The independent resource on global security

Backgrounders

Estimating world nuclear forces: An overview and assessment of sources

Hans M. Kristensen and Matt Korda

The nuclear weapon inventories of the nine-nuclear armed states—the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, Israel and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea)—are largely shrouded in secrecy: only three of the nine states have ever publicly declared the size of their nuclear stockpiles and in recent years there has been a notable shift towards a lower overall level of nuclear weapon-related transparency.

Multilateral peace operations in 2020: Developments and trends

Timo Smit

Ahead of the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, SIPRI is releasing new data on multilateral peace operations. This topical backgrounder summarizes the key findings from the latest data and some of the most important developments in 2020.

Arms transfers to conflict zones: The case of Nagorno-Karabakh

Jordan Smith, Pieter D. Wezeman and Alexandra Kuimova

The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh escalated in 2020 into a six-week war in which an estimated 5700 people died.

Why United Nations peace operations cannot ignore climate change

Dr Florian Krampe

On 23 February the United Nations (UN) Security Council will hold an open session on the topic of climate change and security. The security implications of climate change are highly diverse, crossing and linking different sectors of society.

Reassessing SIPRI’s military expenditure estimate for the United Kingdom

Dr Nan Tian and Dr Lucie Béraud-Sudreau

In November 2020, in the midst of the ‘second wave’ of COVID-19 and despite a projected

European Union sanctions on North Korea: Balancing non-proliferation with the humanitarian impact

Kolja Brockmann

The international sanctions regime against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea, DPRK) is the strongest and most comprehensive set of sanctions currently in effect against any one country.

Autocracy is on the rise: Should we expect military spending to follow?

Dr Diego Lopes da Silva

Autocracies are once again the global majority.

Starve nuclear weapons to death with a tritium freeze

Robert E. Kelley

A freeze on the production of tritium is a different way to manage disarmament that will gradually bring an end to nuclear weapons.

The impact of COVID-19 on critical global food supply chains and food security

Jiayi Zhou and Dr Caroline Delgado

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.

Achieving peace and development in Central Mali: Looking back on one year of SIPRI’s work

Dr Grégory Chauzal

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.