April 2009

Welcome to the April 2009 issue of SIPRI Update: Global Security & Arms Control. This monthly newsletter is your source for the latest developments in international security, arms control, non-proliferation and conflict, including recent SIPRI activities and publications.

In this issue:

  • Sibylle Bauer writes on the challenges of punishing acts of WMD proliferation
  • New SIPRI Research Report on exports of dual-use goods
  • Forthcoming SIPRI events
  • Recent SIPRI events
  • SIPRI in the media
  • SIPRI fact of the month
  • SIPRI’s latest publications
    • The CFE Treaty One Year after its Unilateral Suspension
    • Reporting Transfers of Small Arms and Light Weapons to UNROCA, 2007
    • China’s Expanding Peacekeeping Role
    • Chemical and Biochemical Non-lethal Weapons
    • SIPRI Yearbook 2008

Punishing acts of WMD proliferation: more easily said than done

Sibylle Bauer

Controlling the export of items that have military applications is a key tool in preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Every day, customs officers have to determine whether shipments of goods with a potential military application could lead to the proliferation of WMD technology. In December 2008 the Council of the European Union (EU) committed itself to strengthen the legal means to combat proliferation, including a renewed commitment to punish acts of proliferation, when it adopted the New Lines for Action in Combating the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems. While the goals of this document are laudable, what challenges are there in practice?

Continue reading . . .

New SIPRI Research Report

Enforcing European Union Law on Exports of Dual-use Goods, SIPRI Research Report no. 24, by Anna Wetter

The report, authored by Anna Wetter, a former member of the SIPRI Arms Control and Non-proliferation Programme, introduces international and European export control arrangements covering dual-use goods, focusing particularly on the EC Dual-use Regulation. It also examines and critiques how the European Union member states fulfil their obligations in relation to dual-use export controls. Four in-depth case studies present the current dual-use export control law and enforcement systems in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom, along with accounts of real-life investigations and prosecutions.

For information on Enforcing European Union Law on Exports of Dual-use Goods, including an executive summary for free download, click here. Contact the author of the book, Anna Wetter, for more information on this report. To order the book, click here.

SIPRI Board member becomes US Assistant Secretary of State

Rose Gottemoeller, a SIPRI Board member from 2004 until 2009, was sworn in as the Assistant Secretary of State for Verification, Compliance, and Implementation on 6 April 2009. SIPRI congratulates her and wishes her well in her new role. Read more here.

SIPRI joins new network on the EU’s role in crisis management

SIPRI has been invited to join the European Union’s new COST Action Network on New Challenges of Peacekeeping and the European Union’s role in Multilateral Crisis Management. The network, which will operate for four years, aims to contribute to the effectiveness and coherence of the European policymaking process that was launched by political leaders and civil society and to improve awareness among European citizens of the EU’s role in peace operations. For more information, click here or contact SIPRI Researcher Sharon Wiharta.

Forthcoming SIPRI events

27 April

SIPRI arms transfer data launch

On 27 April, SIPRI will release its worldwide arms transfers data for 2008. From that date, information on all international transfers of major conventional weapons in 2008 will be available in the SIPRI Arms Transfers Database. The Database already includes full details of transfers for the period 1950 to 2007.

More background information and a press release will be available on the SIPRI website from 27 April 10.00 CET. Contact Stephanie Blenckner, SIPRI Communications Officer, for more information and embargoed material for media.

28 April

Lecture: What has NATO membership meant for Poland?

Adam Kobieracki, Head of the Security Policy Department of the Polish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and former NATO Assistant Secretary General for Operations (2003–2007), will speak on the topic ‘A decade with the Alliance: what has NATO membership meant for Poland?’ at 15.00 on 28 April. The lecture will be followed by a question-and-answer session and wine and snacks will be served courtesy of the Polish Embassy. To register for the event, contact Stephanie Blenckner, SIPRI Communications Officer.

8 May

Launch of the SIPRI China and Global Security Programme

As China grows to become an increasingly important player on the global stage, and particularly across a range of international security and foreign policy concerns, SIPRI is pleased to announce the establishment of its new China and Global Security Programme. The launch event, on 8 May from 9.00 to 12.00, brings together leading Chinese, European and American experts to discuss key issues related to China’s future foreign policy. Click here for the full programme and contact Stephanie Blenckner, SIPRI Communications Officer, to register for the event.

12 May

Chinese translation of SIPRI Yearbook 2008

The Chinese version of SIPRI Yearbook 2008 will be launched at an event in Beijing organized by the Chinese Arms Control and Disarmament Association (CACDA). The Chinese version is translated by CACDA and is published by Current Affairs Press. The translation is funded by the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport. SIPRI Senior Researcher Linda Jakobson, who is based in Beijing, will speak on behalf of SIPRI.

