GCSP - Maison de la paix
Chaired by Dr Caty Clément, Senior Programme Advisor and Senior Fellow in the Leadership, Crisis and Conflict Management, the guest speakers were Mr Steve Killelea, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Institute for Economics and Peace, and Mr Scott Weber, Director-General of Interpeace.
This was an opportunity not only to launch the 2015 Global Peace Index Report in Geneva, but also to get more insight on how the index was created, what it accounts for and the trends it reveals.
Accounting for more than 99% of the world’s population, the index has developed 23 indicators that are used to calculate the relative level of nations’ and regions’ peacefulness. The trend is positive: 81 of the countries listed have become “more peaceful” and European nations have reached historic levels of peace with homicide rates falling, military budgets decreasing and the withdrawal of forces from both Afghanistan and Iraq. However, Mr Killelea noted that there is a growing inequality of peace, with the least peaceful countries such as Syria, Nigeria and South Sudan, all becoming more violent over the last year. Another interesting fact that emerged from the report was that urbanisation seems to lead to peace.
The panel also discussed the concept of “positive peace” and how studying regions and countries in which peace has already been established or consolidated can help us understand why other regions present more fragile peace configurations. Focusing on what is going well could actually help us understand how to reverse the situation in countries that currently face security challenges or where it has proved challenging to establish sustainable peace. Mr Weber also highlighted the importance of dismantling negative sources of resilience and replacing them with positive, peaceful systems. He noted that the Global Peace Index is an important tool for questioning leaders, their decisions and their priorities in order to establish a more peaceful world.