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The biggest threat to the stability of the world in the next 10 years comes from the risk of international conflict, according to the 10th edition of the World Economic Forum Global Risks report.

The report, which every year features an assessment by experts on the top global risks in terms of likelihood and potential impact over the coming 10 years, finds interstate conflict with regional consequences as the number one global risk in terms of likelihood, and the fourth most serious risk in terms of impact.

The report list the top five global risks in terms of likelihood as:

  1. Interstate conflict with regional consequences (geopolitical risk)
  2. Extreme weather events(environmental risk)
  3. Failure of national governance(geopolitical risk)
  4. State collapse or crisis(geopolitical risk)
  5. High structural unemployment or underemployment (economic risk).

The top 5 five global risks in terms of impact are:

  1. Water crises (societal risk)
  2. Rapid and massive spread of infectious diseases (societal risk)
  3. Weapons of mass destruction(geopolitical risk)
  4. Interstate conflict with regional consequences (geopolitical risk)
  5. Failure of climate-change adaptation (environmental risk).

The diagram below shows a wider range of risks mapped by impact and likelihood:

Click the picture for a larger version.

900 experts took part in the Global Risk Perception Survey that the report is based on. It was developed with the support of strategic partners Marsh & McLennan Companies and Zurich Insurance Group.

Read the report (PDF).

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