A snapshot of the global state of peace and violence has revealed New Zealand remains one of the safest destinations.
New Zealand remained the fourth safest country in the world, unchanged from last year.
The report revealed Syria was the most dangerous country in the world for the second year running, as it continues to be ravaged by the deadliest civil war in the 21st century. It was followed by South Sudan (162nd safest), Iraq (161st safest), Afghanistan (160th safest) and Somalia (159th safest).
Yemen, Ukraine and Libya suffered the greatest deteriorations and entered the top 10 most dangerous countries, as conflicts in the three countries show little sign of abating.
The Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan and North Korea maintained “very low” peace ratings but climbed out of the bottom 10.
The countries were ranked on “militarisation, society and security, and domestic and international conflict”.
Iceland was named the world’s most peaceful country for the sixth year in a row, followed by Denmark, Austria, New Zealand and Portugal.
Panama, Thailand and Sri Lanka showed greatest improvements in peace.
While the majority of terrorist activity was highly concentrated in five countries – Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan – the breadth of terrorism is spreading, with only 23 per cent of countries in the index not experiencing a terrorist incident.
Europe was once again the most peaceful region in the world, although its average score deteriorated slightly in this year’s report in the wake of terrorism incidents in Paris and Brussels.
There are nine countries with more than 10 per cent of their population classified as refugees or displaced persons with Somalia and South Sudan having more than 20 per cent of their population displaced and Syria with over 60 per cent displaced.
Despite this some of the most peaceful countries are now recording historically high levels of peace.
TOP FIVE SAFEST COUNTRIES
THE FIVE LEAST SAFE COUNTRIES