The independent resource on global security

Refined estimate of China’s military expenditure, Biden’s arms control ambitions, and more


The SIPRI Update on peace and security
SIPRI Update: January 2021
The independent resource on global peace and security

Wikimedia Commons/N509FZ
Refined SIPRI data on Chinese military expenditure
SIPRI is proud to present a new report on Chinese military expenditure for 2019. Given China’s accelerating military modernization and reforms in recent years, the existing estimate of China’s military spending deserves a reassessment. Although the new approach to estimating Chinese military expenditure improves on the old method, limited public transparency in budgeting on specific categories is still a cause of concern. The report states that future research should focus on publicly available Chinese-language sources as there is still scope to improve the precision of the new estimate. SIPRI will publish its comprehensive annual update of the 2020 SIPRI military expenditure data on 26 April.  

Read the report | Access the database


Rethinking Arms
SIPRI film on international cooperation

This month SIPRI released a new film that captures insights from the 2020 Stockholm Security Conference (SSC 20). The film touches upon key challenges that were unpacked during SSC 20 such as arms control, mistrust between states and the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. It features clips from leading experts from the political, military, academic and diplomatic communities as well as civil society. The film both presents these challenges and describes the role that international cooperation can play to overcome them.


Read more | Watch the film | Read more about SSC 20


Assessing Nuclear Deterrence in South East Asia
SIPRI hosts workshop on nuclear challenges

On 8 and 9 December, SIPRI hosted a virtual workshop on ‘Nuclear challenges in South Asia’. During the two-day event, 13 speakers and over 60 participants discussed key shifts in nuclear posture and technologies and dynamics originating within as well as outside of South Asia. The event was organized by Dr Petr Topychkanov, SIPRI Senior Research, and Dr Lora Saalman, Associate Senior Fellow, and is part of SIPRI’s project on ‘Assessing Nuclear Deterrence Risks and Challenges in South Asia’.


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EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Consortium
SIPRI at EUNPDC events
SIPRI maintains an active role in the European Union Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Consortium (EUNPDC). The Consortium aims to encourage discussion of measures to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems within civil society, particularly among experts, researchers and academics in the EU and third countries. On 25 November, SIPRI engaged in the EUNPDC Next Generation Workshop. During the event, Giovanna Maletta, Researcher in the SIPRI Dual–Use and Arms Trade Control Programme, chaired a session on ‘Trade regulation and the fight against illicit small arms and light weapons’. Concluding remarks were given by Dr Sibylle Bauer, Chair of the Consortium and Director of Studies, Armament and Disarmament at SIPRI. Earlier on 12–13 November, SIPRI participated in the 9th Annual EUNPDC Conference by chairing and moderating sessions.  

Read more | Watch the playlist from the EUNPDC conference


Joe Biden Essay
Joe Biden’s arms control ambitions are welcome—but delivering on them will not be easy

As the 46th President of the United States takes office, he faces a barrage of critical domestic challenges from day one. Nevertheless, one matter of foreign policy will need to be at the top of his agenda: there will be barely two weeks left to save the 2010 strategic nuclear arms control treaty with Russia, New START, from extinction. This SIPRI Essay takes stock of the international arms control agenda and the outlook for Joe Biden to achieve his ambitions for it.

Read the SIPRI Essay


4–7 May 2021
2021 Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development

SIPRI is proud to announce that the 2021 Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development will be held on the theme ‘Promoting Peace in the Age of Compound Risk’. The Forum will be held on 4–7 May.

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24 May 2021
2021 SIPRI Lecture by HE Madeleine Albright

SIPRI is pleased to announce that the third annual SIPRI Lecture will honour HE Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State of the United States. The lecture will be held on 24 May 2021.

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Current staff news
  • SIPRI mourns the passing of Sir Brian Urquhart (United Kingdom), former member of the SIPRI Governing Board, who passed away on 2 January 2021 at the age of 101.

Read more


Current vacancies
  • Researcher/Senior Researcher, Peacebuilding (Closing date: 28 January).
  • Online Events Internship, Peace and Development (Closing date: 14 February).
  • Virtual Internship, SIPRI research programmes and outreach (Applications accepted on a rolling basis). 

Read more


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Climate-related Security Risks in the 2020 Updated Nationally Determined Contributions
Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) are the central instrument for states to communicate their contribution to the 2016 Paris Agreement on climate change and reflect their wider approach to climate mitigation and adaptation. This SIPRI Insights paper analyses how the 2020 updated NDCs discuss climate-related security risks. The findings suggest that countries are currently not considering the risks from indirect climate impacts, including those that cross national borders, or the unintended adverse consequences of adaptation or mitigation responses, and the report recommends ways forward.

Read the SIPRI Insights on Peace and Security


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Conflict Mediation and Peacebuilding in the Sahel: The Role of Maghreb Countries in an African Framework
Conflict dynamics in the Sahel are complex. The region faces a multidimensional crisis that includes the proliferation of terrorist groups, criminal networks, environmental pressures, state weaknesses and severe governance problems. This paper offers a fresh assessment of the situation in the Sahel in the context of relations with neighbouring Maghreb countries. The authors’ analysis and recommendations will be of interest to policymakers in Africa, in Europe and elsewhere, as well as to local actors and other stakeholders involved in mediation and peacebuilding efforts in the Sahel.

Read the SIPRI Policy Paper


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Post-shipment Control Measures: European Approaches to On-site Inspections of Exported Military Materiel
Post-shipment on-site inspections of exported military materiel enable an exporting country to verify that the materiel is still present in the country of destination and in the possession of the authorized end user. An increasing number of European countries and a wide range of multilateral organizations are conducting on-site inspections, or are considering or planning to adopt such measures. This SIPRI Background Paper provides an overview of the current state of implementation as regards on-site inspections of exported military materiel by different European countries.

Read the SIPRI Background Paper


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Emerging Suppliers in the Global Arms Trade
This paper aims to contribute to a better understanding of the role of emerging suppliers in transfers of arms around the world, in particular to regions of instability. Even though the volumes of arms exported by emerging suppliers are lower than those of the established exporters, they can nonetheless have a direct impact on international and regional security. While exports of emerging suppliers tend to go the same geographical regions, the drivers of the countries’ arms exports differ: some have supplied with the intent to gain political influence, while others have primarily focused on the economic benefits.

Read the SIPRI Insights on Peace and Security


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The Importance of Narrative in Nuclear Policymaking: A Study of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
This paper examines the role and importance of dominant narratives on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament policymaking, with a focus on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). It highlights the importance of the generally uncontested language that forms the background of NPT political disputes and argues this language plays an important role in shaping what is understood as possible and legitimate in non-proliferation and disarmament policymaking. It recommends paying further attention to the political power of the language that forms the background of NPT political contests.

Read the EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Paper


SIPRI Yearbook 2019
SIPRI Yearbook 2020
SIPRI Yearbook 2020 presents a combination of original data in areas such as world military expenditure, international arms transfers, arms production, nuclear forces, armed conflicts and multilateral peace operations with state-of-the-art analysis of important aspects of arms control, peace and international security. It covers developments during 2019, including:
  • the state of nuclear arms control;
  • transparency in military spending;
  • regional overviews of armed conflicts; and
  • the investigation of allegations of chemical weapon use in Syria.

Browse the contents page | Download the summary (PDF) | Order SIPRI Yearbook 2020