New Zealand is ranked as the country most at peace for the second consecutive year and is one of only three countries in the top ten to improve in peacefulness in the 2010 Index.

Iceland moved to number two as the country’s economy stabilized after falling to fourth place in last year’s ranking, the improvement demonstrating the resilience of peaceful nations.

Small, stable and democratic countries are consistently ranked highest; 15 of the top 20 countries are Western or Central European countries.

Despite the global slide, the Middle East & North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa have made the most gains since the research began in 2007. Reasons for the improvement vary, but include more political stability and a drop in military expenditure in the Middle East & North Africa and less access to weapons, a decrease in conflicts and better relations with neighboring countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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In this year’s Discussion Paper we examine two broad themes of peace. The first theme explores the relationships between peace and economic wealth, while the second brings a fact-based approach to establishing the conditions and causes of peace while analyzing trends in peacefulness over the last four years. Read about:

> The key structures and attitudes associated with peace – what should we focus on to increase peacefulness in the world?

> The value of peace to the global economy – US$1.85 trillion in additional or redirected economic activities per annum would be secured if global violence could be reduced by only 25%, imagine what could be done with such an amount!

> How peace can be used by business leaders as a strategic analysis tool – peace adds a totally new dimension to business strategy, find out how.

> Results from a time-series analysis on levels of peacefulness – which indicators have recorded the most improvement since 2007? Which regions experienced the biggest decline in peacefulness and more…

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