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Iceland Comes Out Top, Iraq Bottom in Peace List

The second annual Global Peace Index, a survey on the harmoniousness of the world's nations, has been released. Iceland has been named the world's most peaceful country -- and Iraq its least.

Iceland

And the survey says... Iceland is number one for peace

If you don't like conflict, than maybe you should consider moving to Reykjavik -- that's the message from the Global Peace Index.

Iceland headed the rankings of the survey, which is drawn up by a non-governmental initiative called Vision of Humanity. It evaluates 140 nations with respect to 24 criteria, including numbers of deaths from organized conflict, levels of violent crime and proportions of GDP used for military expenditures.

Denmark was deemed the world's second most peaceful country, followed by Norway, New Zealand and Japan.

"The world appears to be a marginally more peaceful place this year," index founder and Australian philanthropist Steve Killelea said in a statement. "This is encouraging, but it takes small steps by individual countries for the world to make greater strides on the road to peace."

Confirming the obvious

Iraq

Five years of war have made Iraq the world's most dangerous place

At the other end of the index, war-torn Iraq was adjudged to be the most violent country on the globe.

It was followed by other perennial hotspots of conflict -- Sudan, Afghanistan, Israel and Chad.

Somewhat more surprisingly, Russia ranks very low on the list in 131rd spot. The United States is also in the bottom half of the table in position 97.

Meanwhile, China ranks 67, and Germany a respectable 14.

The nations that made the biggest jumps in the table were Angola, Indonesia, India and Uzbekistan.

Kenya

Kenya dropped dramatically on the Global Peace Index

Meanwhile, owing to violence following last December's presidential election, Kenya suffered the steepest decline.

The index is pitched at governments as a means of self-evaluation and at commerce.

"You ultimately can't have business where you have conflict," said Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, a major supporter of the survey. "So it is in the nature of self-interest to promote the kind of circumstances and the kind of environment where you can carry out your business."

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