Contact Linda Jakobson for further information.

Recent SIPRI events

1 April

Revitalizing the Non-Proliferation Treaty: facilitating peaceful nuclear activity while ensuring non-proliferation

A workshop on the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was conducted by SIPRI, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, the World Nuclear Association, Arab Thought Forum, Bibliotheka Alexandrina, the Peace Institute of Alexandria and the Swedish embassy together with local media. For further information contact Daniel Nord, SIPRI Deputy Director.


Latest findings on arms smuggling and transnational organized crime

SIPRI Researcher Hugh Griffiths presented his findings on arms trafficking and air safety in Brussels at a meeting of the European Union Air Safety Committee (ASC) as part of SIPRI’s Countering Illicit Trafficking Mechanism Assessment Project. The ASC is the EU’s highest aviation safety decision-making body and is composed of senior EU member state and European Commission civil aviation officials. It is responsible for banning unsafe air passenger and cargo carriers from EU airspace. To date it has banned more than 80 companies named in United Nations Security Council and other arms trafficking-related reports. For more information, contact SIPRI Researcher Hugh Griffiths. For more on European air safety, click here.

SIPRI in the media

Dr Bates Gill, SIPRI Director, was quoted in the Financial Times on the recent display of China’s naval forces. He participated in a special edition of the German news programme Tagesschau on the occasion of NATO’s 60th anniversary. Dr Gill was also quoted in ‘Letter from Europe’ in the New York Times on the choice of the next Secretary General of NATO.

Dr Paul Holtom, SIPRI Senior Researcher, was interviewed on the Russian arms trade by Time.

Chin-hao Huang, SIPRI Researcher, commented on China’s expanding military power and implications for the West in Mediapart and in the Finnish daily Hufvudstadbladet.

Shannon Kile, SIPRI Senior Researcher, was interviewed on the issue of North Korea by the Finnish daily Hufvudstadsbladet.

Linda Jakobson, SIPRI Senior Researcher, was interviewed on China’s foreign policy by Xinhua and the People’s Daily. She was also interviewed on China’s climate policy by Swedish Radio’s science programme Klotet and by the Finnish daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat on the occasion of the G20 meeting.

Pieter D. Wezeman, SIPRI Senior Researcher, commented on Sudan’s role in arms transfers to the Middle East for Voice of America.

SIPRI fact of the month

Multilateral export control regimes

Four informal multilateral cooperation regimes worked in their specific fields to strengthen export control cooperation in 2007: the Australia Group, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventioal Arms and Dual-use Goods and Technologies and the Missile Technology Control Regime. The number of member countries ranges from 34 to 45.

This information comes from SIPRI Yearbook 2008

SIPRI Personnel

Dr Paul Holtom appointed Head of the SIPRI Arms Transfer Programme

Dr Paul Holtom has been appointed to lead the Arms Transfer Programme at SIPRI from March 2009. Prior to joining SIPRI as a Senior Researcher in 2006, Dr Holtom was a Research Fellow with the Centre for Border Studies at the University of Glamorgan. He has also been an International Expert for the Council of Europe’s Transfrontier Cooperation Programme on the Kaliningrad oblast and Lead Researcher on small arms and light weapons projects in north-eastern and southeastern Europe for Saferworld.

Dr Holtom’s research interests include arms transfers to and from Russia and Eastern Europe, transparency in international arms transfers and arms embargoes. His recent publications include Transparency in Transfers of Small Arms and Light Weapons: Reports to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, 2003–2006, SIPRI Policy Paper no. 22 (SIPRI, July 2008), United Nations Arms Embargoes: Their Impact on Arms Flows and Target Behaviour (SIPRI/Uppsala University, Nov. 2007) and Small Arms Production in Russia (Saferworld, Mar. 2007).

SIPRI’s latest publications

The CFE Treaty One Year After Its Unilateral Suspension: A Forlorn Treaty?
SIPRI Policy Brief
Zdzislaw Lachowski

Published by SIPRI
January 2009
Download from http://books.sipri.org/

One year after Russia’s unilateral suspension of the 1990 Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty), it is time to reassess the condition and prospects of the CFE regime. This Policy Brief gives an overview of the issues that have dogged the CFE process and that led to the Russian action. It outlines the situation that the parties to the treaty find themselves in now and assesses the prospects for conventional arms control in Europe.

