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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

January 2013

In this issue:

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'Responsibility while protecting': are we asking the wrong questions?

Xenia Avezov

The Brazilian-proposed concept of ‘responsibility while protecting’ (RWP) has polarized opinion on how the international community should respond when civilian populations are targeted. RWP’s supporters claim it would make civilian protection interventions, especially military ones, more accountable and proportionate and rein in perceived misuse of the internationally accepted ‘responsibility to protect’ (R2P). Some of RWP’s opponents see it as a deliberate ploy by states aligned with China and Russia to impede intervention. In reality, this debate is a distraction from less comfortable truths about R2P.  

Read the essay.


SIPRI ranked no. 4 global think tank

SIPRI has once again been ranked among the most respected think tanks worldwide in the Go-to Think Tanks index compiled annually by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania. This year, SIPRI is ranked third among think tanks outside the United States, appearing in the top five for the fourth consecutive year. SIPRI is also ranked fourth among all think tanks worldwide, including the USA. The 2012 Global Go-to Think Tanks Index was released on 17 January. More than 6000 think tanks from 182 countries were included in the assessment. We would like to thank all of our partners, friends and former colleagues who have contributed to building and maintaining SIPRI’s reputation. Read the full report online.

Image: 2012 Global Go-To Think Tanks Index

SIPRI expert comment on the International Atomic Energy Agency and Parchin

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran recently failed again in two days of intensive talks held in Tehran to secure a deal to unblock the IAEA’s long-stalled investigation into alleged atom bomb research in Iran. Agency inspectors were also refused access to a large military complex at Parchin that they have sought to visit for nearly a year. As tensions mount, it is worth considering why the Parchin visit has become such a hot-button issue in the dispute and whether it is really so important for addressing concerns about Iranian nuclear activities with possible military dimensions.

Read the expert comment by SIPRI Associated Senior Research Fellow and former IAEA inspector Robert Kelley.
Image: Satellite image of Parchin
Satellite image of Parchin

SIPRI North America announces Central Asia Fellowship programme

SIPRI North America and the GW Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University have instituted a fellowship programme for young professionals from Central Asia. The programme seeks to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and build lasting intellectual networks between scholarly and policy communities in Central Asia and the United States, and is funded by the Open Society Foundations’ Central Eurasia Project. Read more about the fellowships, including details of how to apply, or contact Masha Keller for more information. 
Image: Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, Executive Director, SIPRI North America

Joint workshop on the economic analysis of conflict: call for papers

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 in New Delhi on 18–19 March. 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 invite submissions that address key issues in peace research and conflict analysis from an economic perspective with a focus on Central, South and Southeast Asia. Researchers interested in submitting a paper for the workshop should send a complete manuscript in English to by 8 February 2013. Read the full call for papers (PDF).
Image: the TAMNEAC logo

Save the dates ...

  • 18 February 2013: Launch of the SIPRI Top 100—the 100 largest arms producing companies worldwide.
  • 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.
  • 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

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. Read the full programme, including registration details.
14–16 Feb.
Washington, DC
  The Missing Peace: Sexual Violence in Conflict and Post-conflict Settings
Please note that this symposium was initially planned for 1–3 November 2012, but has now been rescheduled.
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 will convene 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 will identify gaps in knowledge and reporting, and explore how to increase the effectiveness of current responses to such violence. The keynote speaker will be Zainab Hawa Bangura, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict. The symposium, which will also feature a young scholar exchange forum, will be broadcast via the Internet. Resources for both participants and media are available online.
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

Image: SIPRI Researcher Vitaly Fedchenko presents during the course in Dubai (photo by P. Wezeman)
20–23 Jan.

