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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

November 2012

In this issue:

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Wrong paths to peace: the re-emergence of armed violence in northern Mali

Helen Wilandh

On 26 November, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is expected to submit to the United Nations Security Council a detailed plan for a military intervention to help the Malian Government regain control of the country’s troubled northern regions. The international community—in particular Mali’s neighbours and European countries fearing a spillover of extremist violence—is eager to see the radical Islamists now controlling the region driven out. However, this extreme response is arguably only needed because too much priority has been given to security, at the expense of development efforts to address the political, economical and social complexity of the situation in northern Mali.

Read the essay.


SIPRI to host World Bank expert workshop

SIPRI will host a World Bank expert workshop on local violence in developing countries on 14 December. The aim of the workshop is to examine interactions between donors, conflict drivers and local communities. The workshop’s outcomes will inform the World Development Report (WDR) 2014: Managing Risk for Development. The event will be co-chaired by Tilman Brück, SIPRI’s Director-Designate and Rasmus Heltberg, senior social development specialist and member of the core team for WDR 2014. For more information contact Mikael Grinbaum.

Image: the World Bank logo

SIPRI expert comment on the new Chinese leadership

On 15 November the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party officially endorsed the members of the new Politburo Standing Committee, China’s top leadership body. Despite the secrecy, speculation and rumors in the run-up to the announcement, the make up of China’s fifth generation of leaders was predictable. Although it reflects the outcome of protracted behind the scenes power struggles, generally speaking the result might have little impact on the government’s political directions.

Read the expert comment by SIPRI Senior Researcher Bernt Berger.
Image: Edin Omanovic
Bernt Berger

Professor Julian Cooper talks about Russia's military modernization plans

On 8 November SIPRI was pleased to present a lecture by Professor Julian Cooper of the Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham, on the current prospects for Russia's ambitious programme to thoroughly re-equip and reform its armed forces after two decades starved of new armaments. Professor Cooper discussed the economic challenges these processes are posing at a time when Russia’s economic growth has moderated, the mounting difficulties of the Russian arms industry and the possible impacts of the sacking of Russian Defence Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov. Watch an interview with him on SIPRI's Youtube channel.
Image: Professor Julian Cooper

SIPRI joins two new academic networks

SIPRI has joined the Training and Mobility Network for the Economic Analysis of Conflict (TAMNEAC) as an associated partner institution. TAMNEAC provides training to young professionals and researchers tackling the challenges associated with mass violent conflict in developing countries. It is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network funded by the 7th Framework Programme (7FP) of the European Commission and coordinated by incoming SIPRI Director, Prof. Tilman Brück. Starting from January 2013, TAMNEAC fellows will be able to join SIPRI for short-term secondments. For more information visit the TAMNEAC website.

SIPRI is also a participating institution in the Transatlantic Post-Doc Fellowship for International Relations and Security (TAPIR). Fellowships are open to candidates who have recently received their doctorate in social and political sciences or economics and whose research focuses on international relations and/or international peace and security issues. The fellowships, which last 24 months, will enable recipients to spend three eight-month stays at research institutions or think tanks participating in the programme. TAPIR is co-funded by the Marie Curie Action COFUND within the FP7. For more information about TAPIR, download the brochure (PDF) or contact Tobias von Lossow at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik in Berlin. 
Image: the TAMNEAC logo

Image: the TAPIR logo

Upcoming SIPRI events and activities

23–24 Nov.
Wrocław, Poland
  SIPRI co-organizes Arctic conference in Poland
SIPRI, together with the University of Lower Silesia (Wrocław) and the Marie Curie Sklodowska University (Lublin), is organizing a conference entitled ‘The Arctic in the First Decade of the 21st Century: Between Competition and Cooperation’. The Canadian Embassy in Poland has provided partial funding for the event. SIPRI researchers Kristofer Bergh and Ekaterina Klimenko will present their research at the conference, which will also feature a range of speakers on Arctic issues. Contact Kristofer Bergh for more information. Read more about SIPRI’s Arctic Futures programme.
5 Dec. 14:45–16:30
SIPRI, Stockholm
  SIPRI panel discussion on arms exports and authoritarian regimes
SIPRI is pleased to host the 2012 Right Livelihood Award winner, the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), and invites interested individuals to a panel discussion on arms exports and authoritarian regimes. Using the example of the Arab Spring, the panel discussion will highlight the interaction between civil society, the research community, parliaments and government in mapping, understanding and addressing the risks of arms exports to sensitive destinations under authoritarian rule. Please confirm your participation with your name and full affiliation no later than Tuesday, 4 December 2012 by contacting Cynthia Loo, SIPRI Senior Management Assistant, by phone (08-655 97 51) or email. Read the full invitation (PDF).
14–16 Feb. 2013
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 2013 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 on 14 and 15 June 2013. 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. Please email titles and abstracts (max 300 words) to Sam Perlo-Freeman before 1 April 2013. Read more about the conference.

