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Global economic downturn affects peace

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The Institute for Economics and Peace has found that the global economic downturn has affected peace around the world. Conversely, lost peace cost the world economy $7.2 trillion a year. The institute, an organisation that aims to link peace with prosperity, has released a study alongside their annual Global Peace Index showing the effects of lost peace on the economy and vice versa. "The reality is that the net economic benefit of peace to humanity is substantial, and governments and businesses should seriously consider how adopting practices and policies that promote peace helps their bottom line," said Clyde McConaghy, who oversees the index at the institute. "It is this kind of thinking that the Institute for Economics and Peace will promote." Rising food and fuel prices, compounded by rising unemployment and financial anxiety, have led to "political repercussions that have been registered by the GPI through various indicators measuring safety and security in society," says the study. The index ranks New Zealand as the most peaceful nation on earth, followed by Scandinavian countries Denmark and Norway. Iraq remained on the bottom of the list, below Afghanistan and Somalia. Australia ranked 19 on the list of 144 countries. Criteria include participation in wars, internal conflicts, respect for human rights, and the number of murders and prisoners per head of population. See the Global Peace Index

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