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Annual Report 2006

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Release date: 2006-04

In 2006, BICC (Bonn International Center for Conversion—Internationales Konversionszentrum Bonn) is launching a new publication series: the Annual Report. With this new publication we intend to comment on our three key areas of work – arms control, measures to establish peace, and conflict – as well as analyze worldwide armament and disarmament trends. But we also want to provide better insight into BICC’s work by including short articles describing the experience, objectives, results and key research areas of selected projects. A Financial Report is also included to provide information on BICC’s financial situation. In short, we want to inform the research world, our potential clients and the broader public about our work in greater detail.

The leading article in this year’s Annual Report is entitled “How can peace be established?—Successes, failures and challenges”. BICC regards conversion as the transformation of military processes, activities, resources and structures. Conversion as defined by BICC also supports conflict prevention and reconstruction in post-conflict situations. The question of how to build sustainable peace discussed here is of decisive importance against the background of the various conflicts that are smoldering or repeatedly flaring up, for example in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. What are the ‘sore points’ that make many violent conflicts so persistent? Has the international community learned from its mistakes? What contributions can arms control, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, security sector reform and crisis prevention make? 

These commentaries are underpinned by an evaluation of international trends in the field of armament and disarmament. This analysis of available data indicates a continuing worldwide trend towards increased military expenditure. But what does this mean for regional conflict constellations? What conclusions can be drawn about the relationship between security and development? What does human security involve? Together with the leading article this analysis carries on from BICC’s former yearbook, the “Conversion Survey”, which appeared for ten years up to 2005 and analyzed global trends armament and disarmament.

Some articles in this Report are devoted to individual BICC projects. The article on TRESA (Training and Education on Small Arms), for example, describes experience with internationally recognized training modules in the field of small arms control. Another article explains a new BICC database on arms exports and research on the German and European arms industry. The articles on the connection between the use of natural resources and conflicts describe “Transboundary water management” and the “Role of external stakeholders in civil war economies in Africa south of the Sahara”. The Annual Report also includes information about research projects on United Nations Integrated Peace Missions and national as well as international experience with, and the prospects of, base conversion. The exhibition project entitled “Millennium Development Goals 2015—Acting globally for poverty reduction, peace and development” can also be regarded as representative of BICC’s public relations and educational work.