Recent SIPRI events and activities

14–16 Nov.

  SIPRI Researchers present at customs conference
Dr Sibylle Bauer, Director of SIPRI’s Dual-use and Arms Trade Control Programme, gave a presentation on the control lists of the nonproliferation regimes and their relation to the harmonized customs code at the first World Customs Organization (WCO) conference on Strategic Trade Controls Enforcement. Aaron Dunne, Senior Researcher with the Dual-use and Arms Trade Control Programme and Hugh Griffiths, SIPRI Senior Researcher and head of the Countering Illicit Trafficking–Mechanism Assessment Projects (CIT-MAP) presented at a conference side session. Dunne gave a presentation on strategic trade controls and the information challenge (PDF), while Griffiths briefed WCO delegates on trafficking and proliferation trends identified as part of SIPRI’s maritime trafficking study. Read the conference programme or a summary of the event.
For further information contact Dr Sibylle Bauer.
19 Nov.

  SIPRI expert presents risk assessment software
SIPRI Senior Researcher Hugh Griffiths presented SIPRI’s arms trafficking via air risk assessment software, developed as part of an EU Council Decision, at a European Commission conference on illicit firearms trafficking. The conference was opened by European Commissioner Cecilia Malmström. Contact Hugh Griffiths for more information.

16 Nov.
The Hague

  SIPRI experts participate in security roundtable
Dr Neil Melvin, Director of SIPRI’s Armed Conflict and Conflict Management Programme and SIPRI Senior Researcher Dr Bruce Koepke participated in a High-Level Roundtable on regional security and national minorities in Central Asia and Afghanistan. The meeting, which was organized by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) High Commissioner on National Minorities, aimed to enhance the understanding of the link between regional security and national minority policies. Melvin’s presentation focused on recent conflicts in Central Asia and how continuing ethnic tensions in the border region may lead to renewed violence. Koepke’s presentation discussed issues that may affect the ethnic minorities of the border region between Central Asia and Afghanistan following the withdrawal of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. For more information, contact Dr Bruce Koepke. Read more about SIPRI’s Eurasia, wider Central Asia and Afghanistan project.

14 Nov.

  SIPRI Researcher presents before Swedish parliamentary commission
SIPRI Researcher Kristofer Bergh presented parts of his research on the Arctic before the Defence Commission of the Swedish Parliament during a session aimed at informing parliamentarians on the security situation in the Arctic. Contact Kristofer Bergh for more information, or read his SIPRI Insights paper on the Arctic policies of Canada and the United States.

8–9 Nov.

  SIPRI researcher presents on Afghanistan–Iran relations
Dr Bruce Koepke attended a seminar in Brussels on Iran and the regional context, organized by the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP). Dr Koepke presented an overview of Afghanistan–Iran relations.

5–6 Nov.

  Non-Proliferation Consortium organizes Brussels meeting
The member organizations of the European Union Non-Proliferation Consortium (EUNPC), including SIPRI, organized a second seminar to promote confidence building and in support of a process aimed at establishing a Zone Free of WMD and Means of delivery in the Middle East. Find out more about the event or read the EUNPC's publications on the SIPRI site.
5 Nov.

  SIPRI expert speaks at seminar on an international arms agreement
SIPRI Senior Researcher Mark Bromley spoke at a seminar organized by the International Commission of Jurists, Kristna Fredsrörelsen (the Swedish Fellowship of Reconciliation, SweFOR), and Fonden för Mänskliga Rättigheter (the Swedish Foundation for Human Rights). The seminar focused on ongoing international efforts aimed at creating an international arms trade treaty and the recently commenced investigation into Sweden’s arms export controls. Bromley spoke about the commonalities and differences between the two processes. Read more about the seminar (in Swedish) or contact Mark Bromley for more information.
5 Nov.
Changchun, China

  SIPRI researchers discuss the future of the Korean peninsula
Mathieu Duchâtel, SIPRI Senior Researcher and researcher Phillip Schell, both of the SIPRI China and international peace and security project, gave presentations at roundtable discussions on the future of the Korean peninsula at the Department for Northeast Asian Studies, Jilin University, and the Jilin Academy of Social Sciences. Contact Mathieu Duchâtel for more information. Read more about SIPRI’s China and international peace and security project.

25 Oct.
New York City

  Image: SIPRI Senior Researcher Mark Bromley in New York City
Image: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) New York

SIPRI Researcher presents at disarmament and non-proliferation side-event
SIPRI Senior Researcher Mark Bromley spoke at a side event organized by the Permanent Mission of Japan and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs and hosted by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. The event focused on how information can help to combat the spread of conventional arms and weapons of mass destruction and was held on the sidelines of meetings of the First Committee at the UN. Bromley gave a presentation on the SIPRI arms transfers database and its use by the media, parliaments, non-governmental organizations and academics in different parts of the world. Read a summary of the event or contact Mark Bromley for more information. Access the SIPRI arms transfers database.
30–31 Oct.
Addis Ababa
  SIPRI holds expert seminar on arms trafficking
SIPRI's CIT-MAP team organized an expert seminar on arms trafficking and supporting actors in peacekeeping environments. The event brought together more than 90 experts working in the fields of sanctions monitoring, arms trafficking, civil aviation, peacekeeping, proliferation, disarmament and regional security. For further information and the expert seminar agenda, visit the CIT-MAP page on the SIPRI website.

