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Philippines to address security concerns after being ranked as one of "least peaceful" nations


10:31, June 16, 2013

MANILA, June 15 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine government vowed Saturday to continue its efforts to address the domestic peace and security concerns after it was ranked as one among the "least peaceful" nations in the world and in Asia Pacific region.

According to the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2013 released this week by the Institute for Economics and Peace, the Philippines remains among the "least peaceful" countries in the world and the Asia Pacific, improving only slightly in its global ranking.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Aquino administration welcomed the improvement of the country's global peace rating from 133rd in 2012 to 129th this year among 162 countries surveyed.

"We've been taking concrete steps to address peace-related issues that have been confronting the administration. Moving forward, not because we have slight improvement in the ranking, we would stop our efforts. Of course, these efforts and these actions will continue," she said in an interview over a state-run radio station.

The GPI said it saw improved prospects for peace between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the largest Muslim rebel group in the country, following the signing of a framework deal last year for a potential peace agreement.

Despite this development, however, the Philippines remained " among the least peaceful countries in Asia Pacific," along with Thailand and Myanmar that face domestic civil conflict.

Listed as the least peaceful countries are Afghanistan (162), Somalia (161), Syria (160), Iraq (159), Sudan (158), Pakistan (157) , the Democratic Republic of Congo (156), Russia (155) and Central African Republic (153).

Iceland was the most peaceful country based on GPI's ranking. This is largely because of Iceland's political stability, low homicide rate and small prison population.

The other top peaceful countries include Denmark, New Zealand, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, Finland, Canada, Sweden and Belgium.

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