  SIPRI conducts first counter-proliferation and strategic trade controls course
SIPRI, in conjunction with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the German Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA), organized a counter-proliferation and strategic trade controls course for export licensing, customs and law enforcement officials belonging to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states. The four-day course, the first of its kind, featured a number of SIPRI experts. SIPRI Senior Researcher Aaron Dunne welcomed participants and presented on ways forward for strategic trade controls in the GCC. Senior Researcher John Hart presented on chemical and biological weapons. Senior Researcher Vitaly Fedchenko presented on nuclear and radiological weapons. Senior Researcher Pieter D. Wezeman presented on conventional weapons and means of delivery and gave a separate presentation on the regional military balance. Senior Researcher Hugh Griffiths presented on transport actors and consignments of concern. A range of counter-proliferation experts from the European Union (EU) and the United States also gave presentations on areas of export control and proliferation financing. The course was co-funded by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the EU. For more information, contact Aaron Dunne. Read more about SIPRI’s Dual-use and Arms Trade Control Programme
22 Jan.

  SIPRI co-organizes seminar on protecting nationals abroad
SIPRI and the School of International Studies at Peking University co-hosted a seminar bringing together policymakers and academics to discuss Chinese and European experiences of protecting nationals abroad. Dr Mathieu Duchâtel, head of SIPRI's China and International Peace and Security project, chaired a session on the roles and responsibilities of the main actors, during which SIPRI Researcher Oliver Bräuner presented a case study on protecting Chinese nationals in Kyrgyzstan. For more information contact Dr Mathieu Duchâtel.

18 Jan.
New York

  SIPRI expert participates in security roundtable
SIPRI Senior Researcher Hugh Griffiths, Head of the Countering Illicit Trafficking—Mechanism Assessment Projects (CIT-MAP), participated in the Turtle Bay Security Roundtable, an event hosted by the permanent missions of Japan, Poland and Turkey to the UN in cooperation with the Stimson Center. Griffiths presented in a panel entitled Mechanics of Globalized Proliferation and Challenges for Effective Implementation of UN Resolutions, together with David Albright, President of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) and Ambassador Martin Uden, Coordinator for the UN Group of Experts monitoring UN sanctions pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1718. Read a summary of the event. For more information contact Hugh Griffiths.

8–10 Jan.

  SIPRI Researcher attends civil society forum
SIPRI Researcher Andrea Viski of SIPRI's Dual-use and Arms Trade Control Programme and Arms Control and Non-proliferation Programme attended the 1540 Civil Society Forum, which brought together members of civil society groups with varying level of involvement in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 implementation. The aim of the forum was to share experiences and ideas on how to broaden participation in and support for full implementation of the resolution, as well as how to intensify civil society efforts in relevant areas. Contact Andrea Viski for more information.
4–6 Jan.
San Diego

  SIPRI Director gives presentations on Kyrgyzstan
SIPRI Director Prof. Tilman Brück attended the annual conference of the Allied Social Science Associations. As part of a session entitled The Consequences of Violence, Brück, together with Antje Kroegery and Marc Vothknecht from the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), gave a presentation on displacement in Kyrgyzstan. Read more about the event. Brück also addressed this issue during a special meeting at the Aga Khan Foundation’s offices in Washington, DC.

17 Dec. 2012

  SIPRI expert gives presentation on China’s Afghanistan policy
Bernt Berger, Senior Researcher with the SIPRI China and International Peace and Security project, participated in a roundtable discussion at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), giving a presentation on China’s potential post-2014 Afghanistan policy. For more information about the event contact Bernt Berger.
3–4 Dec. 2012

  SIPRI holds third Wider Central Asia regional meeting
SIPRI, in collaboration with Iranian organizations, organized a two-day workshop, 'Iran and Afghanistan in an evolving regional order'. Workshop participants included officials and experts from Iran, who presented their views on how Afghanistan and the wider region will evolve following the expected drawdown of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops in 2013. The participants shared their perspectives on Iran's interests, policies and role in respect to achieving stability in Afghanistan and overcoming related regional challenges. The workshop was the third in a series of regional meetings conducted as a part of the SIPRI Wider Central Asia Initiative, which is designed to examine the regional impact of the security transition underway in Afghanistan. The initiative is conducted with support from the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Contact Theresa Höghammar for more information.
5/6 Dec. 2012

