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Commentary

Essays

Dr Malin Mobjörk and Eva Lövbrand

In this essay, the volume editors present the key themes of their new book Anthropocene (In)securities: Reflections on Collective Survival 50 Years After the Stockholm Conference, published this week by SIPRI and Oxford University Press.

On 13 April, Iran announced its intention to enrich uranium to 60 per cent U-235. This was characterized by Iran as a response to a sabotage of its vast underground enrichment cascades at Natanz two days before.

Iran’s atomic energy agency announced last week that it had produced 55 kilograms of 20 per cent-enriched uranium in barely four months.

A deadly pandemic to control. An urgent nationwide vaccination programme to roll out. An economic crisis to navigate. Political divisions and distrust deep enough to spark mob violence and terrorism. The 46th President of the United States faces a barrage of critical domestic challenges from day one.

This SIPRI Essay was originally published in the print edition of the East African on 28 November and in the online edition on 12 December.

To accompany this commentary piece, SIPRI has also produced a video series (below) with interviews from representatives from East Africa.

WritePeace blog

Abyei offers lessons for the region on climate-related security risks

Weather, weapons and wealth have all played roles in the long-running conflict between South Sudan and Sudan over the Abyei area. The conflict in Abyei—a disputed border region of farmland, desert and oil fields—has its origins in a long-running disagreement between two pastoralist groups, the local Ngok Dinka and Misseriyya Arab seasonal migrants (see figure 1).

Surveillance as slow violence: Experiences from young environmental activists

As environmental activism increasingly takes place online, tactics of slow violence against activists have adapted, making use of social media and other digital tools to target often young activists. One of those methods, digital surveillance, deserves greater attention.

Arms transfers, military spending and insurgencies: What we do (and do not) know about Mozambique

Earlier this year, the United States-led ‘war on terror’ gained another African front line. In March, the USA added a Mozambican group known as Ansar al-Sunnah to its list of designated foreign terrorist organizations, giving it the name ‘ISIS-Mozambique’.

Financing peacebuilding ecosystems

Good Peacebuilding Financing was a thematic focus of the 2021 Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development. This commentary is inspired by several Forum sessions including ‘Good Peacebuilding Financing: Doing More, Doing Better‘ ‘ReNEWing the Deal’, ‘Investing in Peace, Investing in Trust: Financing Women Led Organizations’ and ‘How effective is the current peacebuilding financing architecture at building peace?’.

Systems leadership in peacebuilding

David Creelman

Ahead of the 2021 Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development, SIPRI is pleased to share guest blog posts from partner organizations.

Today’s global context—characterized by complexity, polarization and growing inequalities, compounded by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic—risks undoing decades’ worth of peace and development dividends. We are likely to see more conflicts and higher demands on peace operations in the coming years.

Expert Comments

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported on Friday its conclusion that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) had resumed plutonium production at its nuclear reactor in Yongbyon in early July this year.

International condemnation of the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Ethiopia’s northern region is intensifying as the scale of the emergency becomes clearer. However, the conflict in Tigray is one part of a broader political crisis in Ethiopia, where elections take place on Monday (21 June).

With two new documents, the European Union (EU) has officially recognized the relevance of climate change to peace mediation.

Yesterday Honduras became the 50th state to ratify or accede to the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), meaning that the treaty will enter into force on 22 January 2021.

While details remain scarce, the fighting that has erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan appears to be more intense than the skirmishes that killed at least a dozen people in the summer of 2020. At the time of writing, roughly 100 people, both civilians and military personnel, have been killed since Sunday, and fighting continues. 

Backgrounders

The Missile Technology Control Regime is a cornerstone of states’ efforts to control the development, proliferation and use of missiles and other unmanned delivery systems. However, it faces serious structural, operational, membership and technology-related challenges that call for new initiatives and a strengthening of the regime’s resilience.

Hopes run high that the possessors of the world’s largest nuclear arsenals—Russia and the United States—might finally resume negotiations on nuclear weapon reductions after over a decade of diplomatic deadlock.

This SIPRI Topical Backgrounder presents data on the military aid given by the USA to Afghanistan between 2001 and 2020.

This SIPRI Topical Backgrounder gives an overview of the four multilateral peace operations that were active in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2021. It presents SIPRI data on the number and categories of international personnel deployed in each operation, drawn from the SIPRI Multilateral Peace Operations Database.

This SIPRI topical backgrounder gives an overview of known international flows of major arms to the Afghan armed forces between 2001 and 2020.