NEW YORK – International cooperation is rooted in the quest for a more harmonious, prosperous world. But fostering harmony on a global level requires strong national foundations. To this end, initiatives aimed at building strong education systems, equitable resource distribution, and well-functioning governments – all of which have been found to underpin peaceful societies – are critical.
One country with significant potential for peace is Mexico. Indeed, as the inaugural Mexico Peace Index (MPI) report revealed last year, Mexico ranks above the global average in terms of life expectancy, youth empowerment, and child-mortality rates. This can be attributed at least partly to its robust business environment, high educational and health standards, and other strong MPI measures, which have collectively improved by 7% over the last two years.
To be sure, it is too early to determine whether this trend will persist. Despite its recent achievements, Mexico remains in the bottom quartile of the Global Peace Index – 133rd out of 162 countries. Since the start of the calamitous drug war in 2007, it has dropped 45 places – not least because of a 37% increase in homicides.
Moreover, compared to global averages, Mexico lags in three other areas that are crucial to sustaining peaceful societies: freedom of information, government efficiency, and corruption. For example, according to the World Press Freedom Index, more than 80 journalists have been killed in Mexico in the last decade, and 17 have disappeared, making it the Western hemisphere’s most dangerous country for the media.