  SIPRI expert presents on China issues
Bernt Berger participated in two events at the Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale (ISPI) in Milan. First, he conducted a closed-door research seminar on China’s leadership transition and the American elections. Second, he delivered a presentation at the Third Maria Weber Annual Conference on current challenges to China’s foreign policy and the international consequences of the leadership change. The next day, in Berlin, he presented as part of a seminar on Chinese investments in Central and Eastern Europe. The event was co-hosted by the German Council for Foreign Affairs (DGAP) and the Center for Central and East European Development (CEED). Berger spoke on EU-China cooperation in investment and trade in the light of China’s impending economic transformation. For more information contact Bernt Berger.

27–28 Nov. 2012
Berlin/ Stockholm

  SIPRI co-hosts events on Central Asia
SIPRI and the Robert Bosch Stiftung (RBS) jointly hosted consecutive events, at the RBS in Berlin and the Swedish Parliamant (Riksdagen) in Stockholm. The theme of the closed-door events, which were primarily designed for parliamentarians and informed professionals, was ‘Security in Central Afghanistan after 2014: Regional players, issues and approaches’. Both events were organized and chaired by Bernt Berger, and brought together distinguished scholars including Dr Neil Melvin (Director of SIPRI’s Armed Conflict and Conflict Management Programme), Wang Xu (Peking University, China), Sergey Afontsev (IMEMO, Russia) and Farkhad Tolipov (Uzbekistan). For more information contact Bernt Berger.


SIPRI in the media

On the occasion of his appointment as SIPRI Director, Tilman Brück was interviewed by Deutsche Welle TV (in German). He also discussed contemporary conflict on the Swedish radio programme Konflikt (MP3) and appeared as a guest on German radio programme Streitkräfte und Strategien. He was also quoted in several other media outliets including German Deutschlandfunk's Programme Tacheles.

Mathieu Duchâtel
spoke to Voice of Russia about China–Japan relations.

Hugh Griffiths was quoted in a BBC article on a convicted UK arms broker’s supply of arms, ammunition and other equipment to UK police forces and the UK Ministry of Defence. He also spoke to BBC Radio 4 as part of a File on Four documentary that examined how UK arms dealers circumvented UK government scrutiny and regulations.

Oliver Bräuner was quoted in an article in Danish news magazine Raeson on the future direction of Chinese foreign and domestic policies under the new Communist Party leadership. He was also interviewed by the China Daily on challenges to China's foreign policy.

Helen Wilandh was quoted in an ABC (Norway) article on al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb (AQIM) and Mali, and in a Sydsvenskan article (in Swedish) on terrorism in Algeria.

Siemon Wezeman contributed to 'De gouden eeuw' ['The Golden Age'], a programme on Dutch television station NTR comparing Dutch arms exports in the 17th century with today.

Pieter D. Wezeman commented on the situation in Syria for Icelandic TV.

Paul Holtom spoke about Belarus's arms transfers to Syria in an article for the Jerusalem Post.

Philip Schell commented on North Korea issues in an article published on the Deutsche Welle website.

 No staff news or current vacancies.

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

Kytömäki, E., Holtom, P. and Bromley, M., ‘Implementing the Arms Trade Treaty: Reporting International Arms Transfers’ (PDF), UNIDIR Resources (2012).

Holtom, P., ‘Prohibiting Arms Transfers to Non-State Actors and the Arms Trade Treaty’ (PDF), UNIDIR Resources (2012).

Vestergaard, C., ‘The European Union, its overseas territories and non-proliferation: the case of Arctic yellowcake' (PDF), Non-proliferation Paper No. 25, Jan. 2013.

Ganguli, I. and Ernoult, J., 'Combating proliferation financing: a European banking perspective' (PDF), Non-proliferation Paper No. 24, Dec. 2012.
  © SIPRI 2013. ISSN 1654-8264. Contact SIPRI by email:; telephone: +46 8/655 97 00; fax: +46 8/655 97 33;
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