Bhutan is the most peaceful country in South Asia according to the latest Global Peace Index report 2017.
Founder and Executive Chairman of the international think-tank Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), Steve Killelea, launched the report at the Centre for Bhutan Studies and GNH Research in Thimphu on Wednesterday.
Steve Killelea said Bhutan made steady progress to rank 13th out of 163 countries in GPI 2017, jumping 10 places in the past seven years.
The GPI has 23 indicators clubbed under three domains of ongoing conflict both international and local, internal safety and security, and levels of militarisation.
On the GPI, Bhutan is one of the more fascinating countries, he said.
The most interesting factor for Bhutan is although the country has a low or USD 500 per capita income, it has managed to create peace better than the top 20 countries in the GPI that have more than USD 10,000 per capita income per annum.
In the long term, Bhutan has to focus on the factors that actually create peaceful society like on levels of corruption, functioning of government and equitable distribution of resources so that there is conducive environment for peace.
The GPI report states that Bhutan experienced a slight deterioration in peace, despite improvements in the indicators measuring UN peacekeeping funding and the number of IDPs.
Bhutan’s economic impact of violence was cost equivalent to six per cent of the country’s 2016 GDP. The economic impact of violence decreased by six percent from 2015 to 2016.
Sri Lanka is five places below Bhutan. Pakistan improved this year. Nepal and Afghanistan experience slight deterioration.