The Sydney-based Institute of Economics and Peace published the Global Peace Index- 2021 on Thursday. It has considered issues such as social security and protection, militarisation and on-going conflicts, in developing this index.

This time too, Iceland is at the top of the index, followed by New Zealand, Denmark, Portugal, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, Czech Republic and Canada.

Bangladesh’s score in the Global Peace Index-2021 is 2.068. Bangladesh has risen to 91st place in the list of peaceful countries. The country was 97th in the index a year ago.

According to the Global Peace Index, Bangladesh is the third most peaceful country in South Asia. Nepal and Bhutan are above Bangladesh in the region. Afghanistan is the least peaceful country in the region. Afghanistan is followed by Pakistan. India is in the 135th place in the index. Sri Lanka has slipped 19 notches in the index. Singapore is the most peaceful country in Asia and is eleventh in the world.

The fall of Sri Lanka in the Global Peace Index is a lesson for us. Once regarded as the island of peace, Sri Lanka had been enduring ethnic conflicts for long. Using forcing in solving problems may make the problem last longer.

In Bangladesh, 98 per cent people speak the same language. We had solved the racial conflict in Chittagong Hill Tracts through talks too, which was appreciated by the international community. Therefore, the implementation of this treaty and political stability are indeed essential for establishing peace in the country.

However, political stability does not mean obstructing alternative political opinions. An open and peaceful society can only be established by ensuring fundamental rights of every citizen and freedom of expression.

Social justice, political stability and financial equality are essential for establishing peace in a state. There is not much difference between the rich and poor in Iceland, the country stands atop in the index. 97 per cent of the country’s citizens are middle class, that is, they don’t have to worry about basic rights. Besides, there is no gender discrimination in this small country in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean. The women in the country have stronghold in the educational and financial sectors. Besides, the country is also ahead in terms of free thinking and civil liberties.

It is expected that everyone will work for the welfare of the country and the nation by rising above party-based and sectarian narrowness. But when we see people forced disappearances, the rise in violence against women, peace seems far away.

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