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Free And Independent Media & Free Flow Of Information Key In Preventing Terrorism, Experts Proclaim In Annual Report

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The Global Terrorism Index 2014 -Measuring And Understanding The Impact Of Terrorism", released by The Institute for Economics & Peace, has pointed out that a free and independent media is a key requirement to maintaining the most important 'pillars of peace' and preventing terrorism.

Page 42 of the 94-page pdf report states, in part,


"Countries with higher levels of terrorism perform significantly worse on the Pillars of Peace, a framework developed by IEP to assess the positive peace factors that create peaceful societies. The ten countries with the most deaths from terrorism in 2013 performed 26 per cent worse on the Pillars of Peace compared to the international average. These countries performed particularly poorly on three out of the eight Pillars of Peace. These three Pillars are:

  • Free flow of information, which captures the extent to which citizens can gain access to information, whether the media is free and independent. Peaceful countries tend to have free and independent media, which disseminate information in a way that leads to greater openness and helps individuals and civil society work together. This leads to better decision-making and rational responses in times of crisis.
  • Good relations with neighbours, which refers to the relations between individuals and between communities as well as to cross-border relations. Some of the countries with the highest levels of terrorism border each other.
  • Acceptance of the rights of others, which includes both the formal laws that guarantee basic freedoms as well as the informal social and cultural norms that relate to behaviours of citizens. Yemen is the worst performing country in this Pillar, with Nigeria and Pakistan also performing in the bottom ten. The countries with the highest rates of terrorism also have certain commonalities in behaviours and attitudes. Corruption is generally higher among the 10 countries with the highest number of deaths from terrorism. According to the Gallup World Values Survey, these countries experience 11 per cent more people facing a bribe situation than the international average. All ten countries have significant Muslim populations and there are relatively more people expressing the view that the West is in conflict with the Muslim world. The rates of political terror and political instability are also significantly higher in these ten countries than the international average."
  • The Pillars of Peace document itself, originally released in 2013, states

    "Pillars of Peace is a new conceptual framework for understanding and describing the factors associated a with peaceful society. The framework outlines the characteristics that are most closely associated with peace. It is the first empirical framework aimed at measuring positive peace, which can be understood as the structures, attitudes and institutions that move society towards resolving conflict in a non-violent way. The research defines 8 key Pillars that underpin peace; these Pillars are both interdependent and mutually reinforcing, meaning that the relative strength of any one Pillar has the potential to either positively or negatively influence peace.. The Pillars are:
  • Well-functioning government
  • Sound business environment
  • Equitable distribution of resources
  • Acceptance of the rights of others
  • Good relations with neighbours
  • Free flow of information
  • High levels of education
  • Low levels of corruption
    The Pillars of Peace is a viable first step to enable better monitoring and evaluation of progress. The research will help facilitate stronger evidence based policy in development assistance. It can also be used as a reference tool in identifying indicators and tracking the progress of the post 2015 development agenda.
  • The 68 page pdf can be found here: PILLARS OF PEACE: Understanding the key attitudes and institutions that underpin peaceful societies. The 'FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION' Section of the 'PILLARS OF PEACE' begins on page 36.

    The GTI also stated that "Illegitimate and corrupt governments," State-Sponsored Violence & "Perceptions Of Criminality" Top Influences In Rise Of Terrorism. "Lack Of Political Legitimacy" and "Powerful external actors upholding corrupt regimes" cited as causes of terrorism in presitious annual report.

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