Facts on International Relations and Security Trends

The project focuses on the development and maintenance of a federated system of individual databases at different geographical locations, accessible through a single integrated user platform. The objective is to offer professionals in the field and in related sciences, such as researchers, politicians and the media, an organized authoritative and structured factual reference system in the form of country profiles.

The FIRST system offers researchers, politicians and the media an authoritative and structured factual reference system on international relations and security trends. It contains high-quality, up-to-date and clearly documented information in areas such as:

  • conflicts, arms transfers and military expenditure
  • hard facts on states and international organizations
  • economic and social statistics
  • chronologies

The system allows the user to search through more than 40 databases from different institutes around the world through a single user-friendly interface.


The Internet has become a major source of information in political science, international relations and international security. As an attempt to facilitate the use of the Internet for research purposes, ISN (International Relations and Security Network) and SIPRI have established the Facts on International Relations and Security Trends (FIRST) project. Other partners and cooperating institutes include:

  • CEIP (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)
  • ICG (International Crisis Group)
  • IDEA (International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance)
  • IPU (Inter-Parliamentary Union)
  • TI (Tranparency International)
  • UNSD (United Nations Statistics Division)
  • World Bank (World Bank Group)

A complete list of all our partners and cooperating institutes can be found on the FIRST system.

New developments

To reach a wider audience we are in the process of translating the FIRST system into other languages. For that purpose we created partnerships with the Hiroshima University for a Japanese language translation and the Gulf Research Center in Dubai for an Arabic language translation.



If you have any questions, or if your organization has a fact or statistics database of relevance to the international relations and security community and would like to know more about participating in the project, please contact:

FIRST Database

Enter the database