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23 May, 2008 05:51

Visions of Peace?

Visions of Peace?

RT political commentator Peter Lavelle shared his view on the Global Peace Index, formulated by the Institute for Economics and Peace, and Russia's standing in it.

Do you have a vision for humanity? Well something called the Global Peace Index does. It ranks countries according to how peaceful they are domestically and internationally. And not surprisingly, as is usual with these kinds of indices, Russia scores badly.

Have a look at the site and its findings: http://www.visionofhumanity.org/gpi/home.php

Does any of this make any sense to you?

The index is drawn up by the Institute for Economics and Peace, which calls itself an independent think-tank, and the UK-based Economist Intelligence Unit. The Global Peace Index claims that twenty-four qualitative and quantitative indicators are applied to determine how peaceful a country is. The results produce an odd picture.

At the bottom of the list is Iraq. This isn’t surprising. At the top are Iceland, Denmark, and Norway. Again no surprise – nothing ever seems to happen in these countries. But grouping Russia with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe and is closely followed by Lebanon, North Korea, the Central African Republic, Chad and Afghanistan make little sense to me. Most of these countries are very closed, autocratic and many are dealing with on-going conflicts at home.

This has nothing to do with the new Russia.

The Global Peace Index reminds me of Freedom House. Both use opaque methodologies that appear to promote a particular political agenda. And neither organisation, in my humble opinion, forwards peace or freedom.