SIPRI honours the memory of a former member of its Governing Board, Egon Bahr, who died on 19 August. As a prominent architect of Ostpolitik, he was instrumental in securing peace and security in Europe during the cold war period. He joined SIPRI in 1981 and contributed to shaping its work until 1991.
Egon Bahr was engaged extraordinarily in SIPRI’s research. His door was always open for SIPRI staff and he made important contributions in the areas of ‘Common Security’ and ‘Europe in Transition’. He not only authored chapters in SIPRI publications but also participated in panel discussions of several SIPRI conferences, workshops and other events.
Asked in a 1997 TV interview by the German journalist Günther Gaus about how he would like to be remembered he answered: “He tried hard (Er hat sich bemüht)”.
New SIPRI project on mapping ATT-relevant cooperation and assistance activities in sub-Saharan Africa
SIPRI has received funding from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to produce a database that will map Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)-relevant cooperation and assistance activities in sub-Saharan Africa. The project will be carried out in cooperation with the UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament (UNREC) .
National implementation of the ATT will require states to review and where necessary strengthen their arms transfer control systems. In many cases states will require guidance and assistance with this process. There are a wide range of past and ongoing cooperation and assistance activities aimed at improving states’ arms transfer controls, which have been carried out by states, international and regional organisations and NGOs. However, providers and recipients are often unaware of other relevant activities, leading to gaps in coverage and duplication of efforts. To address this issue, the project will create and begin to populate an online database containing standardized information about past and ongoing outreach and assistance activities in Sub-Saharan Africa that are of relevance to the implementation of the ATT. This will help relevant actors to build upon past projects, plan joint activities, and avoid duplication of efforts. The project will run until January 2016. For more information, please contact Mark Bromley, Co-Director of the SIPRI Dual-Use and Arms Trade Control Programme. For more information on SIPRI’s work on the ATT, please click here.
19 June, London
SIPRI and its publishing partner Oxford University Press hosted the panel discussion: Fragile Development 2015-2030 - understanding how insecurity and poor governance will affect sustainable development, at last week’s conference of the British International Studies Association (BISA) conference. Chaired by incoming SIPRI Director Dan Smith, the panel presented brief snapshots of the developing world in 2015, and the likely challenges to development over the next 15 years.
Roger Williamson of UNU-WIDER spoke to the overlap between fragility and poverty in Africa and addressed issues relating to minimally functioning states, and gender and conflict. Three representatives from SIPRI also presented at the conference. Sam Perlo-Freeman discussed the nexus between natural resource revenues, corruption and militarization, while Rachel Irwin presented on violence against humanitarian workers and constraints on service delivery in fragile environments. Relatedly, Gary Milante explained how systems thinking can be used to break the fragile states paradigm and promote more productive engagement on development. He also outlined prospects for poverty eradication in fragile states by 2030.
Over 150 policymakers, researchers and practitioners gathered in Stockholm on 12-13 May for the second annual Stockholm Forum on Security and Development. Co-hosted by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the 2015 forum explored the theme ‘Promoting Sustainable Peace’ with policy leaders and high-level experts.
H.E. Isabella Lövin, Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation and Co-Chair of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding and H.E. Kaifala Marah, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation, and Co-Chair of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding, were key speakers at the opening session among others.
SIPRI Session, Stockholm Forum on Development and Security, 12-13 May
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have great potential for development policy and democratic governance. They enable information access and sharing among individual states and help them to mobilize around common ideas. However, ICTs also offer unprecedented opportunities for states to perform surveillance and censorship activities. Moderated by Dr Vincent Boulanin, this roundtable explored the extent to which ICTs generate opportunities and challenges for democratic development. Representatives from among others the Digital Rights Foundation and Bytes For All (Pakistan), Ericsson and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) discussed the various issues, including: the specific case of Pakistan; how Sweden supports Internet freedom and digital rights via its foreign policy; as well as the key role played by export control regimes in preventing authoritarian governments from accessing and using cyber-surveillance technologies.