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Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
SIPRI Update: Global Security & Arms Control
Issues, events and publications in conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament

April 2013

In this issue:

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The global market in natural uranium: from proliferation risk to non-proliferation opportunity

Ian Anthony and Lina Grip
Making nuclear weapons requires access to materials—highly enriched uranium or plutonium—that do not exist in nature in a weapons-usable form. To constitute a threat, natural uranium needs to go through a challenging and time-consuming process of transformation as it moves through the nuclear fuel cycle. The effort to cap the number of nuclear armed states in the world has largely focused on limiting the spread of the industrial items and processes needed for the stages of the fuel cycle that can turn uranium or plutonium into forms that could be used to make a nuclear weapon: enrichment or reprocessing. The most important suppliers of nuclear technology have recently agreed guidelines to restrict access to the most sensitive industrial items, in the framework of the multilateral Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Nevertheless, the number of countries proficient in these industrial processes has increased over time, and it is now questionable whether a strategy based on close monitoring of technology 'choke points' is by itself a reliable barrier to nuclear proliferation.

Read the essay.


World military spending falls, but China, Russia's spending rises

World military expenditure totalled $1.75 trillion in 2012, a fall of 0.5 per cent in real terms since 2011, according to figures released today by SIPRI. The fall—the first since 1998—was driven by major spending cuts in the USA and Western and Central Europe, as well as in Australia, Canada and Japan. The reductions were, however, substantially offset by increased spending in Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and Latin America. China, the second largest spender in 2012, increased its expenditure by 7.8 per cent ($11.5 billion). Russia, the third largest spender, increased its expenditure by 16 per cent ($12.3 billion).

Read the full press release in English (online), and Swedish, FrenchCatalan and Spanish (PDF). Access the SIPRI Military Expenditure Database or download the Fact Sheet.
Image title Graph of world military expenditure

Sweden honours former SIPRI Director

SIPRI's former Director, Professor Bates Gill, has received an award from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. The Royal Order of the Polar Star recognizes Professor Gill's distinguished service to Sweden during his five years as SIPRI Director. The award was presented to Professor Gill by the Ambassador of Sweden to Australia, His Excellency Sven-Olof Petersson, at a Canberra reception on 24 April 2013.
Image title Professor Bates Gill

Save the date: SIPRI Yearbook 2013 launch

  • 3 June 2013: Launch of SIPRI Yearbook 2013—cutting-edge information and analysis on developments in armaments, disarmament and international security.

Contact SIPRI Communications Director Stephanie Blenckner for more information. Download a summary of SIPRI Yearbook 2012.
Image: SIPRI Yearbook 2013 preview

Upcoming SIPRI events and activities

14–15 June
  17th Annual International Conference on Economics and Security
SIPRI is pleased to announce that the 17th Annual International Conference on Economics and Security will be held at SIPRI in Stockholm. The conference is co-organized by SIPRI and Economists for Peace and Security and will cover a wide range of topics relating to the economics and political economy of conflict, peace, security, military expenditure and armaments. Email Sam Perlo-Freeman for further information or read more about the conference.

