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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

February 2013

In this issue:

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Sanctions beyond borders: how to make North Korea sanctions work

Hugh Griffiths and Lawrence Dermody

North Korea’s recent nuclear test has led to demands for a new round of United Nations sanctions against the country, but the title of a recent Foreign Policy blog post, ‘Is there anything in North Korea left to sanction?’ neatly summarizes the problem facing UN diplomats—and in the process points out one of the key weaknesses in the current sanctions regime.  

Read the essay.


SIPRI Top 100 arms sales decreased in 2011: companies pursue diverse strategies in response to austerity measures

Sales of arms and military services by the largest arms-producing companies—the SIPRI Top 100—totalled $410 billion in 2011 according to new data on international arms production released on 18 February by SIPRI. Compared to the companies in the Top 100 for 2010, this result represents a 5 per cent decrease in constant dollar terms. Over the period since 2002, arms sales by the Top 100 have nevertheless increased by 51 per cent in real terms. Read the full press release in English, Catalan (PDF), Spanish (PDF) and Swedish (PDF). Access the full list of the SIPRI Top 100 arms-producing and military services companies for 2011. Contact Dr Susan T. Jackson for more information.
The Catalan and Spanish translations of the press release were kindly provided by Fundació per la Pau.
Image: a photograph of a tank

SIPRI expert comment on North Korea's nuclear test explosion

After weeks of speculation, North Korea fulfilled its pledge to conduct a third nuclear weapon test earlier this month. According to the North’s official news agency, an underground nuclear explosion was carried out in a tunnel at the Punggye-ri test site in the north-east of the country. North Korea previously conducted two nuclear tests at the site (in 2006 and in 2009), although the first test was widely viewed as a failure. The considerable uncertainty about the technical characteristics of the most recent test blast will need to be resolved in the coming days and weeks. For now, international attention will be focused on two main technical questions which will shed light on whether the North is poised to improve its rudimentary nuclear weapon capabilities, both in terms of numbers and quality.

Read the expert comment by SIPRI Senior Researcher Shannon N. Kile.
Image: Satellite image of Parchin
Map showing Punggye-ri test site

SIPRI to advise project on the import and export of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear materials

SIPRI will support the German Federal Office for Economics and Export Control (BAFA) in the implementation of a 2-year project on the monitoring of imports and exports of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) materials. The project is funded by the European Union's Instrument for Stability in the context of the CBRN Risk Mitigation Centre of Excellence (COE) initiative (Project 5). SIPRI will develop and advise on methodologies and concepts, drawing on expertise both in the specific issue area and in practical project implementation. For further information visit the CBRN COE website or contact Dr Sibylle Bauer, Director of SIPRI's Dual-use and Arms Trade Control Programme. 
Image: The CBRN COE logo

Save the dates ...

  • 18 March 2013: Launch of SIPRI's international arms transfers data—details of all international sales, transfers and donations of major conventional weapons in 2012.
  • 15 April 2013: Launch of SIPRI's world military expenditure data—comprehensive information on global, regional and national trends in military spending.
  • 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

18–19 Mar.
New Delhi
  Joint workshop on the economic analysis of conflict
SIPRI, the Training and Mobility Network for the Economic Analysis of Conflict (TAMNEAC) and the Households in Conflict Network (HiCN) will hold a joint workshop. The workshop will bring together cutting edge empirical and theoretical economic research on the nature, causes and consequences of violent conflict, as well as the coping strategies of individuals and households exposed to conflict. The organizers have invited submissions that address key issues in peace research and conflict analysis from an economic perspective with a focus on Central, South and Southeast Asia. For more information about the event contact Myroslava Purska.
14–15 June  Stockholm   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 with 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. The organizers have issued a call for papers on these subjects. Please email titles and abstracts (max. 300 words) to Sam Perlo-Freeman before 1 April. Read more about the conference.

