News

New mapping tool for successful Arms Trade Treaty implementation

Posted by admin at Feb 05, 2016 12:29 PM |

National implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) require States Parties to strengthen their arms transfer control systems and implement measures for addressing the diversion of conventional arms. Today SIPRI is pleased to present a web-based tool for mapping activities aimed at building state capacity in these areas. 

These ATT-relevant cooperation and assistance activities are carried out by states, international and regional organizations and NGOs. However, difficulties in coordinating these activities can lead to gaps in coverage or duplication of efforts.

In addition to helping key stakeholders build upon past projects, plan joint activities and avoid duplication of efforts, the new website Mapping ATT-Relevant Cooperation and Assistance will help the ATT Secretariat to fulfill its role of matching offers and requests for Treaty-related assistance.

The website contains both an activity database and a document database. The activity database provides information about past and ongoing ATT-relevant cooperation and assistance activities. The document database contains guidelines, regional instruments and other material that may be of assistance to states as they seek to implement the ATT.

The website was developed by SIPRI in cooperation with the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC), with funding from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

The activity database currently includes information on activities involving partner states in sub-Saharan Africa during 2011-2015. During 2016, SIPRI will work with the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) to expand the database to include activities involving partner states in Latin America and the Caribbean. SIPRI aims to expand the database to cover other regions.

In addition, states, NGOs, and regional and international organizations are invited to provide information—via a feedback form—on additional activities or documents that should be included on the website.

SIPRI has also produced a Background Paper, which gives an overview of the ATT-relevant cooperation and activities involving states in sub-Saharan Africa during 2011-2015. The Paper also provides suggestions as to how states, international and regional organizations—as well the ATT Secretariat—and NGOs can help fill gaps in the assistance provided to date.

Please visit the website at www.att-assistance.org or read the SIPRI Background Paper.

For more information, please contact Mark Bromley.

SIPRI expertise feeds into review of European Union export control policy for dual-use goods

Posted by Kate Blanchfield at Dec 15, 2015 11:30 AM |

The European Union is reviewing its export control policy for dual-use goods and technologies. It aims to adjust existing policies to meet changes in security environments, trading patterns and technology through a broad range of legal and practical measures. Although concrete proposals will not be presented before early 2016, they could potentially include:

  • Extending controls on cyber-surveillance technologies and shifting towards a "human security" approach in export licensing
  • Further harmonizing of national implementation
  • Enhancing information exchange between EU governments
  • Training and capacity building for licensing and enforcement officers both within the EU and globally
  • Adopting a range of measures aimed at facilitating trade.

 

SIPRI provided input into this ongoing process by supporting two related but independent initiatives by the European Commission (EC) and the European Parliament (EP).

In January 2015, the EC commissioned SIPRI and Ecorys, a research-based consulting firm, to carry out a data collection project. The data will provide a basis for assessing the actual and potential social and economic impacts of the current export control framework and the various review options. SIPRI Programme Director Sibylle Bauer led the project, while SIPRI Programme Co-Director Mark Bromley and SIPRI Researcher Vincent Boulanin focussed on controls on cyber-surveillance technologies. The final report is available from the European Commission’s DG Trade or from SIPRI upon request.

In June 2015, the EP’s Committee on International Trade and Sub-committee on Security and Defence held a workshop to inform MEPs about the review process. The European Parliament will have an important role in the review due to its co-decision powers granted by the Lisbon Treaty. Sibylle Bauer spoke at the workshop and, together with Ian Stewart from King’s College London, produced a study for the European Parliament’s think tank analysing the review options. The report is available on the EP website.

Please contact SIPRI Programme Director Sibylle Bauer with further questions.

SIPRI’s Afghanistan Private Sector report presented on three continents

SIPRI’s Afghanistan Private Sector report presented on three continents

Posted by admin at Dec 14, 2015 10:09 AM |

SIPRI researchers Richard Ghiasy and Jiayi Zhou, together with Henrik Hallgren from the International Council of Swedish Industry (NIR), presented their report ‘Afghanistan’s Private Sector: Status and ways forward’ at four separate events across three continents.

The events were held between September and November and took place in Brussels, Washington D.C., Stockholm and Kabul. The Swedish Ambassador to Afghanistan, Anders Sjöberg, hosted the final event in Kabul, which attracted a diverse audience including private sector actors and representatives from the EU Delegation.

