Group for Research and Information on Peace and Security (GRIP)

Created in Brussels in 1979, GRIP (Groupe de recherche et d’information sur la paix et la sécurité) developed in a particular context, that of the Cold War. At that time, our first research work tackled the balance of power resulting from the East-West confrontation and, throughout the 1980s, GRIP became well-known for the accuracy of its analyses and reports dealing with the arms race, its mechanisms, the interests at stake, etc.

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the geo-strategic perspective has changed considerably and so have GRIP’s research interests. Since then, GRIP has tackled security issues in the broad sense, studying things like the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts, mostly in developing countries (particularly in Africa). Two of the many aspects in which GRIP specialises are the proliferation of light weapons and the control of the arms trade. Less traditional themes are also given close attention, like “green” conflicts, the role of the media and science, globalisation and humanitarian action, to cite some of the most recent.

GRIP is still studying the role of the European Union in the fields of defence and security as well as arms production, military doctrines and programmes, and the evolution of international organisations (UN, OSCE and NATO). In 1990, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Perez de Cuéllar, designated GRIP as a “Peace Messenger” in recognition of its “precious contribution to the action towards peace”.

No programmes have been added yet.
No support mandates have been added yet.

Directeur.trice du GRIP

Location: Bruxelles, Belgium
Application Contact: ( )
Application Deadline: 20/02/2020 12:00 pm

En tant que directeur.trice, vous êtes le visage du GRIP qui met en avant ses forces et ses objectifs. Vous avez une approche stratégique et vous êtes capable de développer une vision organisationnelle claire et des partenariats stimulant avec d'autres acteurs du secteur. Vous prenez des positions claires et garantissez une concertation permanente et fructueuse avec les autorités compétentes. Votre capacité de persuasion diplomatique est un atout pour la conduite des négociations, de lobbying et de plaidoyer. En tant que leader d'opinion, vous êtes un.e communicateur.trice et un.e porte-parole convaincant de l’organisation. Grâce à votre attitude axée sur les résultats, vous savez comment concrétiser, avec votre équipe, les visions et stratégies en réalisations concrètes de qualité.


Policy and Research Papers

Ammunition controls, the ATT, and Africa: Challenges, Requirements, and Scope for Action

There is no consensus on whether ammunition should be included in the scope of the international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Most states support its inclusion and point towards the negative impact of irresponsible and poorly controlled transfers of ammunition. The insecurity and tremendous human suffering associated with such transfers in the context of armed violence in Africa are a case in point.
 A few states, however, oppose the inclusion of ammunition in the ATT and argue that controlling international ammunition transfers would be unfeasible and highly cost-intensive. This report discusses the challenges of ammunition controls in Africa against the background of the international discussions on the ATT. It demonstrates that concerns regarding ammunition-inclusion in the ATT are unfounded. It also argues that complementary action will be required by African stakeholders and their international partners to strengthen ammunition controls in the region.
 Holger Anders is a consultant on arms control with several years of work experience in sub-Saharan Africa, including as expert monitoring the implementation of a UN arms embargo. He holds post-graduate degrees in peace studies and international relations and has published and presented widely at global and regional levels in Europe and Africa on the scope for action to combat illicit trafficking of arms and ammunition.


Ammunition Stockpile Management in Africa: Challenges and scope for action

The improper management of conventional ammunition and explosives poses significant safety and security risks. Frequent ammunition depot explosions and diversions from ammunition stocks of state actors testify to the relevance of the issue to Africa. Overcoming challenges to effective national ammunition management can be a formidable task in itself. This paper considers the challenges to and scope for action on ammunition management in Africa. It is argued that concerted efforts by African states and their international partners will be essential to effectively limiting risks of undesirable explosive events and ammunition diversions on the continent.


Arms Brokering Controls and how they are implemented in the European Union

The fight against illegal arms transfers requires regulation and an effective monitoring of arms brokers. Their business primarily consists of facilitating and arranging transactions in exchange for compensation or material recompense. Indeed some of them manage to circumvent existing controls by exploiting different national regulations or conducting their activities from countries where controls are weak or non-existent.

In 2003 the EU member states took an important initiative by setting a harmonized system of control of arms brokers. With the adoption of a European Common Position they introduced controls on brokering activities taking place on their territories. Yet, six years later, all EU member states still have no legislation on arms brokering, while others need to adapt their national legislation to EU standards. Furthermore this European instrument reflects minimum standards which currently appear insufficient to effectively fight against ill disposed brokers.

