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This month, 18 countries are participating in a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) naval exercise in the Baltic Sea. The Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) exercise is noteworthy because it will be led by the 2nd Fleet of the United States Navy, which was disbanded in 2011 but reconstituted in 2018 with a wide area of operations from the east coast of the USA to the Barents Sea.

Ahead of the upcoming African Union (AU) Summit in February, SIPRI researchers give an impetus for the AU to refocus on climate-related security risks and build broad support to appoint a dedicated AU Special Envoy for Climate Change and Security.

The wider Black Sea region contains both a high degree of nuclear security risk and rich experience in efforts to cooperate on risk reduction. Given that some of the most significant known cases of illicit nuclear trafficking have taken place in the wider Black Sea region, it is important to understand whether recent events, including the conflict in and around Ukraine, have increased existing nuclear security risks or created new ones.

At a political rally on Saturday, 20 October, US President Donald J. Trump announced that the United States will withdraw from the 1987 Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty). This confirms what has steadily been unfolding over the past couple of years: the architecture of Russian–US nuclear arms control is crumbling.

Under the 1998 EU Code of Conduct on Arms Export, which was replaced in 2008 by the EU Common Position on Arms Exports, member states of the European Union have committed themselves to achieving ‘high common standards’ and ‘convergence’ in their arms export controls.

WritePeace blog

Fifty years of the NPT—cause for celebration or commemoration?

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which entered into force in 1970, is turning 50 next year. As suggested by discussions at the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 NPT Review Conference (PrepCom)—held in New York on 29 April–10 May 2019—it might not be a happy anniversary. Despite their ritualistic affirmations that the NPT is the cornerstone of the global nuclear order, states parties remained divided on substantive issues.

Rethinking stabilization efforts in Somalia

Dr Giovanni Faleg

Ahead of the 2019 Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development, SIPRI is pleased to share guest blog posts from partner organizations.

Since it emerged as a global policy paradigm after the terrorist attacks on the United States of 11 September 2001, the implementation of stabilization policies rested on a delicate balance between building a coherent long-term peace strategy and having a clear exit strategy, through the difficult sequencing of early interventions, transition and long-term recovery actions.

Governing the ‘ungoverned’: Suppressing the Islamic State’s insurgency in Iraq

As the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) launched an operation to target the Islamic State in the Hamrin mountain range in Iraq on the 11 April 2019, it is pertinent to examine the importance of the Iraqi state’s involvement in governance and sustainable security in such isolated spaces.

Coordinating arms transfer and SALW control assistance: What role for the Arms Trade Treaty?

The 2013 Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is the first international, legally binding instrument establishing common international standards for regulating the trade on conventional arms. The ATT also includes specific provisions on implementation assistance.

Unpacking the Afghan peace talks: Inclusion of women in the process and achieving durable peace

In early February 2019, landmark peace talks took place in Moscow between the US government and the Taliban that have advanced the possibility of a negotiated peace further than any previous attempt in the 17-year-long conflict. However, women and an agenda on women’s rights were largely absent from the peace talks (see the striking picture of the negotiating table here).

Expert Comments

On 8 May last year, US President Donald J.

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).

Dr Florian Krampe provides commentary on the newly launched Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in the Lake Chad Basin region, arguing that the report would have been stronger if it had highlighted the underlying environmental contributions of the region’s fragility.

Backgrounders

In January 2019 Venezuela’s opposition-led National Assembly swore in congressman Juan Guaidó as the country’s interim president.

Despite an expanding cast of security actors responding to conflicts in Mali, insecurity is escalating and spreading across porous borders throughout the Sahel region. The attack on 23 March 2019, the deadliest in the region since 2013, by a Dozo hunting militia killing at least 160 Fulani villagers in central Mali near the border with Burkina Faso, indicates an increasingly volatile security environment with entrenched, intercommunal grievances.

This topical backgrounder puts a spotlight on armament developments in Saudi Arabia, the country with the highest levels of military spending and arms imports in the Middle East. It aims to contribute to the efforts by SIPRI to gain a better understanding of the impact of militarization on security, conflict, peace and development in the region.

While trying to save the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the Iran nuclear deal, some European leaders have stepped