The UK is falling for the second year in a row on the world’s list of countries that have contributed to the “common good of humanity,” due to “vast weapons exports” and inadequate aid to foreign countries.
Based on a new study called the “Good Country Index,” Britain has fallen from number four to number eight out of 163 countries and in the area of “international peace and security,” it ranks a poor 48th in the world.
The index measures country contributions to global peace and security, culture, health, prosperity, equality and environment, instead of basing the rankings on traditional economic and social factors via 35 criteria from the United Nations, the World Bank and other international organizations.
In 2016, Britain was in fifth place for its contribution to prosperity and equality – that place is now number 35. Factors analyzed were the size of cross-border trading, the number of aid workers and volunteers sent abroad and investment in developing countries relative to the size of the economy.
International policy adviser Simon Anholt, who created the index, said on Monday that, “One of the two main reasons why the UK ranks so low in ‘Peace and Security’ is because of its big weapons exports, to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other destinations,” he said.
Anholt explained that although there is an ongoing debate about British weapons exports among the public, “[…] the debate doesn’t affect the ranking: no matter how much people criticize the exports, and no matter how fierce the debate, the level of sales remains high and that’s what keeps the ranking so low.”
“A good country is one that successfully contributes to the good of humanity,” he said. “Of course, it must serve the interests of its own people, but never at the expense of other populations or our shared resources: this is the new law of human survival.”