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BRICS trade, Yearbook in Chinese, civilians in conflict, arming autocracies and more

The SIPRI Update on peace and security
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SIPRI Update: August 2023
The independent resource on global peace and security

BRICS data
SIPRI shares data on arms trade between BRICS members

Ahead of the BRICS Summit, SIPRI shared data on arms trade between BRICS members in a thread on X/Twitter. The countries making up the economic bloc—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—met for a summit in South Africa on 22–24 August. The data visualizations explore whether the trend in growing trade between the group is reflected in the arms trade between BRICS members. 


Read the thread | Explore the data in the SIPRI Arms Transfer Database


Summer school
SIPRI and partners inspire the next generation of disarmament students

On 21–25 August, SIPRI and the Alva Myrdal Centre for Nuclear Disarmament, in cooperation with the Odesa Center for Nonproliferation, hosted the Armament and Disarmament Summer School. This event served as an invaluable platform for emerging professionals in the areas of disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control to come together for a week of education, skill development and networking. A total of 26 participants from 21 countries attended sessions on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, export controls, military spending, arms transfers, artificial intelligence and space security.


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New initiative North Africa
SIPRI leads new research initiative on North Africa

SIPRI has convened a new research initiative with a focus on North Africa. The North Africa Dialogues and Analysis (NADA) research initiative is jointly organized by SIPRI and the Middle East Institute (MEI). NADA will focus on issues such as political economy, governance and security and aims to better understand the changing and complex dynamics that shape North Africa. The initiative is co-led by Ahmed Morsy (SIPRI) and Intissar Fakir (MEI) who will act as meeting conveners, topic coordinators and moderators.


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PSC and HRH Crown Princess Victoria
SIPRI hosts Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria and EU security representatives

On 16 June, SIPRI had the privilege of hosting a visit from Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria and a delegation from the European Union’s Political and Security Committee (PSC). The visit featured a panel discussion on the theme ‘Towards an Environment of Peace’, moderated by Dan Smith, SIPRI Director. SIPRI staff and the PSC discussed the breadth and complexity of environment-related security risks around the globe. The conversation looked at how environmental degradation undermined human security and livelihoods in many regions, and how climate and environmental risks compounded and cascaded into countries far from their origin.


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Chinese translation YB 2022
Chinese translation of SIPRI Yearbook 2022 now available

SIPRI is pleased to announce that the Chinese translation of SIPRI Yearbook 2022 is now available. The Chinese-language version of the SIPRI Yearbook has been made possible with the generous support of the Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport.


Read more | Download the Chinese translation of SIPRI Yearbook 2022 (PDF)


Peace Points: Understanding our insecure world– Mapping it out

In the latest Peace Points video, Dan Smith, SIPRI Director, takes a look at recent developments in peace and security and what it means to be living in one of the most dangerous periods since World War II. Pressure from the war in Ukraine, build-ups of military forces, an increase in the number of conflicts, failing nuclear arms controls and the rise in human and ecological insecurity mean the world is dealing with a polycrisis. Smith stresses that instead of focusing on each problem individually, the focus needs to be on the connections between these issues. Interlinked problems need interlinked solutions.


Watch the video | Access the Peace Points video playlist


Commentary 1
Five ways to protect civilians in contemporary armed conflict

In this guest blog, Dan Mahanty, Director for Research, Learning and Innovation at Center for Civilians in Conflict, discusses some of the reasons why protection of civilians remains such a challenge in 2023. Mahanty writes that it has never been more urgent to find better ways to protect civilians in armed conflict. Yet for all the challenges, there is a wealth of experience and observation that offers both hope and practical lessons. Mahanty lists five ways that states and civil society can get started and urges them not hesitate to take what they have learned in order to be more responsive, more effective and more unified in protecting civilians in the wars of today and tomorrow.

Read the SIPRI WritePeace Blog


Commentary 1
Arming autocracies: Arms transfers and the emerging Biden doctrine

A string of observers have voiced concern about what they perceive as a disconnect between the foreign policy rhetoric of United States President Joe Biden’s administration and its foreign policy practice. One area in which commentators see this disconnect playing out most starkly is in Western countries’ arms exports. This WritePeace Blog uses SIPRI data on arms transfers to explore this discussion. The data show that the USA and other leading democracies have transferred substantial volumes of arms to autocratic states in recent years. While assessing the effects of these exports, or whether they are justified, is beyond the ambit of the piece, President Biden’s claims that the USA and its allies are the defenders of democracy in a fundamental struggle about ‘the future and direction of our world’ still run up against reality: these same countries continue to arm a majority of the world’s autocracies.

