(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the impressive achievements of Sipri, with great impact on how we see the world.
But this is also an appropriate occasion to look at the challenges and the opportunities that lie ahead.
Sipri’s aim is to contribute to “an understanding of the conditions for peaceful solutions of international conflicts and for a stable peace”.
This is, of course, not a easy task. But it is indeed a most important one.
We live in an increasingly complex world. Policymakers need to base their decisions on facts. From sources that can be trusted to be objective.
Sipri is such a source and this is what has made Sipri so successful. From the start in 1966, the work of the institute has been based on values and principles that are timeless.
The use of open sources. International top class researchers on a rotating basis and maintaining a balanced approach, and a fair minded analysis.
The results are truly impressive:
Sipri is ranked among the most prominent “think tanks” of the world. Its research and data are quoted and read by politicians, diplomats, journalists, experts and the general public in every corner of the world.
The institute’s data of nuclear weapons have helped generations of diplomats in negotiations on disarmament. And as a result the number of nuclear weapons is indeed lower today than at its peak in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Sipri’s research and recommendations on chemical weapons and the arms trade, have successfully been used by governments to limit and ban some of these weapons to reach agreements on important treaties.
Because of its neutrality,Sipri has been able to facilitate meetings between parties that otherwise not have been able to talk to each other.
Today, relations between countries, regions, cities and human beings are constantly evolving. In this context, Sipri’s balanced research and trusted voice is of utmost importance also now, as in the past.
I offer my sincere congratulations to the first fifty successful years. And by wishing you the best of luck in the years to come!