Reporting Transfers of Small Arms and Light Weapons to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, 2007
SIPRI Background Paper
Paul Holtom

Published by SIPRI
February 2009
Download from http://books.sipri.org/

This paper details and analyses UN member states’ reporting of international transfers of small arms and light weapons (SALW) to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms (UNROCA) for 2007. It complements a similar study that covers the years 2003–2006. It concludes that the level of reporting on international transfers of SALW is now high enough that the UNROCA Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) should reconsider the establishment of a new, eighth UNROCA category of SALW. The paper gives recommendations on how the new category could be established and how it would function.

China’s Expanding Peacekeeping Role: Its Significance and the Policy Implications
SIPRI Policy Brief
Bates Gill and Chin-hao Huang

Published by SIPRI
February 2009
Download from http://books.sipri.org/

This year marks the 20th anniversary of China’s first contributions to a UN peacekeeping operation. This Policy Brief examines the dramatic expansion in Chinese involvement in UN peacekeeping activities and makes recommendations to the international community on how to engage with China in order to strengthen its commitment to regional stability, ensure greater convergence between Chinese and other international interests on questions of regional security, and encourage more effective international peacekeeping operations.

Chemical and Biochemical Non-lethal Weapons:
Political and Technical Aspects

SIPRI Policy Paper no. 23
Ronald G. Sutherland

Published by SIPRI
November 2008
Download from http://books.sipri.org/

Non-lethal weapons are intended to incapacitate personnel or matériel without injuring people. This Policy Paper describes and analyses biological and chemical substances that have the potential to be used as weapons or can improve the efficacy of other, more traditional, weapons. Potential loopholes in the international prohibitions against chemical and biological warfare are presented together with practical, politically feasible and technically useful policy options.

Chemical and biological substances may be used to incapacitate or influence human behaviour and can be used in both wars and other conflict situations, including for peacekeeping and some counterterrorism operations. The possible applications of science and technology for developing such agents are also expanding. This Policy Paper strikes the right balance between scientific detail and reader-friendliness to inform both the specialist and the generalist on this emergent and complex issue.

SIPRI Yearbook 2008
Armaments, Disarmament and International Security

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of SIPRI
ISBN 978-0-19-954895-8
ISSN 0953-0282
hardback 604 pp. £85/$150
Order from the OUP website (UK or USA) or from all good bookshops and online booksellers

For information on SIPRI’s other recent and forthcoming books, visit the SIPRI Publications website, books.sipri.org.

Other recent publications by SIPRI authors

Robert Sutter and Chin-Hao Huang, ‘China–Southeast Asia relations: South China Sea, economic issues’, Comparative Connections, vol. 10, no. 4 (Apr. 2009), pp. 63–72.
Read the article here.

Tim Foxley, ‘Where are we with the Afghan police force?’ ISIS Europe–European Security Review, no.43 (March 2009). Read the article here.

Ekaterina Stepanova, ‘New trends and challenges in modern armed conflicts’ eds Sungho Kang, John W. McDonald and Chinsoo Bae, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding: The Role of NGOs in Historical Reconciliation and Territorial Issues (Northeast Asian History Foundation: Seoul, 2009). Read more here.

John Hart, ‘Background to selected environmental and human health effects of chemical warfare agents’, eds O. Hutzinger, D. Barceló and A. Kostianoy, The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry, vol. 3, Anthropogenic Compounds (Springer Verlag: Berlin, 2009), pp. 1–19. Read more here.

Zdzislaw Lachowski, ‘Regional risks and instabilities and conventional arms control’, Paper presented on 25 March at the Berlin Seminar on Conventional Arms Control ‘Conventional Arms Control and Disarmament in the Current Strategic Environment’, RACVIAC–Centre for Security Cooperation, Bestovje, Croatia (Nomos: Baden-Baden, June 2009).

©SIPRI 2009. ISSN 1654-8264. Contact SIPRI by email: sipri@sipri.org; telephone: +46 8/655 97 00; fax: +46 8/655 97 33; or post: SIPRI, Signalistgatan 9, SE-169 70 Solna, Sweden, or visit us online at www.sipri.org

SIPRI in the media

Latest SIPRI Yearbook data launches

14 Dec. 2015:
 Top 100 arms-producing companies for 2014. Read the press release.

22 Feb. 2016: International arms transfers data for 2015. Read the press release.

5 Apr. 2016: World military expenditure data for 2015. Read the press release.

SIPRI's global reach

In 2014, SIPRI was cited in approximately 13 000 media outlets, reaching a potential audience of more than
100 million people in over 130 countries.
Download a two-page information sheet (PDF) summarizing SIPRI's communications and outreach activities in 2014.