trailing behind North Korea at the bottom. New Zealand is the most peaceful country in Asia Pacific. In Southeast Asia, the Philippines was also the least peaceful, with Singapore ranked seventh in the overall GPI 2019 as the most peaceful, followed by Malaysia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar. Released by the Sydney-based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), the GPI ranks countries according to their level of peacefulness based on three domains: level of safety and security, extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict and degree of militarization.

The IEP found that “the world became more peaceful for the first time in five years, with the average level of peacefulness improving slightly by 0.09 percent.” The increase in peacefulness was the result of reduction in the severity of major conflicts worldwide, the Australian think tank said. India, the Philippines, Japan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Pakistan are the nine countries with the highest risk of multiple climate hazards, the report’s findings said. The top five countries with the largest total military expenditure are India, the US, China, Saudi Arabia and Russia, it added.