Listing out risks for global stability, the Forum said water crisis is expected to be the risk with highest impact. "The biggest threat to the stability of the world in the next 10 years comes from the risk of international conflict," WEF's Global Risks report said.
     
Inter-state conflict with regional consequences is viewed as the number one global risk in terms of likelihood, with water crises ranking highest in terms of impact.
     
In terms of likelihood, WEF said the second biggest risk is extreme weather events, followed by failure of national governance systems, state collapse or crisis and high structural unemployment or underemployment.

Since 2014, WEF said three risks have intensified the most in terms of likelihood and impact. These are inter-state conflict with regional consequences, weapons of mass destruction and terrorist attacks, it added.

"... 2015 stands out as a year when geopolitical risks, having been largely absent from the landscape of leading risks for the past half-decade, returns to the fore.
     
"With geopolitics increasingly influencing the global economy, these risks account for three of the five most likely, and two of the most potentially impactful, risks in 2015," the report said.
     
As many as 28 global risks spread across five categories -- economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological -- were assessed.
     
In looking at global risks in terms of their potential impact, the nearly 900 experts who took part in the Global Risk Perception Survey rated water crises as the greatest risk facing the world, WEF said.

"Other top risks alongside that and interstate conflict in terms of impact are: rapid and massive spread of infectious diseases (2), weapons of mass destruction (3) and failure of climate change adaptation (5)," it added.

WEF's Lead Economist Margareta Drzeniek-Hanouz said 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the world again faces the risk of major conflict between states.
     
In addition, the means to wage such conflict, whether through cyber attack, competition for resources or sanctions and other economic tools, is broader than ever, he noted.

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