- The UAE ranks last in weapons imports in the world, despite seeing an improvement in this indicator over the decade.
The tenth edition of the GPI finds that while 81 countries improved, the deterioration in another 79 outweighed these gains, meaning that peace declined at a faster rate than in the previous year. Despite this, some of the most peaceful countries are now recording historically high levels of peace.
The UAE ranks last in weapons imports in the world, despite seeing an improvement in this indicator over the decade.
The score for the Mena region, the least peaceful region in the world in last year's report, dropped further as regional conflicts intensified, dragging down global peacefulness.
Steve Killelea, founder and executive chairman of the international think-tank Institute for Economics and Peace - which conducted the study - said: "As internal conflicts in Mena become more entrenched, external parties are increasingly becoming more involved and the potential for indirect or 'war by proxy' between nation states is rising. This was already evident in Syria, with the conflict between the Assad regime and multiple non-state actors, and is now spilling into countries such as Yemen."
The global deterioration in peace in 2015 was driven by increased terrorism and higher levels of political instability. While the majority of terrorist activity is 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, which was once again the most peaceful region in the world, saw its average score deteriorate in this year's report in the wake of terrorism incidents in Paris and Brussels, with deaths from terrorism in Europe having more than doubled over the last five years.