Read the SIPRI WritePeace Blog


Commentary 2
Peak China, a declining USA and the future of Africa

In this guest blog, as part of a series from partners of the 2023 Stockholm Forum, Jakkie Cilliers, founder and former executive director of the Institute for Security Studies, asks what a more complex, multipolar and less Western world means for Africa. He writes that if Africa wants to grow, reduce poverty and provide jobs for its large working-age population, it must trade and engage with China, Europe and the USA and increase its relations with the emerging South but on its own terms. But above all, inclusive economic growth in Africa requires global stability and for the international community to knuckle down and make the hard choices necessary to create a future that accommodates all of humanity.

Read the SIPRI WritePeace Blog


Commentary 1
Non-violent movements could be key to better people-centred peacebuilding

In this guest blog, which provides reflection from a session at the Stockholm Forum, Dr Bryan Sims, Humanity United, discusses the multiplicity of crises afflicting the world and the roles that non-violent movements could play in building peace and security. The blog concludes by urging policymakers and donors to move beyond exclusively supporting traditionally organized civil society towards also supporting non-violent movements comprised of human rights defenders, democrats, peacebuilders, professionals and others who want to build peaceful and prosperous societies.      

Read the SIPRI WritePeace Blog


External Commentaries
External outlets

SIPRI experts were recently featured in the following external outlets:


29 August 2023
Climate Change, Food Insecurity and Conflict in South Sudan

SIPRI and Save the Children Sweden organized an in-person event in Stockholm to explore the relationship between climate change, food security and conflict in South Sudan, particularly its implications for children and youth. The panel also addressed the role of youth in peacebuilding and shaping the country’s future. 

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14–15 June 2023
SIPRI hosts interactive workshop on climate, environment, peace and security

SIPRI hosted a two-day interactive workshop on ‘Delivering an Environment of Peace: Moving from Policy to Action’. The workshop brought together international researchers, policymakers and practitioners, who work on issues related to climate, environment, peace and security. Participants shared some of the challenges they face in implementing responses to climate security risks and discussed practical ways forward.

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13–14 June 2023
SIPRI hosts workshop on cyber incidents and threat perceptions

SIPRI hosted a hybrid expert workshop on ‘Cyber Incidents and Threat Perceptions: Views from China, Russia, Europe and the United States’ in Stockholm. The workshop brought together over 30 technical, legal, diplomatic, academic and military experts from China, Russia, Europe and the USA. The event provided greater granularity on cyber incidents—cyber intrusions and cyberattacks—and threat perceptions that are formative in shaping national and regional cyber postures, as well as global cyber norms.

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12 and 15 June 2023
SIPRI at the 12th Consultative Meeting of the EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Consortium

SIPRI took part in the 12th Consultative Meeting of the European Union Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Consortium (EUNPDC). The Consultative Meeting, which is funded by the EU, was organized by the Foundation for Strategic Research and gathered representatives of the EU, its member states and think tanks. 

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SIPRI is currently accepting applications for:

  • Senior Researcher, Governance of Artificial Intelligence Programme (Closing date: 31 August)

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Publication cover
Integrating Gender Perspectives into International Humanitarian Law

International humanitarian law (IHL) aims to limit the impacts of armed conflict through rules and protections. However, while IHL seemingly accords protection to ‘all persons’, it may fail to do so, especially on the basis of gender. This paper explores the missing gender perspectives in IHL and proposes that they be integrated with intersectional considerations. The paper first examines inherent gender bias in the wording of certain IHL rules and examines key rules of IHL. The paper concludes with action points to more effectively integrate intersectional gender perspectives into IHL.

Read the SIPRI Insights Paper


Publication cover
The EU Space Strategy for Security and Defence: Towards Strategic Autonomy?

This paper analyses the EU Space Strategy, which is the first of its kind, identifying its strengths and areas where there is room for improvement, as well as the challenges facing the project to establish a common European space defence policy, in terms of both institutional and industrial collaboration.

Read the EUNPDC paper


SIPRI Yearbook 2023
SIPRI Yearbook 2023
SIPRI Yearbook 2023 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. In addition to its detailed coverage of nuclear arms control and non-proliferation issues, the latest edition of the SIPRI Yearbook includes
  • insight on developments in conventional arms control in 2022;
  • regional overviews of armed conflicts and conflict management;
  • in-depth data and discussion on military expenditure, international arms transfers and arms production; and
  • comprehensive coverage of efforts to counter chemical and biological security threats.

Browse the contents page | Download the summary (PDF) | Download the sample chapter on world nuclear forces (PDF) | Order SIPRI Yearbook 2023