An event was hosted to launch the 2014 Global Peace Index (GPI). Mr. Hanif said that peace has an intrinsic value and it is the best thing that one can give to a society. He said that the 2014 GPI highlights that the cost of violence each year is $1350 per person. Michelle Breslauer echoed Mr. Hanif’s comments. She said that the global cost of violence in 2013 was around 9.8 trillion USD. She explained that the goals of the GPI are to measure peace through understanding the current state of peace, key drivers of peace and conflict, and economic factors.
The Index has three focus areas: domestic and international conflicts, measures of societal safety and security, and measures of militarization. She emphasized that “peace is more than the absence of war.” It is defined as the “absence of violence,” she said. According to the Index, Iceland maintains its status as the most peaceful state while Syria displaces Afghanistan as the world’s least peaceful nation.
Mr. Kell noted that more than half of the children who die prematurely and more than half of the children who don’t attend primary schools are living in countries affected by violence. While speaking of the role of the private sector, Mr. Kell said that violence is the single biggest barrier to investment because it holds back entrepreneurship and foreign direct investment. He emphasized that from a business perspective there is every reason to walk towards stability, predictability, and the rule of law to promote economic acti
Mr. Ojielo welcomed the fact that many states are developing capacities, setting up mechanisms and institutions to anticipate, understand, analyze and respond to violent conflicts when they occur. He called the GPI a “reality check.” It should be put forward as a tool for internal reflection for Nation States, he said. It should be used for analyzing the policies and systems that contribute to the escalation of conflict and taking remedial actions. Mr. Brinkman mentioned that the Open Working Group on the Post 2015 Development Agenda has been having discussions on the role of peace, and conflict in sustainable development. He said that questions about the definition of violence, regarding the universality of the issue and its measurability have been raised by delegations. Such questions, according to Mr. Brinkman, are positive developments.
Meeting Title: Peace and Development in the Post-2015: Assessing Country Risk Measures
Speakers: Navid Hanif, Director of the Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, UNDESA, New York; David Hammond, Research Fellow, Institute for Economics and Peace, Sydney; George Kell, Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact, New York; Henk-Jan Brinkman, Chief, policy, Planning and Application, Peacebuilding Support Office, UN, New York; Lucy Hurst, Associate Director, Americas, Custom Research, The Economist Intelligence Unit, New York; Michelle Breslauer, US Program Manager, Institute for Economics and Peace, New York; Ozonnia Ojielo, Coordinator for Conflict Prevention and Recovery, Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, UNDP, New York.
Date: 20 June 2014
Location: Conference Room 1 (CB), United Nations HQ, New York
Written by WIT Representative: Shan Cheema
Edited by WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan