World Peace Current Affairs

21 September: International Day of Peace

The International Day of Peace is observed across the world on 21 September every year to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

Significance: The International Day of Peace acknowledges the efforts of those who have strived to end conflict and promote peace. This day is also observed as a day of ceasefire.

2016 Theme:The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace”.

To inaugurate the day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon rung the United Nations Peace Bell at UN Headquarters in New York City. The bell has inscription on its side reading “Long live absolute world peace“.

The bell has been casted from coins donated by children from all continents except Africa. It was given as gift from the United Nations Association of Japan as a reminder of the human cost of war.

Background

  • The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had designated 21 September as the International Day of Peace in 1981 by passing resolution 36/67.
  • This day coincides with its opening session of UNGA which usually held annually on the third Tuesday of September.
  • In 2001, UNGA again unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire.

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India ranked 141 out of 163 countries on 2016 Global Peace Index

India was ranked 141 on a Global Peace Index (GPI) for year 2016 out of 163 countries, making it less peaceful country.

The GPI ranking of 163 countries was compiled by global think Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). India has moved up two positions from 143rd rank in 2015 GPI.

Key facts from 2016 Global Peace Index

  • Top 10 peaceful countries: Iceland (1st), Denmark (2nd), Austria (3rd), New Zealand (4th), Portugal (5th), Czech Republic (6th), Switzerland (7th), Canada (8th), Japan (9th) and Slovenia (10th).
  • Top least peaceful countries: Pakistan (153rd), Libya (154th), Sudan (155th), Ukraine (156th), Central African Republic (157th), Yemen (158th), Somalia (159th), Afghanistan (160th), Iraq (161st), South Sudan (162nd) and Syria (163rd).
  • India’s neighbours: Bhutan (13th), Nepal (78th), Bangladesh (83rd), Sri Lanka (97th), China (120th) and Pakistan (153rd).
  • In year 2016, the economic impact of violence on the global economy was around US 13.6 trillion dollars (13.3 % of gross world product).
  • In this year world became a less peaceful mainly on account of increased terrorism and higher levels of political instability.

About Global Peace Index (GPI)

  • GPI is an annual report published by the Sydney (Australia) based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) since 2007.
  • GPI uses 22 indicators to measure levels of world peace. Indicators range from a nation’s level of military expenditure to its relations with neighboring nations and the percentage of prison population in 162 countries. It also includes safety and security in society, extent of domestic and international conflict.
  • The IEP is an international and independent think tank dedicated to draw the world’s attention towards peace as a positive, achievable, and tangible measure of human well-being and development.

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