Discussions at the four events centred around the current state of the Afghanistan private sector and the many challenges it faces to becoming a more inclusive, productive and competitive scenario. Participants also considered the necessary steps the Afghan government and the international community should take to create a more facilitating environment for the private sector to take off.

The photo shows Manizha Wafeq, the vice-president of LEAD, a union of leading female entrepreneurs; Naseem Akbar, the CEO of Harakat, an entity that aims to improve Afghanistan’s business climate; and Atiqullah Nusrat, the CEO of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI).

For further details, please read the full report or the executive summary, or contact: 

Richard Ghiasy, Researcher and Project Manager

Jiayi Zhou, Research and Project Assistant

Henrik Hallgren, Programme Manager, NIR

SIPRI’s New Geopolitics of Peace Operations project concludes a series of five regional dialogue meetings in Africa

Posted by admin at Dec 08, 2015 10:15 AM |

On November 16-18, SIPRI organized a regional dialogue meeting in Bamako, Mali on the future of peace operations and conflict management in Northern Africa. This was the fifth and final regional meeting in the series organized within the project New Geopolitics of Peace Operations II: African Outlooks on Conflict Management. The project aims to better understand how to prepare peace operations for the diverse security environments in Africa, while promoting local and international dialogue on the future of peace and security.

The meeting, organized in partnership with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, brought together a range of leading experts, military and government officials and representatives of international organizations to discuss how to improve the response to security challenges in the region.

On the third day of the regional dialogue participants were invited to join a high level event that focused on a critical assessment of the role that external actors, particularly the United Nations, play in the Malian crisis. Distinguished panellists included Moussa Mara and Soumana Sacko, former prime ministers of Mali, AU high representative Pierre Buyoya and President of the ECOWAS Commission to Mali Aboudou Chéaka Touré.

In March 2016 the project will hold a global dialogue meeting in Brussels, Belgium where international and African stakeholders will discuss how to improve cooperation on peace operations in Africa.

For more information, please see the project webpage or contact: 

Jair van der Lijn, Senior Researcher 

Xenia Avezov, Researcher 

Timo Smit, Research Assistant 

 

Engaging transport service providers as counter-proliferation partners – Hong Kong workshop 3-4 November 2015

Engaging transport service providers as counter-proliferation partners – Hong Kong workshop 3-4 November 2015

Posted by Kate Blanchfield at Dec 08, 2015 09:15 AM |

November saw the second of two regional workshops aimed at engaging the Transport Service Providers (TSPs) as counter-proliferation partners. The workshop took place in Hong Kong for the Asia Pacific (ASPAC) region, following the first workshop in Malta in September. 

The workshop, which was hosted by the British Consulate – General at their Hong Kong offices, brought together representatives from a wide range of transportation sector actors including fast parcel companies, port operators, security, shipping lines and transport sector associations. Public sector interest was represented by Customs and Polices Forces from Hong Kong, UNODC, Australian Border Force, EU Joint Research Centre and various representatives from the U.S Consulate General.

The project is sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation.

 

Project goals

  • Raise awareness of the role played by Transport Service Providers in proliferation supply chains and how they can be supported to reduce proliferation risks.
  • Promote counter-proliferation related risk mitigation activities and self-regulation – dialogue and workshops with TSPs and Government stakeholders in the Asia Pacific region.
  • Develop a policy paper and good practice guides – dialogue and workshops with TSPs and Government stakeholders in the Asia Pacific region.
  • Promote government-TSPs information sharing – during workshops and through good practice guides.

 

Panel sessions and presentations by leading industry and public sector experts were followed by a number of breakout sessions intended to explore challenges facing the transport sector and to identify areas of possible good practice for both transportation and the public sector alike.

Each breakout team had participants from both the private and public sectors to ensure a truly balanced input and view. The breakout sessions again proved to be extremely popular for all participants and identified numerous areas of potential good practice which were then developed in more detail by other groups.

The output of both the Malta and Hong Kong workshops will be further developed over the coming months. Based upon the workshop output, leading transportation industry and public sector experts will develop a series of ‘good practice’ guides which will be made available to the transportation sector to further support their actions to counter proliferation within the industry.

Further details of the ‘Engaging Transport Service Providers as Counter-Proliferation Partners’ project, existing and future good practice material can be found hereFor more information contact SIPRI's .