Armenia slides in Global Peace Index over 4-Day War

Despite its reduced score on the index - it fell from 103 to 114 - North America retained its position as the most peaceful region after Europe.

"While the true extent of such significant political polarity in the US will take years to be fully realised, its disruptive influence is already evident", Killelea said in a statement.

For the first time in nine years, a think tank's analysis of global war and conflict found the world was slightly more peaceful this year.

The index - compiled by think tank the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) - uses 23 indicators to gauge ongoing domestic and global conflict, safety and security in society, and the degree of militarisation in countries and territories.

"We've seen a political fracture in the USA that isn't a reflection of the election of President Donald Trump, but is represented by both sides of the political divide seeing the other as a danger to the nation", institute founder Steve Killelea said in an interview. "There are some truly disturbing pockets, but the outlook is not all negative".

France and Sweden recorded increases in terrorist deaths, with France falling five places in the rankings to 51. Last week's terror attack in Manchester, which killed 22 people, was not reflected in the figures.

The United States has plummeted on a global ranking of countries based on levels of corruption, violent crime, racism and respect for human rights.

The Australian institute uses a 1-5 scoring system to gauge each indicator, with a high score indicating a low level of peacefulness.

The Czech Republic is ranked 6th on the Global Peace Index comprising 163 countries.

Among the 19 Asia-Pacific countries in the survey, New Zealand was at the top with a score of 1.241 that also put it in second place globally, followed by Japan with a score of 1.408 and a 10th place global ranking, Australia (1.425, 12th), Singapore (1.534, 21st), Malaysia (1.637, 29th) and Taiwan with a 40th place global ranking. China was ranked in 16th place, while North Korea was in last place at No. 19.

Killelea said the cost is 100 times what the world's countries spend on peacekeeping operations.

  • Leroy Wright