Recent SIPRI events and activities

     From left: SIPRI researchers Jaïr van der Lijn and Xenia Azevov, Marius Mueller-Hennig of FES Berlin and Sven Schwersensky of FES Beijing
Image (from left): SIPRI researchers Jaïr van der Lijn and Xenia Azevov, Marius Mueller-Hennig of FES Berlin and Sven Schwersensky of FES Beijing.
11–12 Apr.
Ulan Bator, Mongolia
  SIPRI experts attend regional dialogue meetings on peace operations
Dr Jaïr van der Lijn and Xenia Avezov of SIPRI's Armed Conflict and Conflict Management Programme attended the third regional dialogue meetings of the New Geopolitics of Peace Operations project. The meetings, organized by SIPRI in partnership with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), brought together a range of leading experts, government officials and representatives of international organizations to discuss the future challenges of peace operations and the role that North East Asia will play in the future global peacekeeping landscape. Read more about SIPRI's New Geopolitics of Peace Operations project or contact Xenia Avezov for more information.
18–19 Apr.
  SIPRI hosts conference on the Hu Jintao decade
SIPRI hosted a two-day conference on China's foreign and security policy during the decade in power of Hu Jintao (2002–12). Göran Lennmarker, Chairman of the SIPRI Governing Board, gave welcoming remarks and the conference was introduced by Mathieu Duchâtel, Head of SIPRI's China Project. The opening presentation was given by former SIPRI Director, Professor Bates Gill (United States Study Centre, University of Sydney), whose paper was entitled 'From peaceful rise to assertiveness? Explaining change in China's foreign and security policy under Hu Jintao'. A number of SIPRI researchers and affiliates gave presentations at the event, including Linda Jakobson (on China's decision-making process), Phillip Schell (on managing the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula), Oliver Bräuner (on protecting Chinese energy interests abroad) and Mark Bromley (on China's arms trade treaty diplomacy). A wide range of policymakers, academics and members of the diplomatic community participated in the conference, which was held with the support of the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond. Read more about SIPRI's China Project or contact Mathieu Duchâtel for more information.
15 Apr.
New York City & Gevena
  SIPRI experts launch world military expenditure data
SIPRI's world military expenditure data was launched at two separate events coinciding with the Global Day of Action on Military Spending. Dr Sam Perlo-Freeman, Head of the SIPRI Military Expenditure Project, launched the data at an event co-hosted by the International Peace Bureau (IPB) and the UN Office in Geneva. The programme featured introductory remarks by Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva,and presentations by Perlo-Freeman and Colin Archer, the IPB Secretary-General. Read more about the event, contact Dr Sam Perlo-Freeman for more information, or download the related fact sheet. Carina Solmirano, Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Military Expenditure Project, launched the data at an event hosted by Japan's Permanent Mission to the UN. Solmirano spoke about recent trends in world military expenditure as part of a panel that also featured Daniel Prins, Chief of the Conventional Arms Branch of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, and Dr Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu, Senior Fellow for the Center for International Cooperation at New York University. The discussion was moderated by Dr Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, Executive Director of SIPRI North America. Read more about the event or contact Carina Solmirano for more information.
15 Apr.
  SIPRI expert speaks at seminar on China's new leadership
Mathieu Duchâtel, Senior Researcher and Head of SIPRI's China Project, gave an expert seminar at the Royal Institute for International Relations, together with Dr Jan Hoogmartens, China Desk Manager in the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Adjunct Professor at Zhejiang Business School (Hangzhou, China). Duchâtel discussed China's new foreign policy team, its regional and global priorities, and the implications for China's relations with Europe. Their discussion was moderated by Thomas Renard, Senior Research Fellow with the Egmont institute's Europe in the World programme. Contact Mathieu Duchâtel for more information.
1–3 Apr.
  SIPRI researchers give seminar on non-proliferation
Researchers Vitaly Fedchenko and Andrea Viski of the SIPRI Arms Control and Non-proliferation Programme conducted a seminar on non-proliferation at the OSCE Academy. The seminar introduced masters students from Central Asian countries in the Academy's Politics and Security programme to the main international security issues associated with the use of nuclear energy. A wide range of topics pertinent to legal, political and technical dimensions of non-proliferation were covered. Funding for the seminar was provided by the OSCE Academy. Contact Vitaly Fedchenko or Andrea Viski for more information.
25 Mar.
  SIPRI expert presents on China's non-interference principle
Oliver Bräuner, Researcher with SIPRI's China Project, visited the Umeå Association of International Affairs at Umeå University, Sweden, to give a lecture on Chinese foreign policy and the non-interference principle. Read more about the event or contact Oliver Bräuner for further information.

SIPRI in the media

The launch of the latest SIPRI military expenditure data was covered in more than 2000 media outlets globally. Contact SIPRI Communications Director Stephanie Blenckner for a detailed report.

Ian Anthony was quoted in the Korea Herald on the EU's role in the Korean region.

Tilman Brück gave an interview in The European on SIPRI's recent data launch.

Pieter Wezeman discussed arms imports to Saudi Arabia on the Germans TV programmes Kontraste and NTV.

SIPRI was featured in a twenty-minute programme on German Radio Deutschlandfunk.

Carina Solmirano spoke to Deutsche Welle (In Spanish) about world military expenditure.

Mathieu Duchatel was quoted in Caijing on China’s policy towards the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan.

Shannon Kile appeared on Sweden's TV 4, and on Radio Free Asia, discussing North Korea. 

Paul Holtom talked about the arms trade treaty in Der Standard, Al Jazeera Inside Story and IPS.  

Phillip Schell discussed North Korea on Radio Bremen, Bayrischer Rundfunk and German Deutschlandfunk.  

Hugh Griffiths spoke on Swedish radio about arms shipments to Syria.
No staff news or vacancies this month.

