UAE sees greatest improvement in global peace ranking: Report

Currently, there are 56 conflicts across the globe — the most since World War II, says the study


Waheed Abbas

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Photo: KT file
Photo: KT file

Published: Tue 11 Jun 2024, 11:44 AM

The UAE has seen the greatest improvement in peacefulness in the world, moving up 31 places, according to the 18th edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI) released on Tuesday.

“Since 2021, the UAE has improved more places than any other country, improving by 31 places to be ranked 53rd in 2024. The UAE improved its diplomatic relations and commercial ties with Iran and Türkiye and has strengthened diplomatic relations more broadly across the region and into South Asia,” said Steve Killelea, the report's author and a foreign policy analyst.

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The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), an international think-tank, publishes the report.

The UAE also saw improvements across all three GPI domains – militarisation, ongoing conflict, and safety and security. Its overall score improved by about nine per cent, with improvements on 10 indicators, deteriorations on two, and 11 with no change.

“Internally, the UAE has very low perceptions of criminality, and both its political terror scale score and terrorism impact score improved over the past year,” said Killelea.

The Global Peace Index report said that the highest jump in the UAE's ranking was seen in the ongoing conflict domain, driven by improvements in deaths from internal conflict and neighbouring countries' relations.

“The UAE has made considerable strides in improving relations with key regional rivals in recent years. It has increased diplomatic and commercial links with Iran and Türkiye, and used its financial strength to improve relations across the broader region and in East Africa and South Asia,” it said.

There was also an improvement in the safety and security domain, as both the terrorism impact and political terror scale scores improved.

The Gulf country also recorded a significant improvement in the militarisation domain.

The study noted that the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and some other middle powers are more actively engaging in global affairs.

Israel-Palestine conflict

Due to the Gaza war, Israel's ranking fell to an all-time low of 155th, the largest deterioration in peacefulness in 2024.


El Salvador saw improvement in 21 rankings, Nicaragua in 12, Greece in 17, and Myanmar rose by 6 positions in the index.

Most peaceful

Iceland remained the most peaceful country, a position it has held since 2008, followed by Ireland, Austria, New Zealand, and Singapore — a new entrant in the top five. Yemen has replaced Afghanistan as the least peaceful country in the world. It is followed by Sudan, South Sudan, Afghanistan, and Ukraine.

Some 97 countries deteriorated in peacefulness, more than any year since the inception of the Global Peace Index in 2008.

There are 92 countries involved in conflicts beyond their borders, more than at any time since the inception of the GPI.

North America saw the largest regional deterioration, driven by increases in violent crime and fear of violence.

There are currently 56 conflicts, the most since World War II. They have become "more international" with 92 countries involved in conflicts outside their borders, the most since the GPI’s inception.

The rising number of minor conflicts increases the likelihood of more major conflicts in the future. For example, in 2019, Ethiopia, Ukraine, and Gaza were all identified as minor conflicts.

There were 162,000 conflict-related deaths recorded last year — the second highest toll in the past 30 years, with the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza accounting for nearly three-quarters of deaths.

The global economic impact of violence in 2023 was $19.1 trillion or $2,380 per person. This is an increase of $158 billion, driven largely by a 20 per cent increase in GDP losses from conflict.


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