Recent SIPRI events and activities

14–16 Feb.
Washington, DC

  The Missing Peace: Sexual Violence in Conflict and Post-conflict Settings
The United States Institute of Peace (USIP), the Human Rights Center at the University of California, Berkeley, the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and SIPRI North America convened a group of scholars, policymakers, practitioners, and military and civil society actors to examine the issue of sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict settings. The group identified gaps in knowledge and reporting, and explored how to increase the effectiveness of current responses to such violence. The keynote speaker was Zainab Hawa Bangura, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict. The symposium, which also featured a young scholar exchange forum, was broadcast via the Internet. Read more about the symposium or contact Masha Keller for more details.
1 Feb.
Washington, DC
  SIPRI North America symposium on women in combat
In recent years, the US Government has recognized the increased role of and need for women in the military, and it has lifted some exclusionary policies. However, there remains a great deal of resistance, including in the US military, to initiatives that call for eliminating the combat exclusion ban altogether. This symposium will examine the wisdom and impact of combat exclusion policies past and present. It will bring together a diverse group of participants including military personnel, academics, lawyers and representatives of civil society organizations. View C-SPAN footage from the event or contact Masha Keller for more information.
20–25 Jan.
  SIPRI researchers participate in Arctic conference
Researchers with the SIPRI Arctic Futures project participated in the 2013 Arctic Frontiers conference, which focused on geopolitics and marine production in a changing Arctic. Kristofer Bergh and Ekaterina Klimenko gave presentations on military-to-military cooperation in the Arctic and Russian Arctic strategy, respectively. Read more about the event or contact Kristofer Bergh for more information.
17–19 Jan.

  SIPRI expert presents on global health methodologies
SIPRI Researcher Rachel Irwin attended the Beyond Biosocialities in Medical Anthropology Symposium at the University of Amsterdam, where she presented a paper on the methodological challenges involved when studying global health bureaucracies. For more information contact Rachel Irwin.


SIPRI in the media

Last week's SIPRI Arms Industry data launch was covered in more than 1400 media outlets. Most of this media coverage was via first stories, with approximately 100 secondary stories (e.g. references to the launch in stories about the IDEX arms fair in Abu Dhabi). Highlights of the coverage include television interviews with SIPRI expert Dr Susan T. Jackson on Al Jazeera News Hour, the German news programme Tagesschau and Slovenian television. For more information contact Stephanie Blenckner or visit the SIPRI in the media page on our website.

Shannon Kile's
expert comment on North Korea's nuclear test explosion was quoted by Reuters and a number of other media outlets including Channel 4, Think Progress, Defense News, Dagens Nyheter and Göteborgsposten.

Tamara Patton
wrote a guest blog post for Arms Control Wonk on the issue of Iran's Parchin site.

Carina Solmirano spoke to Radio France International (in Spanish) about the decrease in arms sales in 2011.

Sibylle Bauer's
comments on violations of customs regulations for DTS news agency were picked up by various outlets, including 24PR (in German).

Tilman Brück spoke to Swiss Radio on the costs of war. He also speaks to German television station 3SAT on the subject of drones (in German).

The new SIPRI Insights paper on transfers of small arms and light weapons to fragile states was featured by Eurasia Review.

SIPRI North America's symposium on Women in Combat was covered by the Washington Times. C-SPAN featured a video of Dr Chantal de Jonge Oudraat's welcome address.

Xenia Avezov's SIPRI essay on responsibility while protecting was republished on the website.

Pieter D. Wezeman spoke to ISN network about the supply of weapons to Syria. He also discussed Israel's attack on Syria in Svenska Dagbladet, Sydsvenskan and Dagens industri (via TT).

Shannon Kile's comments to Reuters on the nuclear situation in Iran were quoted by the Russian Information Network.

Sam Perlo-Freeman spoke to Ria Novosti (German translation) about Russian military spending. 

John Hart was quoted in a New York Times article on the white phosphorus being used on protesters in Myanmar.

