SIPRI Yearbook 2009: Armaments, disarmament and international security - Summary
The SIPRI Yearbook was first published in 1969 and is now in its 40th edition. SIPRI Yearbook 2009 presents a combination of original data in areas such as world military expenditure, international arms transfers, arms production, nuclear forces, major armed conflicts and multilateral peace operations with state-of-the-art analysis of important aspects of arms control, peace and international security. The Yearbook is written by both SIPRI researchers and invited outside experts.
This booklet summarizes the contents of SIPRI Yearbook 2009 and gives samples of the data and information in its appendices and annexes.
1. MASS DISPLACEMENT CAUSED BY CONFLICTS AND ONE-SIDED VIOLENCE: NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL RESPONSES
ROBERTA COHEN AND FRANCIS M. DENG
Massive displacement of people within countries and across borders has become a defining feature of the postcold war world. It is also a major feature of human insecurity in which genocide, terrorism and egregious human rights violations wreak havoc on civilians. The underlying causes of mass displacement are conflicts over power, wealth and resource sharing. Opportunities therefore exist for both national and international authorities to address the deeper structural divisions in societies when trying to end conflict and displacement through peace processes.
The need of internally displaced persons (IDPs) for international protection was one of the factors that prompted a shift in global policy and thinking on state responsibility. Over the past two decades, a state-centred system in which sovereignty was absolute has evolved into one in which the behaviour of states towards their citizens has become a matter of international concern and scrutiny. The human rights movement has long championed the view that the rights of people transcend frontiers and that the international community must hold a government to account when it fails to meet its obligations. The deployment of more humanitarian and peacekeeping operations to protect civilians reflects this new reality as do preventive and peacebuilding efforts.
Nonetheless, concepts of sovereignty as responsibility and the responsibility to protect (R2P) remain far ahead of international willingness and capacity to enforce them. The failure of states to protect their citizens has often met with a weak international response. It is critical that the United Nations, concerned governments, regional bodies and civil society (a) assist states in developing their own capacities and (b) press for the development of the tools needed to enable the international community to take assertive action when persuasive measures fail and masses of people remain under the threat of violence and humanitarian tragedy.
Recent peace agreements have made some provisions for the return, resettlement and reintegration of those uprooted. Involving IDPs and returning refugees in discussions can avert violence, prevent continued exploitation and abuse, create greater trust and promote the recovery of local economies.
Governments must assume their responsibility towards IDPs, and the UN Peacebuilding Commission should work more actively with them to ensure secure and sustainable returns, eliminate the marginalization of different groups and address the root causes of disputes by redressing past injustices.
2. TRENDS IN ARMED CONFLICTS: ONE-SIDED VIOLENCE AGAINST CIVILIANS
MAJOR ARMED CONFLICTS, 2008
In 2008, 16 major armed conflicts were active in 15 locations around the world, 2 more than in 2007.
Africa: Burundi, Somalia, Sudan
Americas: Colombia, Peru, USA*
Asia: Afghanistan*, India (Kashmir), Myanmar (Karen State), Pakistan, Philippines, Philippines (Mindanao), Sri Lanka ('Tamil Eelam')
Middle East: Iraq, Israel (Palestinian territories), Turkey (Kurdistan)*
Where a conflict is over territory, the disputed territory appears in parentheses after the country name. All other conflicts are over government.
* Fighting in these conflicts also took place in other locations.
All of these conflicts are intrastate: for the fifth year running, no major interstate conflict was active in 2008.
However, troops from another state aided one of the parties in four conflicts: USA, Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia. Over the past decade, the total number of conflicts has declined overall from 21 in 1999. However, the decline has been uneven, with increases in 2005 and 2008.