Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay highlighted this at the opening of the 20th Desuup training 

Training: Bhutan was ranked the most peaceful among seven South Asian countries and 13th among 163 countries on the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2016.

The GPI ranking is something to be proud of said Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay at the opening of the 20th Desuup training programme at the Tencholing military training centre in Wangdue, yesterday.

The ranking was as per the 10th edition of the GPI that was compiled by global think tank Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), this week.

He said although small in size, Bhutan has started contributing to United Nations peace keeping (UNPK) missions. Excluding those who have returned home on completion of their duties, around 27 Bhutanese are currently deployed for UNPK missions, Lyonchoen said.

“Our contribution has been highly praised and appreciated and we were requested to send more, for which we are planning to send around 21 more officials within a few months from now,” Lyonchoen said. He attributed the peacefulness of the country to His Majesty The King’s continued guidance.

He said the Desuups are one among many initiatives of His Majesty The King, and excluding the 20th batch, around 2,264 Desuups have been trained.

Lyonchoen praised the Desuups for their contributions on various occasions like   managing crowds during events and fighting forest fires, among others.

Meanwhile, Iceland was ranked the world’s most peaceful country followed by Denmark, Austria and New Zealand. Syria has been named the least peaceful country followed by countries like South Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen and the Central African Republic.

Bhutan is second among 29 countries with a high state of peace, while the first 11 countries are categorised as countries with a very high state of peace.

Among the seven South Asian countries, Bhutan was followed by Nepal, which was placed 78th in the overall ranking, Bangladesh came in at 83rd, Sri Lanka at 97th, India at 141st, Pakistan at 153rd and Afghanistan at 160th.

As per the GPI, South Asia’s position remained unchanged at eighth out of the nine regions. Overall, the individual overall scores of Afghanistan, Nepal and India deteriorated, while for Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, scores improved modestly.

In terms of regional rank, most countries have remained unchanged, with Bhutan remaining the most peaceful and Afghanistan the least.

As per the GPI findings, the world became slightly less peaceful in 2016. Over the past year, 81 countries have improved their peacefulness, while peace in 79 countries deteriorated.

The GPI is composed of 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources and it ranks 163 independent states and territories, covering 99.7 percent of the world’s population. The index gauges global peace using three broad themes; the level of safety and security in society, the extent of domestic or international conflict and the degree of militarisation.

Dawa Gyelmo | Wangdue