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Cambodia Ranks 13 out of 19 Asia-Pacific Countries in Terms of Peace

PHNOM PENH: Australia’s Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) released its 17th Global Peace Index (GPI) for 2023 yesterday, in which it ranked Cambodia 13th out of 19 Asia-Pacific countries and 73rd out of 163 countries observed. Minister of Information, Khieu Kanharith, praised the ranking as a success of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s wise leadership.

The GPI uses 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators to measure peace according to three factors: societal safety and security, the extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict, and the degree of militarisation. This is the ninth consecutive year that global peacefulness has deteriorated based on their framework. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its consequences were the main drivers of the deterioration in peacefulness globally.

Cambodia was also recognized as having one of the largest improvements when it came to the impact of violence on the economy. The Asia-Pacific region was one of only three regions out of nine to actually increase in peacefulness. Cambodia ranked third, behind Australia and Myanmar, in dependence on trade with China. The report also detailed an analysis of the effects a potential blockade on Taiwan would have and showed that Southeast Asia would suffer greatly along with the United States.

Iceland has remained at the top spot of the GPI since the ranking began in 2008. The Nordic island country is followed by Denmark, Ireland and New Zealand. The least peaceful country on the list is Afghanistan, which has been invaded by Western militaries for decades, rendering the entire region unstable and including Yemen and Syria in the least peaceful countries. Not unrelated, the United States placed between Russia and North Korea at the bottom end of militarisation domain which factors into the ultimate rankings. France and Israel were also in the bottom five when it came to peace disrupted by militarisation.

Prime Minister Hun Sen repeatedly criticized global military spending this year, saying that if countries spent half the money on healthcare that they spend on weapons, the world would be a better place to live.

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