More consensus needed over digital technology for ‘people and the planet’ |

“We have an important opportunity to build consensus on how digital technologies can be used for the benefit of people and the planet, while addressing their risks,” said Rosemary. DiCarlo, Secretary General for Political Affairs and Peacebuilding, speak the Security Council.

“But collective action by Member States remains essential to this end.”

Good digital technology

She notes that social media has transformed human rights and humanitarian advocacy, “making it possible for people to mobilize people around the world quickly and effectively around issues that need urgent action.” grant”.

To maintain peace and security, technical development has improved crisis detectionHumanitarian aid better prepositions and creates data-driven peace-building tools, she said.

And in conflict prevention, new digital tools have underpinned peacebuilding and peacebuilding, providing better information and early warning data, Ms. DiCarlo added.

She pointed to the United Nations Mission to support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA) in Yemen, using mapping and satellite technology to enhance cease-fire monitoring and increase the United Nations’ ability to “understand, analyze and respond to crises that may be technically digital and… address digital risks”.

Political support

Furthermore, new technology can aid political processes, especially in promoting inclusion.

In various peace talks, we used digital dialogues powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to reach thousands of interlocutorsto hear their views and priorities,” she said.

“This is a particularly useful way to reach traditionally excluded groups, including women.”

Safe and secure

They can also improve the safety and security of peacekeepers and civilian personnel on the ground.

“The launch of Peacekeeping’s digital transformation strategy represents an essential step towards this goal, and towards more efficient task performance – increasing the possibility of early warning,” said the politician.

These tools also help visualize information and deliver data-rich analytics to inform Security Council decisions – as illustrated by a recent virtual reality presentation on Colombia, highlighting the work of the United Nations on ambassadors.

Worrying trend

However, there are areas of concern, Ms. DiCarlo continued, citing estimates that the number of national and non-State-sponsored technology incidents used maliciously, has nearly quadrupled since 2015.

“Of the particular concern is infrastructure that targets operations that provide essential public servicessuch as health and humanitarian agencies,” she said.

At the same time, lethal autonomous weapons raise questions regarding human accountability when force is used.

Referring to the Secretary-General, she called machines with power and decision making that can take lives without human involvement as “politically unacceptable, despicable in terms of ethically and should be prohibited by international law”.

NGOs are becoming increasingly adept at using widely available and low-cost digital technologies to pursue their agendas.”, the UN official warned, noting that terrorist groups like Al-Qaida are actively using social media platforms for recruitment, planning and fundraising.

Rosemary DiCarlo, Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Peacebuilding, summarizes the Security Council meeting on technology and security aimed at maintaining international peace and security.

UN photo / Manuel Elias

Rosemary DiCarlo, Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Peacebuilding, summarizes the Security Council meeting on technology and security aimed at maintaining international peace and security.

Connecting challenges

From surveillance technologies that can target communities or individuals, to potentially discriminatory AI, she has drawn attention to the human rights impacts of new technology.

“We are also concerned about the growing use of Internet disengagement, including in dynamic conflict situations, where there is a loss of means of communication, work and participation,” said Ms. DiCarlo. community politics,” said Ms. DiCarlo, recalling Myanmar, where these incidents have increased in number and duration since last year’s military coup.

Furthermore, she continued, Social media can promote polarization and violence by spreading misinformation, radicalization, racism, and optimism. – increase tension and exacerbate conflict.

“In Ethiopia, as hostilities escalate, there has been an alarming increase in social media postings of incitement, some going as far as inciting ethnic violence,” said the senior UN official. United Nations reminded the Council. “We also know that misinformation can impede the ability of our missions to carry out their duties, by exacerbating falsehoods and fostering polarization.”

Move forward

While embracing the opportunities that new technologies present to promote peace, risks must be minimized and responsible use promoted by all.

Is motivated by Hate Speech Action Plan and communication initiatives such as VerifiedThe United Nations is working to reduce these risks by avoiding misconceptions and misunderstandings, Ms. DiCarlo told the meeting.

“However, more needs to be done,” she concluded, emphasizing Global Digital Agreement, which will outline shared principles for an “open, free and secure digital future for all”; the New Agenda for Peacetake a holistic view of global security’ and recommend Code of conduct for integrity in public information.

Digital rights

Briefing on virtual, Nanjala Nyabola, Director of Advox, Online Community Digital Rights Project, Global Voices, emphasized the necessity of upholding and enforcing digital rights.

“Over the past two decades, we have seen a significant expansion in the use of digital technology,” she said, however, “unfortunately not complimented by a similar investment in protecting ourselves from the harm that expansion has caused”.

The pace of technological advancement has created problems that could have been prevented at an earlier stage, Nyabola said, calling for a widespread moratorium on new surveillance technologies.

She turned the Council’s attention to digital access policies and internet shutdowns, highlighting how they negatively impact cultural and economic minorities and hinder access. women’s access.

“Digital rights are human rights,” she said, adding that users must be protected.

A student uses AVR technology at a school in Lao Cai province, Vietnam.

© UNICEF / Hoang Le Vu

A student uses AVR technology at a school in Lao Cai province, Vietnam.

Improve peacekeeping operations

Dirk Druet, an adjunct professor at McGill University’s Center for International Peace and Security Studies, highlights how sophisticated surveillance and language translation technologies can improve peacekeeping effectiveness and efficiency. .

He called on the UN to take a more deliberate truth-telling role in conflict zones and reminded that peacekeeping operations must develop their own digital technology protocols. beyond the countries they support.

Finally, Mr. Druet asserted that for local constituencies, telling the truth is directly linked to building trust, advocating for enhanced surveillance capacity and participation in the “information context.” trust” in conflict zones.

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