Dr Jaïr van der Lijn appointed new SIPRI Senior Researcher
SIPRI is pleased to announce that Dr Jaïr van der Lijn has been appointed as a Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Armed Conflict and Conflict Management Programme. Dr van der Lijn's research interests include conflict resolution, peace operations, peace agreements and the role of the United Nations. He has published widely and conducted extensive field research in Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, El Salvador, Mozambique, Rwanda and Sudan. He has also produced a number of pre-deployment scenarios on Sudan, Syria and Afghanistan, and looked into the future of peace operations.

Recent publications

SIPRI 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 SIPRI Map of Multilateral Peace Operation Deployments, September 2012
This SIPRI map presents a snapshot of multilateral peace operation deployments worldwide as of September 2012, using the latest data available. The map shows where missions are taking place, when they started, how large they are and which organizations and coalitions are conducting them. Comprehensive data on multilateral peace operations is available in the SIPRI Multilateral Peace Operations Database, including fatalities, costs, mission mandates, national personnel contributions and lead nations. Download the map.
Measuring international arms transfers

Paul Holtom, Mark Bromley and Verena Simmel
Consistent, comprehensive data on international arms transfers enables the identification over time of trends in international arms transfers at the global, regional and national levels. There are several different methods for measuring international arms transfers. This Fact Sheet describes three sources of information for measuring international arms transfers: SIPRI’s measure of the volume of arms transfers; the financial value estimate of the United States Congressional Research Service (CRS); and national government data on the financial value of arms export agreements and deliveries. Using German arms exports in 2011 as a case study, it compares the methods used by SIPRI, the CRS and the German Government to measure German arms exports. Download the Fact Sheet
SIPRI SIPRI Policy Paper
China's Arctic Aspirations

Linda Jakobson and Jingchao Peng
China wants to be part of the Arctic order and, as a rising power, emphasizes the global implications of the Arctic’s melting ice. Although several non-Chinese observers have described China’s actions in the Arctic as ‘more assertive’, and the Chinese Government has taken steps to protect what it perceives as its key interests in the region, China’s Arctic policies are still in a nascent stage of formulation. This Policy Paper represents the first comprehensive mapping of the agencies and individuals involved in the formulation of Arctic policies and an assessment of the motives underlying China’s Arctic activities. The authors show that, while China recognizes that it is an ‘Arctic outsider’—without sovereign rights in the Arctic—it nevertheless sees numerous economic opportunities opening up in there. It consequently seeks to influence discussions and decisions on how the Arctic should be governed. Download the Policy Paper.

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

Justino, P., Brück, T. and Verwimp, P.,
'Micro-level dynamics of conflict, violence and development: A new analytical framework' (PDF), Households in Conflict Network Working Paper no. 138 (Jan. 2013).

Brück, T., Naudé, W. and Verwimp, P., 'Business under fire: entrepreneurship and violent conflict in developing countries', Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol. 57, no. 1 (Feb. 2013).

Irwin, R., 'The polio endgame' and 'Infectious disease', Updates from the WHO Executive Board Meeting (PDF), Health Diplomacy Monitor (February 2013).

Irwin, R. and Sangiorgio, M. M., 'Substandard/spurious/falsely-labelled/falsified/counterfeit medical products: update from the Executive Board' (PDF), Health Diplomacy Monitor (February 2013).

Grinbaum, M. and Jackson, S. T., 'Managing risk for development: Expert Workshop on local violence in developing countries', SIPRI Workshop Report, Dec. 2012.

Meier, O., 'European efforts to solve the conflict over Iran’s nuclear programme: how has the European Union performed?' (PDF), Non-proliferation Paper No. 27, Feb. 2013.

Omanovic, E., 'Effective embargo enforcement: overflight denial and control' (PDF), Non-proliferation Paper No. 26, Feb. 2013.
  © SIPRI 2013. ISSN 1654-8264. Contact SIPRI by email:; 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