UK is ‘less peaceful’ nation than Qatar

International peace

A Scottish charity has called on the UK to embrace this week's International Day of Peace

19th September 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A Scottish charity has called for action to be taken to ensure the UK embraces peace.

International Voluntary Service (IVS) has asked for the UK government to acknowledge International Day of Peace (Friday 21 September) after the country fell six places on the Global Peace Index (GPI).

The 2018 Global Peace Index (GPI) shows that the global level of peace has deteriorated for the fourth year in a row last year as a toxic combination of terrorism, armed conflict and political division has left the world less peaceful than at any time in the last decade. 

The GPI, which uses 23 separate indicators from international arms sales to murder rates to calculate the level of violence and tension around the world, fell by 0.27% last year, with Europe and the United Kingdom among those experiencing a deterioration.

The UK fell six places to 57 out of 163 countries – placing it behind Albania (52), Serbia (54) and Qatar (56), the gas-rich Gulf state hit last year by a political and economic boycott by its neighbours. Factors such as the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London and political division caused by Brexit were responsible for the UK’s fall.

This Friday marks the UN’s International Day of Peace, established in 1981 to strengthen the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. In 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire.  Each year the day is observed around the world on 21st September – however the day is not recognised in the UK.

“Promoting peace and understanding may seem a difficult objective in the current climate” said Amy Blake, director of the International Voluntary Service.

“However it is highlighted specifically within the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a necessary means to enable governments, civil society and communities to work together to find lasting solutions to the many forms of violence that exist in the world today. We urge people on International Peace Day to make small steps to reduce violence, promote inclusion and encourage respect and understanding toward others”

The charity offers volunteering opportunities across the global that are sustainable and that promote peace, justice and strong institutions, all of its projects are linked to the SDGs.

This year, to mark International Peace Day, it is asking members of the public and politicians to wear a Pin for Peace to show a commitment to the day and to lasting peace between communities world-wide.