World War Three fears are escalating as Iran tensions mount following the killing of Qassem Soleimani. Iran went on to threaten the White House with a “crushing retaliation”. Admiral Lord West, the former most senior officer in the Royal Navy, has since said it would be “very difficult” for the UK to stay out of a war.
Iceland has been crowned the most peaceful country in the world since 2008.
The tiny island doesn’t share any borders with other countries so makes it a safer option for protection.
According to the GPI: “Half of the countries in Europe, the world’s most peaceful region, have deteriorated in peacefulness since 2008. Iceland is the only Nordic country that is more peaceful now than in 2008.”
New Zealand, which has come in second place for the past two years, “maintained or improved its scores in 22 out of 23 indicators,” said the index, “but deteriorated in the impact of terrorism because of the 15 March 2019 white-nationalist terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch, in which 50 people were killed.”
It adds: “Improvements in five other indicators across all three domains helped New Zealand maintain its rank as the second most peaceful country in the world.”
New Zealand’s remote location and distance from other countries makes it less likely to be attacked or invaded.
Portugal has risen two places in the peace index this year, pipping Austria to third place.
It was officially neutral during World War II and has kept out of foreign conflicts.
Portugal is one of the countries which has shown the largest improvement in Positive Peace since 2013, according to the Global Peace Index.
Austria fell one place from the 2018 index. However, according to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), around 980,000 British nationals visit Austria each year. Most visits are trouble-free.
Terrorist attacks in Austria are classed as “can’t be ruled out.”
Denmark was one of 24 countries which had a reduction in terrorism impact in 2019.
Terrorist attacks in Denmark “can’t be ruled out,” states the FCO.
The country also contains the non politically aligned region of Greenland which is cut off geographically, making it a more attractive prospect in the event of a WW3.
Unlike its North American neighbour, the USA, Canada remains one of the ten most peaceful countries in the world.
In 2019 Canada showed a small improvement in overall score, according to the GPI.
“Militarisation improved slightly in the region, based on fewer weapons imports into the US and reduced weapons exports and nuclear and heavy weapons capabilities in Canada,” said the report.
Singapore is up two places in the 2019 peace index. “Around 450,000 British tourists visit Singapore every year. Most visits are trouble-free,” said the FCO.
Terrorists are deemed “likely” to try to carry out attacks in Singapore.
Slovenia is also up two places on the previous 2018 report.
The European country has “no recent history of terrorism,” according to the FCO.