Recent publications

Image title   SIPRI Fact Sheet
Trends in world military expenditure, 2012
Sam Perlo-Freeman, Elisabeth Sköns, Carina Solmirano and Helen Wilandh
The SIPRI Military Expenditure Database now includes newly released information on military expenditure in 2012. This Fact Sheet describes the global, regional and national trends in military expenditure that are revealed by the new data, with a special focus on security spending in Central America.
Download the Fact Sheet.
Image title   SIPRI Policy Paper
The Future of the Chemical Weapons Convention: Policy and Planning Aspects
Mohamed Daoudi, John Hart, Ajey Lele and Ralf Trapp
Chemical weapon disarmament remains central to the implementation of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) but full and effective implementation also entails a wide variety of other activities. This report presents proposals for strategic approaches and directions for the parties to consider in their assessment of the CWC’s operation. By placing the convention in a broader security and technological context, it examines operational and policy issues, with a view to informing the future activities of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
Download the Policy Paper.
Image title   SIPRI Insights on Peace and Security
India and international peace operations
C. Raja Mohan
Since the earliest days of UN peacekeeping, India has been one of the most important troops contributors and a champion of multilateralism and state sovereignty at the global level. As an emerging power, India’s strategic interests now once again extend far beyond South Asia. India’s military and economic ties with major powers and cooperation with its neighbours have expanded significantly in recent years. Simultaneously, the context and nature of international peacekeeping are changing. This paper examines India’s involvement in international peace operations to date and the new realities that are likely to shape India’s approach in the coming years.
Download the Insights paper.
Image title   SIPRI Fact Sheet
Trends in international arms transfers, 2012
Paul Holtom, Mark Bromley, Pieter D. Wezeman and Siemon T. Wezeman
The SIPRI Arms Transfers Database now contains information on all international transfers of major conventional weapons from 1950 to the end of 2012. It is the only publicly available resource providing consistent data on international arms transfers for this length of time. This Fact Sheet describes the trends in international arms transfers that are revealed by the new data. It lists the main suppliers and recipients for the period 2008–12 and describes the changes in regional trends.
Download the Fact Sheet.
Image title   SIPRI Insights on Peace and Security
Arms trade control capacity building: lessons from dual-use trade controls
Sibylle Bauer
For any multilateral arms trade controls regime to be effective, there must be capacity-building cooperation between the participating states—to share learning, to coordinate efforts and, most importantly, to help states with less developed trade control systems to bring their controls up to standard. Many of the lessons learned in dual-use trade control capacity-building are directly applicable, or at least instructive, for the conventional arms field. This paper seeks to identify and elaborate the most important transferable lessons from dual-use trade control capacity-building cooperation with a view to informing the ongoing negotiations towards a global arms trade treaty.
Download the Insights paper.
Image title   SIPRI Insights on Peace and Security
Transfers of small arms and light weapons to fragile states: strengthening oversight and control
Mark Bromley, Lawrence Dermody, Hugh Griffiths, Paul Holtom and Michael Jenks
The need for security forces in a fragile state to be adequately trained and equipped is recognized as a precondition for stability and development. However, supplying arms to security forces in fragile states can contribute to armed conflict and instability. The risks associated with supplying arms and ammunition to fragile states, include the risk that the arms will be diverted to actors seeking to undermine stabilization efforts; the risk that the arms will contribute to the renewal or intensification of armed conflict; and the risk of corruption in the transaction. Download the Insights paper.
Chronology of armaments, disarmament and international security 2012

Nenne Bodell
This chronology lists the significant events in 2012 related to armaments, disarmament and international security. In addition to the headline-grabbing events, it also records the less publicized, but no less important, advances and setbacks in arms controls and international security. Download the Fact Sheet

SIPRI Yearbook 2012: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security
The 43rd edition of the SIPRI Yearbook includes coverage of developments during 2011 in armed conflicts, multilateral peace operations, military expenditure, arms production, international arms transfers, world nuclear forces and fissile material stocks, nuclear arms control and non-proliferation, reduction of security threats from chemical and biological materials, conventional arms control, controls on security-related international transfers and multilateral arms embargoes. Read an online summary of SIPRI Yearbook 2012 or order a copy.


More publications

Other publications

Viski, A., 'Export controls in Africa: the face of the future', WorldECR, no. 20 (Mar. 2013), pp. 25–28.

Naudé, W., Brück, T. and Verwimp, P., 'Business and the barrel of a gun: understanding entrepreneurship and violent conflict in developing countries', UN University Policy Brief no. 4 (2013).  
  © SIPRI 2013. ISSN 1654-8264.
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