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Dan Smith, director of the Stockholm  International Peace Research Institute, better known as SIPRI. Photo: Frank Radosevich / Radio Sweden.
Dan Smith, director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, better known as SIPRI. Photo: Frank Radosevich / Radio Sweden.

SIPRI warns of possible paths to armed instability

SIPRI "is important because the topics are important"
13 min

A leading research center on security issues, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, better known as SIPRI, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

The publicly funded think-tank studies conflicts, peace resolution and the international arms trade and is perhaps best known for its annual report detailing military expenditure and arms sales.

Radio Sweden sat down with Dan Smith, the organization's director, to talk about SIPRI's work and future challenges. 

Smith said evolving technology, climate change and growing economic inequality are all factors that could lead to instability in the coming years.

However, he was hopeful about the next half a century, pointing out that from 1990-2010 the number of armed conflicts each year dropped, along with the number of nuclear weapons and spending on armaments.

"You could be forgiven for thinking that over the past few years we've forgotten some of those lessons," he added, "It's time to relearn them and reapply them."

He also said SIPRI's home base of Sweden was an important component to the organization's research and reputation. 

"Part of our brand, for want of a better word," he said, "is the very fact that we are both Swedish and international at the same time."

SIPRI will mark its 50th year on Monday evening with an event at its headquarters norther of Stockholm. The Swedish King Carl XVI Gustav, as well as the Swedish defense and foreign ministers are expected to take part in the celebrations.

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