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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.

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.

WritePeace blog

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.

From the Malian crisis to the Sahel breakdown: An overview of SIPRI’s work in the G5 Sahel region

The Sahel has long been one of Africa’s most fragile regions, but the growing insecurity associated with the 2012 Malian crisis has exacerbated chronic vulnerabilities. Although the Malian crisis has been extensively studied since its outbreak in January 2012, its far-reaching consequences for the region are poorly documented. To examine the regional effect of the crisis, SIPRI’s Sahel and West Africa Programme and its partners in the G5 Sahel countries—Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger—conducted research during August until November 2019. This blog provides an overview of the findings of this qualitative research and serves as an introduction to a series of forthcoming SIPRI publications.

Renewable energy as an opportunity for peace?

Growth in global energy demands due to population and economic growth has caused energy-sector emissions to rise and surpass historic records. Clearly, efforts to sustainably mitigate climate change must therefore utilize renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro, geothermal and sustainably harnessed biomass.

Why it is important to register violent deaths

Last week the website for the Global Registry of Violent Deaths (GReVD) was launched. The main objective of GReVD is to create a registry for every violent death and thereby improve the precision of the current reported numbers of violent deaths—which are all estimates. This blog post emphasizes the importance of counting violent deaths and outlines some of the main challenges to do so.

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

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

Since the fall of the Libyan regime in 2011, multiple and multifaceted crises in the Sahel region have greatly destabilized the local states and weakened already vulnerable populations. Located at the crossroads of three crises axes (Libya–Mali axis, Liptako–Gourma region, Lake Chad basin), Niger is particularly affected by regional instability.

Despite some hurdles, the last two years have seen hope return to the inter-Korean peace process. With the historic summit on 27 April 2018 following the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK, North Korea) participation in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, inter-Korean relations became significantly warmer and perhaps closer than ever.

In recent years, Russia has embarked on a military modernization programme funded by rapidly increasing military spending and has pursued a more as

In September 2019, Chile enacted legislation to abolish its off-budget funding mechanism of arms acquisitions for its armed forces and replace it with a more transparent and accountable funding system.