This report reviews the extent to which EU member states implement the Common Position on arms brokering and suggests some improvements for a better control on brokering activities and an effective fight against illegal arms transfers. One section of the report also considers a major gap in the national regulations: extraterritorial controls on brokering activities. Finally, the report presents the case study of the Belgian legislation on arms brokering.


Controlling Arms Brokering: Next Steps for EU Member States

One of the key weaknesses in controls on the international arms trade is the absence or penury of national regulations on arms brokering activities. At present, only about sixteen countries in the world are known to control the activities of those negotiating, arranging or otherwise facilitating arms transfers between buyers and sellers. Moreover, unscrupulous brokers have demonstrated their ability to circumvent existing controls by exploiting differences in national approaches, or by simply conducting their activities from another country with lax or no controls at all. This weak link in arms control allows unscrupulous brokers to engage with impunity in undesirable or illicit activities such as arranging arms transfers to embargoed governments or non-state actors.

An important regional initiative to counter this phenomenon is the  EU Common Position on the Control of Arms Brokering. Under this instrument, EU member states have committed themselves to establishing a clear legal framework for brokering activities taking place within their territory. By creating common standards, the EU Common Position thus represents a significant step forward. However, there remain concerns that these standards still fall short of what is required to effectively combat undesirable or illicit brokering activities.

The first part of this report identifies key issues in this respect and suggests concrete measures governments should consider when deciding on what controls they deem appropriate. The second part of this report presents an overview of already existing or planned brokering controls in certain EU member states. The report concludes that despite the progress presented by the EU Common Position, there are still shortcomings regarding the controls that would seem necessary for effectively combating unscrupulous brokers and their activities. Where appropriate, governments of EU member states should therefore individually be encouraged to ensure that their national approach fully addresses arms brokering. This would also facilitate possible future efforts on the level of the EU to further strengthen common commitments. In turn, such further efforts to counter undesirable brokering will be required to strengthen member states’ abilities to combat and prevent illicit arms transfers.


Regulating Arms Brokering: Taking Stock and Moving Forward the United Nations Process

The problem of lacking or inconsistent regulations on arms brokering is painstakingly clear. Arms brokers are central in many illicit arms transfers, including transfers to conflict regions, embargoed actors, and serious human rights abusers. In the United Nations Programme of Action on SALW (UN PoA) of 2001, States specifically committed to develop adequate national legislation and common understandings on arms brokering. This report reviews progress made around the control of brokering.

It shows that a growing number of states have established legislation on arms brokering, or will do so. Comparing domestic norms and multilateral standards reveals that there is a large degree of convergence on key regulatory principles and measures, a good foundation for developing global minimal standards on brokering controls. The UNGA in October/November 2005 provides an opportunity for strengthening the international commitment to enhancing cooperation in combating illicit SALW brokering. Further efforts in this regard remain crucial, in particular in order to eliminate the loopholes and inconsistencies which allow brokering activities to take place with relative ease and impunity.

It is therefore urgent that the UN establish, at a minimum, a Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on Brokering, mandated to consider the feasibility of an international instrument and to identify the elements required for effective national brokering controls. The mandate should also consider controls on transportation and financial services related to arms brokering. Complementary standards on SALW control should also be developed in conformity with commitments undertaken with the UN PoA, including the development of minimal standards on end-user certificates and of adequate licensing to decide on arms exports and brokering activities.


Flux Commerciaux et Contrôles des Transferts de Munitions Pour Armes Légères en Afrique

Le développement de contrôles spécifiques dans le cadre de la lutte contre le commerce illégal de munitions pour armes légères et de petit calibre a suscité un grand intérêt parmi les Etats, comme en témoignent les récents débats menés sur cette matière à l'échelon international. Le présent article comprend des informations contextuelles sur le commerce de munitions et sur les normes de contrôle existantes en Afrique, une des régions les plus touchées par la prolifération et l'utilisation illégale d'armes légères et de petit calibre et de leurs munitions.

Le chapitre qui suit étudie la problématique générale des contrôles de munitions pour armes légères et de petit calibre. Il est suivi par un aperçu des sources et transferts officiels autorisés de munitions pour armes de petit calibre à destination et en provenance de l'Afrique, ainsi qu'à l'intérieur de l’Afrique.

Les chapitres suivants sont dédiés aux normes de contrôle multilatérales valables qui existent en Afrique et décrivent les défis que l’Afrique devra encore relever pour instaurer des contrôles fiables des munitions. D'aucuns avancent qu'il existe de bonnes bases pour le développement de contrôles adéquats en Afrique. Pourtant, des efforts supplémentaires seront indispensables pour lutter efficacement contre les conséquences désastreuses de la prolifération et de l'utilisation illégale de munitions pour armes légères et de petit calibre ...


