(Stockholm, 21 September 2016) SIPRI is pleased to celebrate International Day of Peace with the launch of SIPRI Yearbook 2016, now available in print and online.
The Institute’s flagship publication assesses the current state of armaments, disarmament and international security in the world. It significantly expands the analysis of data that was pre-released during the year. In doing so, it provides depth and nuance to previous coverage of the global arms trade, world military expenditure and world nuclear forces. In addition, the volume gives context and insight to an array of questions on peace and security confronting the world today. Among others, key topics of analysis include the latest trends in peace operations, the implications of sanctions on Iran, and the ongoing peace process in Mali.
Multilateral peace operations: a continued focus on Africa
The year 2015 was one of consolidation regarding peace operations. The number of operations decreased for the first time since 2010: there were 61 multilateral peace operations active in 2015, two fewer than in 2014. Together these operations deployed 162 703 personnel, slightly more than in the previous year. This increase constituted a reversal of the sharp decline recorded in the preceding years resulting from the drawdown of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
Although there were no major changes at the aggregate level, the SIPRI data confirms two important trends.
The first trend is the general increase in the number of personnel deployed. The number of personnel deployed in UN peace operations increased for the third consecutive year to 113 660. This is the highest number ever recorded and accounts for more than two-thirds of the total number of personnel deployed in multilateral peace operations in 2015.
‘Although the UN’s reputation and credibility were seriously damaged by reported attempts to cover-up incidents involving sexual exploitation and abuse in the Central African Republic, the UN seems to be only strengthening its position as the world’s main peace operations organization’, says Jaïr van der Lijn, Head of Peace Operations and Conflict Management at SIPRI. ‘UN member states made unprecedented pledges of personnel and equipment, while the High-level Independent Panel on UN Peace Operations published a report full of valuable recommendations as to how UN peace operations can be strengthened.’
The second trend is the specific increase in the number of personnel deployed to Africa. The sharp increase in the number of personnel deployed in operations in Africa also continued in 2015, with 119 945 personnel (74 per cent of the global total) deployed in 26 operations across the continent. ‘The spectacular increase in the number of personnel deployed in peace operations in Africa may well be the most important trend in 21st century peace operations so far’, says SIPRI researcher Timo Smit. ‘Since 2000, this number has on average doubled every five years’.
Other timely Yearbook topics: sanctions on Iran and peacebuilding in Mali
SIPRI Yearbook 2016 takes a comprehensive look at the role and impact of diverse sanctions—including those related to finance, trade, arms and travel—on Iran. The authors argue that understanding the dynamics of sanctions in this context, which is important in its own right, may shed much needed light on the role of sanctions in other international disputes. To find out more, read the sample chapter ‘The role and impact of international sanctions on Iran’.
SIPRI Yearbook 2016 also examines the ongoing peace process in Mali that led to a peace agreement in mid-2015. The agreement—the fifth between the Malian state and the Tuareg-led armed movement—is a testament to the difficulty of resolving this persistent conflict. The authors identify four major challenges to implementing the ambitious agreement, including the increased presence of violent extremist groups in northern Mali and the growth in organized crime. They argue that addressing these issues will require consistent and committed participation and support from a broad number of actors. To find out more, read the sample chapter ‘The implementation of the peace process in Mali’.
Increasing SIPRI’s reach: emerging security issues and global outreach
This 47th edition of the Yearbook follows the book’s esteemed tradition of identifying and scrutinizing the latest trends in armaments and disarmament. It includes chapters on the conflict in the Middle East, issues in European Security, and trends in armed conflict. SIPRI Yearbook 2016 also explores developments in emerging issues of global security, such as women, peace and security; cybersecurity; and the security implications of climate change.
‘SIPRI Yearbook 2016 is the natural go-to-resource for a historical record of developments in peace and security in 2015. Its publication in translation is an important contribution to global peace efforts. We look forward to working with our partners to have it translated into additional languages', says Dr Ian Davis, SIPRI’s Director of Publications.
The SIPRI Yearbook is a compendium of cutting-edge information and analysis on developments in armaments, disarmament and international security. Four major Yearbook data sets were pre-launched: The Top 100 arms producing companies (14 December 2015), international arms transfers (22 February 2016), world military expenditure data (5 April 2016) and world nuclear forces (13 June 2016). See the earlier releases at www.sipri.org/media/pressreleases. The SIPRI Yearbook is published by Oxford University Press. Learn more at www.sipriyearbook.org. Find chapter summaries, sample chapters and a map of multilateral peace operations on the SIPRI website.