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UAE secures top rank in Middle East on Positive Peace Index, showcasing global leadership in peace and stability

UAE secures top rank in Middle East on Positive Peace Index, showcasing global leadership in peace and stability
11 Apr 2024 08:49

ISIDORA CIRIC (ABU DHABI)

The UAE has ranked top in the region on the Positive Peace Index (PPI), being the sole country in the Middle East that secured the highest possible score on the index, or a "very high" grade, as well as one of the top five performers on the Asian continent.

The Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) issued its Positive Peace Report 2024 last week, which measured countries' attitudes, institutions, and structures - the indicators the researchers believed to be the key components of creating and sustaining peaceful societies. Measuring these markers, the IEP developed the PPI, "a statistically derived measure of the factors that create flourishing societies". “Such societies are less encumbered by the costs and wastage of violence or political instability, have higher productivity, better access to information and are not heavily weighed down by corruption or ineffective governments,” the report explained.

UAE’s Positive Peace Achievements

The UAE ranked 40th on the list, placing it ahead of all other countries in the region and distinguishing it as one of the top five performers on the Asian continent. The top three countries in the ranking were Finland (1st), Denmark (2nd), and Norway (3rd).

This achievement is particularly noteworthy as the UAE is the only country in the Middle East to secure a "very high" grade, the highest accolade, placing it ahead of its regional counterparts like Qatar (47th), Kuwait (58th), Bahrain (70th) and Saudi Arabia (76th). 

"Social systems that operate with higher degrees of Positive Peace are more resilient and capable of offering more effective protection to their citizens against adverse shocks, whether political, environmental or economic," the report underlined, adding that the PPI is closely correlated with measures of life satisfaction, happiness, human development, and gender equality.

The PPI operates on an inverse scale, where scores near 1 represent more advanced socio-economic development, and those approaching 5 reflect lesser development. 

Achieving an impressive overall score of 2.518 and rising one rank from the previous year, the UAE's dedication to societal resilience, governance, and economic development has solidified its position as a global leader in peace and stability.

Central to the PPI is the delineation of eight Pillars of Positive Peace, each representing a core domain crucial for the sustenance and enhancement of peace. These pillars include the effectiveness and quality of governance, the extent of corruption, the vibrancy of the business environment, equitable access to resources, societal acceptance of rights, the free flow of information, investment in human capital, and the quality of relations with neighbours.

A closer examination of the UAE's performance reveals its strengths across various pillars of the PPI scoring ranking, all of which are vital for creating a stable and prosperous society where individuals feel empowered and included.

The country's remarkable score of 2.17 in controlling corruption, for example, surpasses that of countries with higher overall rankings, including the US, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Spain, showcasing the UAE's effective governance and its rigorous efforts to maintain transparency and accountability in public affairs.

Similarly, the UAE's score of 2.73 in fostering a sound business environment outperforms higher-ranking nations like Slovenia, Estonia, and the Czech Republic. The country's dynamic economic landscape, reflected in the PPI and other rankings like the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2024 and the Arab Economic Competitiveness Index, is paving the way for achieving the targets of the "We the UAE 2031" vision and its commitment to becoming the global hub for the new economy by the next decade.

In terms of societal inclusiveness, the UAE's score of 1.87 in accepting the rights of others betters that of France, the UK, and the US, illustrating its dedication to creating an inclusive society where all individuals, regardless of gender, religion, and background, have the opportunity to contribute to and benefit from the nation's prosperity.

"Positive Peace fosters an environment conducive to legal and political empowerment. Women have greater opportunities to participate in political processes and engage in legal and policy advocacy," the report explained, adding that the gender gap in youth unemployment and workforce participation is also smaller in countries that have improved their PPI score.

The Constitution of the UAE reflects these values, guaranteeing equal rights for both men and women and showcasing why the UAE holds a coveted position in this report. Women-owned enterprises account for 10% of the private sector's total value, and it's a legal mandate for every Emirati company to include women on their boards. Moreover, women hold nearly one-third of cabinet-level positions and occupy two-thirds of the jobs in the public sector, while 70% of university graduates in the UAE are women, according to the UAE's Permanent Mission to the UN website.

Furthermore, the UAE’s emphasis on human capital development, as evidenced by its score of 2.37, surpasses that of countries like Cyprus, Chile, Latvia, and Slovakia, which is reflected in the country’s many investments in education, healthcare, and workforce development to ensure its citizens and residents are equipped with the skills and opportunities needed for personal and national advancement.

Other Findings

The world has seen a modest but notable improvement in Positive Peace, with a 1% global increase from 2013 to 2022, the report said. However, this overall progress masks significant disparities, with countries like Brazil, Lebanon, Venezuela, Yemen, and the US experiencing the largest deterioration.

North America emerged as the only region to witness a substantial decline in Positive Peace over the last decade, primarily driven by a significant downturn in the US. In contrast, South America and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions saw minor reductions, while all other regions showed improvements.

Conversely, nations that recorded improvements in Positive Peace also enjoyed economic benefits, demonstrating a 2.1% median annual growth rate - more than double the rate of countries with declining peace scores. This economic vitality is further evidenced by increased household consumption rates and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows, which grew annually by 2.2% in countries improving in Positive Peace, compared to a decline in those experiencing a decrease.

 

 

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