In light of the recent global trends indicating a deterioration in overall peace levels over the past 15 years, Singapore climbed up to the sixth rank of the world’s most peaceful country and, notably, took pole position in the Southeast Asian region, according to the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2023 by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).
The IEP ranked 163 countries on the basis of a contemporary and data-driven analysis of the countries’ trends in peace, their economic value, and their approach to fostering a peaceful society. It employed a set of 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators obtained from highly reputable sources across three domains: the level of Societal Safety and Security; the extent of Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict; and the degree of Militarisation.
The report additionally emphasizes the concept of Positive Peace, which refers to the attitudes, institutions, and structures that contribute to the establishment and maintenance of peaceful communities within a nation. Singapore, being listed at the top 10 of the most peaceful countries, exemplifies a nation that has successfully cultivated resilience and stability, therefore reducing its susceptibility to conflicts and attaining a state of peace with economic prosperity.
Singapore's upward trajectory at the top spot over the past seven years indicates the nation's unwavering commitment to the pursuit of peace. Viet Nam, Laos, Timor-Leste, the Philippines, and Thailand figures showed similar increments to those of Singapore this year. Viet Nam ascended four positions to reach the world's 40th rank. In the same manner, Laos encountered a rise of three positions, securing 46th place, and Timor-Leste showed a take-up by three ranks, obtaining the 49th position globally. Furthermore, the Philippines went up by six steps, reaching the 115th position.
Notably, Thailand exhibited the most significant improvement in the area, with a 3.3 percent increase in overall GPI domain scores, resulting in a climb of 13 positions to attain the 92nd rank worldwide. This noteworthy rise implies a restoration of faith in the political and democratic systems ability.
The graph from Myanmar exhibits a distinct trend. Myanmar demonstrates the lowest level of peace and the largest deterioration in its total score compared to nine other Southeast Asian countries. It has seen a decline of seven positions to the 146th global ranking in comparison to the prior year. This drop was ascribed to the mounting political tensions within the country, which consequently worsened the rate of violent crime in 2022.
Similar to Myanmar, Indonesia and Cambodia also shown a declining tendency. Indonesia had a decline in its ranking, dropping by 12 positions, mostly attributed to a surge in violent incidents inside the West Papua province. Consequently, Indonesia now occupies the 53rd place in the ranking. Nevertheless, Cambodia saw a decline in its ranking, dropping one level to 72nd place this year.
However, Malaysia revealed a particular pattern compared to other data groups. Malaysia has retained its place at the 19th rank, indicating no alteration from its prior ranking.
What is your perspective on this matter? If you had the option to choose, in which nation would you want to reside as your ultimate sanctuary of peace?