The Philippines was cited as the fifth most improved country in the world, rising two notches to rank 133 from 135th last year, in the 2012 Global Peace Index (GPI).
The Institute for Economics and Peace on Tuesday released the 2012 GPI, an annual measure of global peacefulness ranking 158 nations based on their ongoing domestic and international conflict, safety and security in society and militarization.
The report said the Philippines showed improvements across a number of indicators including homicide rate, the number of deaths from internal conflict, the likelihood of violent demonstrations, and the incidence of terrorist acts.
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the GPI affirms the report of the Philippine National Police that the crime rate in the country has declined this year.
“This is international recognition of our collective effort to address the safety and security of our people. Gains in the rank of the Philippines are indicative of our continuing commitment towards improving peace and promoting amity in our country,” Lacierda said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the report showed that Iceland and Somalia remain the world’s most and least peaceful nation, respectively, for the second year running.
Sri Lanka and Syria are named the biggest riser and loser, respectively, both moving 30 places.
Across regions, Western Europe is still the most peaceful region for the sixth consecutive year with the majority of its countries in the top 20 while the Middle East and North Africa is now the least peaceful region, reflecting the upheaval and instability caused by the Arab Spring.
The Asia Pacific, on the other hand, is the most improved region, the report noted.
“The world has become more peaceful for the first time since 2009. All regions excluding the Middle East and North Africa saw an improvement in levels of overall peacefulness,” it added.
GPI’s top 10 most peaceful countries:
3. New Zealand
GPI’s bottom 10 least peaceful countries:
154. Democratic Republic of Congo
152. North Korea
151. Central African Republic