By Boris Anikeenko
The Fund for Peace has, for the seventh time, published its annual rating of unstable countries worldwide, considering demographic, political, economic and social problems. Like all CIS states, Belarus is in the middle of the list, occupying 83rd position.
The rating embraces 177 countries and is called a ‘Failed States Index’, using a scientific approach to judge each nation. Experts analyse countries over the year, using a special system of conflict assessment, which indicates the ability of authorities to control the integrity of a country’s territory and its demographic, political and economic situation.
The analysis is traditionally conducted on the basis of 12 criteria which indicate a state’s social, economic and military-political abilities. To achieve a comprehensive assessment, experts analyse the ability of five key state institutions — political management, army, police, judicial and civil services — to ensure the security of a state and its citizens. Dozens of thousands of sources are scanned, with negative and positive assessments of the twelve indicators calculated. Later, experts analyse the information and place a final grade on each country; 0 stands for the maximum level of stability (with the lowest risks and threats) and 10 indicates the lowest level of stability (with the highest risks and threats). Tenths of points are taken into account and the total is the sum of all indicators (creating a maximum of 120 points); this then defines the ratings.
For several years, African states have occupied the top ten positions, with Somalia confidently rated first, followed by the Republic of Chad. Sudan is third, with Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq featuring prominently as being unstable — despite the USA’s interference. Finland is acknowledged to be the most prosperous country, with last year’s leader, Norway, dropping slightly (due to tiny fluctuations in its economic and demographic figures). Switzerland, New Zealand, Ireland, Luxembourg, Austria and Australia are deemed to be very safe.
Greece is currently experiencing a financial crisis, so has lost its high position. The Fund for Peace assessment places Greece in 143rd place, but this may be overly generous. It is on the edge of default and the crisis has generated public dissatisfaction with the Government, causing social instability (a fall of just three positions against the pre-crisis year of 2007).
Among the former Soviet republics, Kyrgyzstan has the worst position (31st), while Tajikistan is placed 39th, Uzbekistan 40th, Georgia 47th, Azerbaijan 63rd and Turkmenistan 75th. Moldova is in 65th position, with Armenia 101st. Kazakhstan is 107th, Ukraine 110th and Russia 82nd (last year, this place was occupied by Belarus, which has now advanced by one point).
According to Fund for Peace specialists, the position of all CIS states shows ‘a moderate level of instability’ (88 states which are placed between 36th and 124th position). In the moderate segment are Egypt (45th), Georgia (47th), Israel (53rd), China (72nd) and Turkey (103rd).
As regards Belarus, the organisation considers that the country has a moderate situation regarding human rights, a relative level of external interference in politics and economics, and a quite comfortable social state policy.