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UAE ranks highly among peaceful nations

posted on 25/05/2008: 804 views

The UAE has ranked among the more peaceful nations in the world in a survey measuring crime rates, arms sales and human rights.

The Emirates ranked 42nd out of 140 countries assessed in the Global Peace Index, compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit – above Madagascar but below Lithuania.

Iceland was rated as the most peaceful country in the world, ahead of Denmark and Norway. Iraq measured as the least peaceful, while the US, also fared poorly, coming 97th.

Andrew Williamson, the index's global director for economic research, said the Emirates had performed well to receive a relatively strong ranking in a region marred by violence and political upheaval.

Speaking at the report's launch at the UN in New York on Thursday, he said: "It has fairly low levels of militarisation and internal stability.”

The Emirates came third out of Middle East nations after Oman (25) and Qatar (33), but far ahead of Bahrain (74), Yemen (106) and Saudi Arabia (108), which have both faced threats to the central government. In the wider region, Iran (105) Lebanon (132), Israel (136), Afghanistan (137) and Somalia (139) were all ranked among the least peaceful nations. The index looks at 24 indicators of external and internal measures of peace, including UN deployments overseas and levels of violent crime, respect for human rights, the number of soldiers killed overseas and arms sales. Small, stable and democratic countries were found to be the most peaceful in the index, with 16 of the top 20 coming from western or central European democracies.

The Group of Eight major economic powers were a mixed bag. Japan ranked fifth, ahead of Canada (11), Germany (14), Italy (28), France (36) and Britain (49). Russia was near the bottom at 131, the only one in the group below the US.

Based on a comparison of 121 countries in the same index last year, scores were slightly improved for levels of crime, political instability and the potential for "terrorist acts”, said a statement accompanying the release of the index.

Speculating on the success of his homeland, Iceland's ambassador to the UN, Hjálmar Hannesson, lauded the "Nordic model, where there is a lot of stress on families” combined with equal rights for women and substantial spending on social services. "It is about taking care of those that cannot take care of themselves,” said Hannesson. "When it comes to education, even through our many dark centuries of extreme poverty in Iceland, there was always a huge stress on the idea that everybody had to read and write." – The National


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