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Under the 1998 EU Code of Conduct on Arms Export, which was replaced in 2008 by the EU Common Position on Arms Exports, member states of the European Union have committed themselves to achieving ‘high common standards’ and ‘convergence’ in their arms export controls.

On 26 February 2018 the European Union (EU) adopted its latest Council Conclusions on Climate Diplomacy following a Council Meeting of Foreign Ministers in Brussels. These Council Conclusions are much more action-oriented than those adopted previously.

The French initiative is a commendable effort to hold facilitators and supporters of CW use in Syria legally accountable and thereby to help ensure that the CWC norms are not fundamentally undermined through inaction or neglect.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and the Financial Tracking Service (FTS), the number of people in need of humanitarian aid in 2017 rose to 141.1 million and they were located in 37 countries. The Global Humanitarian Appeal stood at nearly $13 billion as of November 2017, which represented 58 per cent of the total fund target set for humanitarian assistance. The gap between the appeal target and funds raised, however, has been widening in recent years, as has the number of people affected by disasters—both natural and human-induced.

‘We have succeeded at keeping famine at bay, we have not kept suffering at bay’, said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres while briefing members of the UN Security Council on 12 October. Explaining the impediments to an effective response to the risks of famine in north-east Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, and, Guterres named conflict as a root cause of famine.

WritePeace blog

Judges as Peacebuilders: The challenges of ensuring access to justice in conflict-affected settings

ILAC’s session on “Legitimacy, Accountability and Access to Justice” in the upcoming Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development provides an opportunity to take a first step in this process by bringing together experts and practitioners on customary justice to identify how such engagement can contribute to the politics of peace.

The talk of the town in Tehran: Can the Europeans deliver?

Dr Tarja Cronberg, SIPRI Associate Fellow and the author of ‘Nuclear Multilateralism and Iran: Inside EU Negotiations’ has revisited Tehran to meet with Iranian high-level officials and the EU, China and Russia ambassadors to Tehran. These ‘Tehran’ interviews form the background for this blog at this critical juncture where the future of the Iran nuclear deal is at stake.

Let’s talk about ‘women’s issues’

Today is International Men’s Day – a day that was first initiated by labour movements to protest against men’s working conditions. Later, in 1910, the event was recast as a day to support men’s universal right to vote and since then it has been used to celebrate men’s rights, protest wars, demonstrate against increased food prices, and more generally to promote men’s empowerment and equal rights around the world. It was not until 1975 – the start of the so-called United Nations Decade for Men – that the UN as an institution began to celebrate International Men’s Day on 8 March. 

Towards a comprehensive approach to sustaining peace - a reality too complex to tweet? 

Just like UNSC resolution 1325 and follow-up resolutions on Women, Peace and Security, feminist organisations – this time together with researchers – have driven awareness of the gender, climate change and security nexus. There is a long way to go, but there is strong interest from a wide range of stakeholders in supporting research on this nexus, to inform their work.

Expert Comments

On 26 January 2018 China’s State Council Information Office published a white paper clarifying China’s vision of the Arctic, its intentions, goals and objectives in the region.

The announcement that Russia had completed the destruction of its chemical weapons stockpile was rightly applauded as a milestone in multilateral arms control. However, it was also a reminder of the significant part that international non-proliferation and disarmament assistance played in facilitating the implementation of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

Dr Florian Krampe provides commentary on the newly launched Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in the Lake Chad Basin region, arguing that the report would have been stronger if it had highlighted the underlying environmental contributions of the region’s fragility.

Robert Kelley provides analysis of North Korea's sixth nuclear test, taking a look at what we know so far.

Backgrounders

Deployed in late 2017, G5 Sahel (G5S) is a new joint security force among five Sahel states. This backgrounder outlines the structure of the G5S including its mandate and funding as well as parallel initiatives organized by member states.

SIPRI recently released new data on deployments and fatalities in multilateral peace operations when it launched the 2018 edition of the SIPRI Yearbook. This topical backgrounder expands on the events of 2017 and puts this data in a 10-year perspective. For the first time, SIPRI data on and analyses of personnel deployments in the previous year and decade is based on monthly instead of annual snapshot figures.

The 1987 Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty) is on the verge of collapse. The controversy surrounding the treaty has built up over several years and worsened in early 2017 following accusations by the United States that Russia had begun to deploy the missiles during 2016.

This backgrounder provides an overview of ongoing and potential work on measuring states’ achievement of goal 16.4. It begins by outlining the SDG process and how it has sought to overcome the challenges associated with measuring illicit arms flows. It then summarizes the data collection efforts to date and outlines some possible options for filling the gaps that exist. 

Given the transatlantic disagreement over the JCPOA, European countries might feel increasing pressure to focus on Iran’s ballistic missile activities in order to find common ground with the USA. But is the Western perspective on Iran’s missile programme based on an objective threat assessment, and is a punitive approach helpful in addressing it?