Iceland Current Affairs - 2019
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In the recently released Global Peace Index (GPI) of Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), India’s rank slipped by five places to 141 among 163 countries on GPI 2019 and Iceland was ranked 1st. India was ranked 136 in GPI 2018.
Key Findings of Report
Most Peaceful Country: Iceland with rank 1st remains the most peaceful country in world. It has held this rank since 2008. Other countries at top of GPI are New Zealand, Austria, Portugal, and Denmark.
Least Peaceful Country: As per GPI 2019 Afghanistan is now ranked as least peaceful country in world. It has replaced Syria, which is now the 2nd least peaceful. Other least peaceful countries includes South Sudan, Yemen, and Iraq.
Countries with highest risk of multiple climate hazards: includes China, Japan, India, Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Countries with largest total military expenditure: United States (US), China, India, Russia and Saudi Arabia.
South Asia: Bhutan topped the index in South Asia with its 15th rank. Other countries of region include Sri Lanka (72), Nepal (76) and Bangladesh (101). The neighbouring country Pakistan is ranked 153rd on index.
Both India and Pakistan had highest rating at five in the score for internal conflicts fought. Only deaths from internal conflict showed improvement, with fewer fatalities in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India than the year before.
The report observed that China, India and Bangladesh score in bottom half of GPI and have significant exposure to climate hazards, with over 393 million people in high climate hazard areas
As per the index findings, although global peacefulness improved for first time in past five years but world now remains less peaceful than a decade ago.
The GPI 2019 report includes new research on possible effects of climate change on peace. It also revealed that since 2008 global peacefulness has deteriorated by 3.78%.
While the state sponsored terror has declined significantly over the last decade, with 62 countries improving their scores and only 42 deteriorated but imprisonment data shows the opposite trend with 95 countries increasing the imprisonment rate compared to 65 that improved.
The score of South Asia for every indicator in ongoing conflict is less peaceful than total global average, with four out of six deteriorating in 2018 itself.
It was founded by Steve Killelea, an Australian technology entrepreneur and philanthropist.
The report covers 99.7% of world’s population. It uses 23 quantitative and qualitative indicators from highly respected sources to compile the index.
Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP), an Australian think tank ranks countries according to their level of peacefulness. This is based on three thematic domains-
- level of societal safety and security
- extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict
- degree of militarisation.
Tags: Australian Think Tank • Climate Change • Global Peace Index 2019 • Iceland • Institute for Economics & Peace • Internal Conflicts • Least Peaceful Country • Military Expenditure • Most Peaceful Country • Steve Killelea
At 11th Arctic Council ministerial meeting held at Rovaniemi in Finland, India was re-elected as an observer to intergovernmental forum Arctic Council. India promised its commitment towards contributing more to Arctic Council.
About 11th Arctic Council
Major issues discussed at the Council meeting:
- With growing tensions worldwide, how to deal with global warming and jurisdiction of Arctic’s wealth of minerals.
- Concerns over renewed climate policies of US President Donald Trump.
- China’s (an observing nation in Arctic Council) “Polar Silk Road” plan (as melting ice has opened up new northern shipping routes), which it outlined in 2018.
- Russia’s Northern Fleet modernization and reopened Cold War military bases.
About Arctic Council
- It was established in 1996 by Ottawa Declaration.
- Headquarter: Tromso, in Norway.
- Members (8): Russia, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark (representing Greenland and Faroe Islands), Canada and United States.
- Iceland currently holds council’s rotating chair.
- Representation: by Indigenous groups and council also has 13 observer states (are non-Arctic countries invited to council meetings but have no voting rights).
- Function: It is a high level intergovernmental forum which addresses issues faced by Arctic states, its indigenous people and its other inhabitants. It seeks to promote coordination, cooperation and interaction among them on common issues but mainly on environmental protection and sustainable development in Arctic.
India and Arctic Region
- Indian researchers have been studying whether there is a co-relation between Indian monsoon and the Arctic region.
- National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, an Indian institute under Ministry of Earth Sciences, has set up research station, ‘Himadri’, in Svalbard (Norway). It studies and works on mass balance of glaciers, effect of climate warming on marine system, clouds formation and precipitation, and also effect on biodiversity.
Tags: 11th Arctic Council ministerial meeting • Arctic Council • Canada and United States • Denmark • Finland • Iceland • India • Northern Fleet • Norway • Ottawa Declaration • Polar Silk Road • Russia • Sweden