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Singapore falls six places in this year's Global Peace Index

It ranked 25th this year, down from its 19th-place listing in the 2013 edition.

SINGAPORE: The Republic has been ranked 25th in this year's Global Peace Index - falling six places from its 19th-place listing in the 2013 edition. Singapore was 16th in 2012.

The index and accompanying report is produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), an international think-tank which ranks 162 nations according to their level of peace.

It is composed of 22 (qualitative and quantitative) indicators which gauge three broad themes - the level of safety and security in society, the extent of domestic or international conflict, and the degree of militarisation.

Singapore, Malaysia (down 4 places to 33rd position) and the Philippines (down 5 places to 134th) were among the Asia-Pacific countries that saw their scores decline the most this year.

The report states Singapore's lower score was due to "an increase in internal security and the police force, as well as higher perceived criminality".

The reports says all three countries also recorded a "modest-to-moderate build-up of nuclear and heavy-weapons capabilities, in line with a general trend towards the modernisation of armed forces in the region".

However, the report adds that "owing to a lack of major conflicts over the past year, the Asia-Pacific region remains among the most peaceful in the world: it ranked third overall, behind Europe and North America, and suffered only a very modest deterioration of its 2013 score."

Iceland topped the index as the most peaceful country, while Syria came in last.

The 10 countries most likely to deteriorate in peace in the next two years were identified as Zambia, Haiti, Argentina, Chad, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nepal, Burundi, Georgia, Liberia and Qatar. 

IEP estimates that global violence impacted the global economy by US$9.8 trillion in the last year, an on-year increase of US$179 billion.

"Given the deteriorating global situation we cannot be complacent about the institutional bedrocks for peace: our research shows that peace is unlikely to flourish without deep foundations," said IEP founder and executive chairman Steve Killelea in a statement.

He adds that: "This is a wakeup call to governments, development agencies, investors and the wider international community that building peace is the prerequisite for economic and social development."

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