At a time when governments and various other groups are using modern technologies to shape conflicts around the world, the UN’s involvement in digital transformation feels long overdue.
Still, the intragovernmental organization just released its new digital strategy for peacekeeping in which it outlines how new technologies can be also used to help improve such missions, as well as the security and safety of the peacekeepers themselves.
In the document, the UN says the technology can be used to better understand various conflicts and create an “agile and responsive mandate implementation”.
Conflicted sides use technology for all sorts of things, from misinformation and disinformation, to inciting violence, to cyber-warfare, to surveillance and group gathering control.
“For peacekeeping, understanding an ever more fragmented, expanding and constantly shifting conflict landscape requires a mission to continuously digest, structure, re-structure and analyze large amounts of information, and to respond in a timely manner,” the strategy reads. “Peacekeeping mandates, and responsibilities to protect personnel, make the use of digital technologies a necessity in today’s world.”
In the strategy, the UN set out four goals, including innovating and creating a liaison function, making sure users and developers work together to match the challenges brought upon by mandate implementation, better connecting UN peacekeepers on the ground, with the UN headquarters, and to make sure missions are carried out more efficiently and effectively.
To put the plan to action, the UN will need a digital transformation team, and its peacekeepers will need to go through digital skills training, the document concludes.