Ammunition Stockpile Controls : Further Steps at the Global Level

Ammunition controls were long neglected in international debates but some progress is made at the United Nations. A UN group of governmental experts reported on problems arising from ammunition stockpiles in surplus in July 2008. The group’s recommendations for further action at national, regional, and global levels were endorsed by the UN General Assembly in a resolution in December 2008. The steps that are taken at the UN have the potential to make an important practical contribution to building capacities for better ammunition stockpile controls.


Managing Land Borders and the Trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons

Border controls are an important dimension of the international efforts to combat the uncontrolled proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALW) and their ammunition. Indeed, even if their relevance sometimes seems to be challenged by some changes (such as new technologies and globalization), borders remain the most visible sign of the sovereignty of a State on its territory. Borders management are crucial to a State’s involvement in the protection of its population. The illicit trafficking of SALW across green borders is characterized by specific dynamics which must be taken into account in the actions to prevent it: a strong link between cross-border trafficking of SALW and other transnational crimes, the role of transborder communities and the fact that border areas can become a shelter for criminal groups, rebels or traffickers and finally the “ant trade”. Because these aspects have an impact on the demand in arms, the intensity and the direction of the traffics between neighbouring countries, they deserve particular attention in the efforts to strengthen border monitoring and control at checkpoints. For an effective border management several challenges must be highlighted. First, the flow of illicit SALW must be considered a separate issue when conceiving and organising the management. Second, controls at checkpoints must be optimised by clarifying the role of the agencies involved in border management and their human and technical needs according to realities on the ground. Controls at checkpoints must be reinforced by a careful and coordinated monitoring along the border. Measures also need to be taken upstream: national legislations, identification of the actors involved in trafficking by intelligence services, etc. A fourth issue is corruption which affects the very existence of border management. A stronger cooperation between agencies at intra- and inter-level as well as between populations in border areas and the political and administrative authorities can also contribute to a more effective border management. Finally, technology transfers and training, tailored to the needs of each State also prove of great importance.


Gouvernance, Rébellions Armées et Déficit Sécuritaire en RCA - Comprendre les Crises centrafricaines (2003-2013)

L’histoire de la République centrafricaine se confond avec celle des régimes militaires qui ont imprimé leur marque dans ce pays au cœur de l’Afrique. En décembre 2012, la rébellion Séléka a occupé la moitié nord du pays, mettant en déroute l’armée régulière. Le succès de cette offensive nous pousse à nous interroger sur les causes de l’instabilité sociopolitique dans ce pays et à dégager quelques perspectives au regard de l’Accord de Libreville du 11 janvier 2013.


L’industrie de défense indonésienne : la clef de la puissance ?

Depuis 2010, le gouvernement indonésien s’est engagé dans une ambitieuse stratégie de « revitalisation » et de développement de son industrie de défense. Entre optimisme économique, opportunités et contraintes politiques, enjeux stratégiques et défis opérationnels, la montée en gamme de l’industrie de défense indonésienne pose de nombreuses questions. Au travers du développement de l’industrie de l’armement, c’est toute la complexité de l’ "émergence" d’un pays et des stratégies d’influence de ses leaders qui s’impose. Cette Note fournit une introduction à une problématique multiple, dont les moteurs et lignes de fuite s’avèreront déterminants pour non seulement le comportement de l’Indonésie dans le commerce mondial des armements, mais aussi la stabilité en Asie-Pacifique.


La République démocratique du Congo vit-elle un scénario à la burkinabé?

La situation s'est brutalement tendue en République démocratique du Congo, où les manoeuvres du gouvernement en vue des prochaines élections présidentielles faisaient débat depuis plusieurs mois. Joseph Kabila, au pouvoir en RDC depuis l'assassinat de son père en 2001, a été élu en 2006 et 2011. Tandis que les élections de 2006 avaient mobilisé une très forte attention internationale et avaient notamment reçu un soutien très actif, financier et humain, de la part de l'Union européenne, les élections de 2011 avaient été entachées de davantage d'irrégularités.

Le second mandat du président Kabila arrivant au terme que lui fixe la Constitution l'année prochaine, des élections présidentielles devraient avoir lieu, auxquelles il ne devrait pas pouvoir se présenter. La Constitution établit en effet une limite de deux mandats présidentiels consécutifs. Les spéculations vont donc bon train depuis plusieurs mois autour d'une potentielle réforme de la Constitution par la majorité u
président Kabila afin de permettre le maintien au pouvoir de ce dernier.


Other Documents

Les Nouvelles du GRIP 1-2012

GRIP's Newsletter.

Other Document