Shun perfunctory approach to peace restoration

Shun perfunctory approach to peace restoration

The 2023 Global Peace Index (GPI) finds that the average level of global peacefulness decreased by 0.42% - the 13th consecutive decline in 15 years

The 2023 Global Peace Index (GPI) finds that the average level of global peacefulness decreased by 0.42% - the 13th consecutive decline in 15 years. The index also found that peace is becoming more unequal between the most and the least peaceful countries. The GPI is developed by the Sydney-based International Institute for Economic Peace (IEP), a think tank that analyses peace and its economic value. GPI presents data to lend credence to its contention that peaceful societies tend to have higher income growth, stronger currencies, and more foreign investment. This is starkly evident in the top five most peaceful countries in 2023 were: Iceland (top spot since 2008), Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand and Austria.

The GPI has quantified the economic impact of violence on global economy which it defined as the expenditure and economic effect related to “containing, preventing and dealing with the consequences of violence. It was estimated to be $17.5 trillion or 13% of global GDP in 2022. This is equivalent to $2,200 less economic output for each person on the planet. In the ten countries most affected by violence, the impact averaged 34% of GDP, compared to just 3% for the ten least affected countries. India, though at 126th on the index, saw a 3.5% improvement in peacefulness over the previous year. This was due to improvements in violent crime, relations with neighboring countries, and political stability. GDP per capita is 20 times larger in highly peaceful countries than lower peace countries because of higher growth rates over the long run.

The IMF’s World Economic Outlook forecast a growth rate of 3.1% for 2024, the lowest in decades. The scarring of economy by the global crises is queering pitch for nations to cut back on poverty levels. The European Commission has issued a call to mitigate the crises in 2024, such as risk of famine and forced displacement in Palestine, destruction of lives and infrastructure in Ukraine, destruction and disease in Syria, gang violence in Haiti, and diseases, disasters, and displacement crises in Africa. Global trade and investment is likely to shrink and food supply chains continue to be disrupted, hurting the poor nations most. Global cooperation is needed more than ever to provide aid relief. Experts also portend worst weather conditions due to climate change.

Amidst this gloomy scenario, a global peace summit is to take place on June 15-16 near Lucerne city in Switzerland, at the request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Russia has not been invited, while China is not participating. As India is yet to take a call, Zelenskyy on June 6 spoke with care-taker PM Narendra Modi and sought India’s participation at the “highest level.” He pointed out how the world recognises the significance and weight of India’s role in global affairs. The summit may at best work towards mitigating risks stemming from Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. It remains to be seen what would impel India which has so far refused to call out Russia at UN and Human Rights Council meets. Global community wants India to be a “go-between” between Russia and the West.

This situation has arisen as the UN and its Security Council has of late failed in conflict resolution. Selective application of international norms to issues at hand is its bane. India should push for reforms to make the multilateral body truly bipartisan. It should also bolster efforts by other parties to foster peace. Peace and order must prevail in a world of conflicts, for nations to pull their millions out of poverty. Ending poverty and engendering peace are so crucial for the world to brace up to mitigate climate change shocks.

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