15–16 Oct.
Ispra, Italy
  SIPRI expert presents at export control working group meeting
SIPRI Researcher Dr Andrea Viski attended the European Safeguards Research and Development Association (ESARDA) Export Control Working Group at the European Commission's Joint Research Center in Ispra, Italy, on 15–16 October 2012. Viski’s presentation was entitled ‘Dual-Use Export Controls: Considerations on Measuring Implementation’. Contact Andrea Viski for more information.

21 Sep. Rome
  SIPRI expert presents at maritime conference
SIPRI Senior Researcher Hugh Griffiths gave a presentation on maritime trafficking and proliferation trends at the Centro Alti Studi Per La Difesa  (Italian Centre for High Defence Studies) during a two-day conference entitled ‘The role of maritime in WMD transportation and global supply chain security’. The US National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office (NMIO) organized the event in partnership with the Italian Defense General Staff Joint Intelligence Center. Contact Hugh Griffiths for more information.


SIPRI in the media

Hugh Griffiths was quoted in the Wall Street Journal in an article focused on Iran’s use of flags of convenience. He also gave an interview for Radio New Zealand following the discovery in Algeria of 165kg of cocaine within a shipping container used by a New Zealand company. He was later quoted on the same subject in the New Zealand Herald.

Mathieu Duchâtel was quoted in Le Monde on China issues. He also spoke to Le Figaro and Voice of Russia about the Chinese leadership transition.

Kristofer Bergh and Ekaterina Klimenko appeared in separate stories on the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, commenting on security challenges in the Arctic and Russia's view on Nordic security cooperation, respectively.

Neil Melvin commented on the Syrian conflict for Deutsche Welle in English and German.

Pieter Wezeman spoke to Deutsche Welle Afrikalink about the news that the African Union's request for a review of the UN arms embargo related to Somalia was granted. He also spoke to Reuters about the implications of an arms embargo on Iran.

Oliver Bräuner commented on the Chinese Party Congress for German Radio Südwestrundfunk (SWR), Welt Kompakt and RBC Daily.


SIPRI staff news

New vacancies
SIPRI is recruiting up to two post-doctoral research fellows in the economics of peace and security. Applications close on 7 December 2012. Read the full position descriptions.


Forthcoming publications

SIPRI  SIPRI Policy Paper (forthcoming 27 November 2012)
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.

Recent publications


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.

report SIPRI Policy Paper
Verifying a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty: Technical and Organizational Considerations

Shannon N. Kile and Robert E. Kelley
The renewed momentum behind international efforts to negotiate a fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT) has focused attention on how the proposed ban on the production of fissile material will be verified: what type of organization should be given this responsibility and what technical expertise will it require? The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is often identified as the obvious choice for this role, given its long experience in implementing nuclear safeguards agreements. Many of the tools and procedures developed by the IAEA for safeguards purposes could be directly applied to verifying a future FMCT. However, without changes to its existing safeguards mandate and practices, the IAEA would be hindered in verifying treaty compliance in the nuclear weapon-possessing states. This Policy Paper proposes an alternative arrangement that, while taking advantage of the IAEA's experience and expertise, creates a verification body tailored specifically for an FMCT with the requisite legal mandate and technical capabilities. Download the Policy Paper.

SIPRI Insights on Peace and Security
Implementing an arms trade treaty: mapping assistance to strengthen arms transfer controls

Paul Holtom and Mark Bromley
It is widely recognized that many states parties to an arms trade treaty (ATT) will need assistance to fulfil their treaty obligations. The creation of an ATT will require the expansion of existing assistance programmes as well as the development of new approaches and efforts specifically designed to assist states with treaty implementation. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of existing assistance could help to ensure that mistakes made under other instruments are not repeated and enable actors to draw on existing good practices. This paper therefore maps existing assistance efforts aimed at strengthening transfer controls for conventional arms, dual-use goods or small arms and light weapons (SALW). Download the Insights paper.


More publications

Other publications

Brück, T. and de Groot, O. J., ‘The economic impact of violent conflict’, Defence and Peace Economics, 16 Nov. 2012.

Melvin, N., ‘The EU needs a new values-based realism for its Central Asia strategy’, EUCAM Policy Brief No. 28 (PDF), Oct. 2012.
  © SIPRI 2012. ISSN 1654-8264. Contact SIPRI by email:; telephone: +46 8/655 97 00; fax: +46 8/655 97 33;
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