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Essays

To many, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic came as a surprise. It has placed enormous strain on governments to contain the spread of the disease and address the fallout from the measures that have been implemented.

The Islamic State (IS) is back, or so the headlines say. The key thing is that IS never left. While IS may have gone underground, reorganized, and slowly rebuilt, it has continued to carry out attacks. And what is equally, if not more, concerning is that IS is growing in strength. If anything is to be learnt from the history of the organization, it is that it is vital to address this now before it grows too strong.

This SIPRI Essay discusses key findings from the Insights on Peace and Security paper ‘Climate Change in Women, Peace and Security Agenda National Action Plans’, which examines how the United Nations Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda national action plans (NAPs) frame climate change, and how may they promote women’s participation in addressing related risks.

On 6 March 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved the ‘Basic Principles of Russian Federation State Policy in the Arctic to 2035’ (Basic Principles 2035). The new policy document defines Russia’s Arctic interests, goals and mechanisms of implementation for the next 15 years. The document is published at a time where tensions between Russia and its Arctic neighbours are increasing and just ahead of Russia chairing the Arctic Council in 2021.

SIPRI’s latest Policy Paper ‘Building everyday peace in Kirkuk, Iraq: The potential of locally focused interventions’ provides an understanding of how, when and by whom acts of peace and conflict are carried out at the everyday level, and gives policy recommendations for interventions that would address the local side of peacebuilding. This essay highlights some core areas where there is an opportunity for peacebuilding interventions to affect real change in the everyday lives of Kirkukis.

WritePeace blog

New trends and developments in border tensions between China and India

While de-escalating the over one month-long stand-off in disputed areas in the Himalayan region, Chinese and Indian troops clashed again on 15 June.

A cautionary tale of military expenditure transparency during the great lockdown

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has dramatically changed the world we inhabit. Not only has there been unimaginable human suffering worldwide, but the necessary protective measures implemented by governments around the world have caused an economic fallout far worse than the 2008–2009 financial crisis and unprecedented since the Great Depression of 1929.

Using official development assistance to strengthen small arms and light weapons controls: Opportunities and risks

One of the many events that has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic is the seventh Biennial Meeting of States (BMS) on the United Nations Programme of Action (UNPOA) on small arms and light weapons (SALW), which was due to take place this week in New York but has been postponed to 2021.

Coronavirus shocks to human development and sustaining peace

The pandemic caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a massive systemic shock entailing both a public health catastrophe and a profound economic crisis. This blog briefly examines the dual crisis especially as it affects countries of the Global South. The dual crisis lays bare cleavages and structural weaknesses both in individual countries and in the highly interconnected global system. It poses a critical challenge to governments and multilateral institutions to formulate and implement an effective and coherent response. It amplifies pre-existing dynamics of inequality and fragility both within states and in the international system.

The high cost of insecurity: The case of Hodh el Gharbi in Mauritania

From January until November 2019, SIPRI’s Sahel and West Africa Programme and its research partners in the Sahel region have documented the spill-over effects of the 2012 Malian crisis. This blog builds on the findings of research carried out by SIPRI and its partners in Mauritania during September 2019 and uses semi-structured interviews that were conducted in the administrative region of Hodh el Gharbi which is located in the south east of Mauritania bordering Mali.

Expert Comments

In 2019, when the European Union (EU) and six countries to the east of the EU (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) marked the 10th anniversary of their Eastern Partnership (EaP), foreign ministers underlined common work on trade, visa liberalization, economic development and human rights that had been encouraged by (or through) the partnership.

On 8 May last year, US President Donald J. Trump announced that the United States would pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which sets limits on Iran’s nuclear programme to ensure that it cannot produce nuclear weapons. Despite the US withdrawal, the JCPOA remains in force; it is a multilateral agreement to which seven of the original eight parties still adhere.

On 26 January 2018 China’s State Council Information Office published a white paper clarifying China’s vision of the Arctic, its intentions, goals and objectives in the region.

The announcement that Russia had completed the destruction of its chemical weapons stockpile was rightly applauded as a milestone in multilateral arms control. However, it was also a reminder of the significant part that international non-proliferation and disarmament assistance played in facilitating the implementation of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

On Wednesday the Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü of Turkey, congratulated Russia on completing the destruction of its chemical weapons stockpile which originally totalled 39 967 agent tonnes (i.e. excluding munition weight).

Backgrounders

A full account of the human consequences of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, beyond the immediate health effects, remains to be seen. However, it is clear that the global economic recession and physical, economic and social disruption are being borne by the most vulnerable.

This Topical Backgrounder is based on the results and activities of the first year of project implementation. It presents the main research findings for each of the indices, namely security, governance and socio-economic development, and the conclusions highlight four key evidence-based recommendations that could help strengthen current stabilization efforts and pave the way to sustainable peace in the two regions.

Announced in December 2019, the European Green Deal (EGD) sets out Europe’s new growth strategy with the aim of transforming the now 27-country bloc from a high- to a low-carbon economy in order to reach zero net emissions by the year 2050.

On Friday 5 June 2020, the opposition to the regime proved its capacity for mass mobilization raising the fundamental question of the capacity of the regime to deal with the multiple challenges and, more generally, the ability of the Malian state to regain its sovereignty, which is fragmented, under international control and constantly disputed by domestic actors.

The so-called ‘Malian crisis’ has now become a regionally multidimensional crisis.