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SIPRI’s latest Policy Paper ‘Building everyday peace in Kirkuk, Iraq: The potential of locally focused interventions’ provides an understanding of how, when and by whom acts of peace and conflict are carried out at the everyday level, and gives policy recommendations for interventions that would address the local side of peacebuilding. This essay highlights some core areas where there is an opportunity for peacebuilding interventions to affect real change in the everyday lives of Kirkukis.

This month, 18 countries are participating in a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) naval exercise in the Baltic Sea. The Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) exercise is noteworthy because it will be led by the 2nd Fleet of the United States Navy, which was disbanded in 2011 but reconstituted in 2018 with a wide area of operations from the east coast of the USA to the Barents Sea.

Ahead of the upcoming African Union (AU) Summit in February, SIPRI researchers give an impetus for the AU to refocus on climate-related security risks and build broad support to appoint a dedicated AU Special Envoy for Climate Change and Security.

The wider Black Sea region contains both a high degree of nuclear security risk and rich experience in efforts to cooperate on risk reduction. Given that some of the most significant known cases of illicit nuclear trafficking have taken place in the wider Black Sea region, it is important to understand whether recent events, including the conflict in and around Ukraine, have increased existing nuclear security risks or created new ones.

At a political rally on Saturday, 20 October, US President Donald J. Trump announced that the United States will withdraw from the 1987 Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty). This confirms what has steadily been unfolding over the past couple of years: the architecture of Russian–US nuclear arms control is crumbling.

WritePeace blog

Renewable energy as an opportunity for peace?

Growth in global energy demands due to population and economic growth has caused energy-sector emissions to rise and surpass historic records. Clearly, efforts to sustainably mitigate climate change must therefore utilize renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro, geothermal and sustainably harnessed biomass.

Why it is important to register violent deaths

Last week the website for the Global Registry of Violent Deaths (GReVD) was launched. The main objective of GReVD is to create a registry for every violent death and thereby improve the precision of the current reported numbers of violent deaths—which are all estimates. This blog post emphasizes the importance of counting violent deaths and outlines some of the main challenges to do so.

NATO in a climate of change

During last year's Munich Security Conference, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke about facing an increasingly more uncertain and unpredictable security environment. Speaking from the perspective of NATO, he argued that although allies disagree on certain issues, such as climate change, it is crucial to stand together.

Will Europe’s latest move lead to the demise of the Iran nuclear deal?

Last week France, Germany and the United Kingdom (the so-called E3) announced that they would trigger the dispute resolution mechanism (DRM) of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly referred to as the Iran nuclear deal.

Tensions on Iraqi soil likely to overshadow anti-government protest demands

Amid the rapidly increasing tensions between the US and Iran, there is a real danger that the demands of the Iraqi protest movement could be side-lined. The current protests, which sprung up in October 2019, risk having their demands ignored as the Iraqi government shifts it’s focus to dealing with the current crisis.

Expert Comments

In 2019, when the European Union (EU) and six countries to the east of the EU (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) marked the 10th anniversary of their Eastern Partnership (EaP), foreign ministers underlined common work on trade, visa liberalization, economic development and human rights that had been encouraged by (or through) the partnership.

On 8 May last year, US President Donald J. Trump announced that the United States would pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which sets limits on Iran’s nuclear programme to ensure that it cannot produce nuclear weapons. Despite the US withdrawal, the JCPOA remains in force; it is a multilateral agreement to which seven of the original eight parties still adhere.

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).

On Wednesday the Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü of Turkey, congratulated Russia on completing the destruction of its chemical weapons stockpile which originally totalled 39 967 agent tonnes (i.e. excluding munition weight).

Backgrounders

In September 2019, Chile enacted legislation to abolish its off-budget funding mechanism of arms acquisitions for its armed forces and replace it with a more transparent and accountable funding system.

Since the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution1325 on women, peace and security in 2000, there have been several attempts to increase women’s participation in peacekeeping operations.

The concept ‘triple nexus’ is used to capture the interlinkages between the humanitarian, development and peace sectors. Specifically, it refers to attempts in these fields to work together more coherently in order to more effectively meet peoples’ needs, mitigate vulnerabilities and move towards sustainable peace.

As Resolution 1325 approaches its 20th anniversary, it is a good time to take stock of how it has changed the way in which the UN acts by focusing on the training of police peacekeepers. 

Policing played a central role in the long sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland.