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New Zealand rated most peaceful nation

3 June 2009
Media release

New Zealand rated most peaceful nation

New Zealand has been named the world's most peaceful nation by an international think tank; this is a credit to nine years of Labour Government under former Prime Minister Helen Clark Labour Associate Foreign Affairs spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

The Global Peace Index annually rates countries against a set of criteria including commitment to UN peace keeping, crime levels, political stability and respect for human rights. New Zealand has moved up the rankings from number three in 2008 to beat Denmark and Norway to the top spot.

"This is something to celebrate. The Global Peace Index measures how peaceful we are both at home and abroad. Kiwis value a society that is harmonious and peaceful, and care about promoting peace on the international stage. These were hallmarks of the last nine years under Helen Clark's leadership and it is great to have that recognised by this result" said Phil Twyford.

"At home the Fifth Labour Government actively pursued policies designed to promote a more peaceful and inclusive New Zealand: reducing social inequalities, promoting respect for minorities, and investing in strong public health and education to improve life chances. Our foreign policy put a premium on support for UN peacekeeping missions and the promotion of disarmament and conflict resolution."

The Global Peace Index is a project of the Institute for Economics and Peace founded by Steve Killelea, an Australian international technology entrepreneur and philanthropist. It is a collated and calculated the Economist Intelligence Unit. New Zealander Prof Kevin Clements who heads up Otago University's Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies chairs the GPI's international advisory panel of experts.


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