Nerds with Blue Helmets? Digital Innovation and Peacekeeping

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Nerds with Blue Helmets? Digital Innovation and Peacekeeping
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This session examines how digital media and technological innovation cannot only support post-conflict peacekeeping but also augment the strategies to foster more effective community development, to empower the victims of conflict and to strengthen the challenging process of peacebuilding.
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keep the please what comes you provides the hello everyone a very warm welcome to everyone here and that you're interested in this very interesting men and women rights behind the they're not the Smurfs uh the UN peacekeepers and serving uh all over the world and selling a very meaningful purpose and pieces and I also want to thank and German Federal Foreign Office of Rivera closer together with and the center the Centre for International Peace Operations normally goes by its German acronym 5th and were founded in the year 2002 by the German parliament and government and we work to strengthen civilian capacities for peace operations saw call mandate is to recruit and train civilian personnel and provide analysis and advice on peacekeeping and peacebuilding issues and as mentioned 1 of our closest partners the Foreign Office and we're thankful for the support and the resultant this will not be possible you so what is what of peace operations actually watch what we mean by this originally if ascribed unarmed military observers are likely come on you have afflicted people and just observing cease-fires and and peace agreements but this has changed quite a bit and our very complex world of today so they serve latitude of of task at the moment and a lot of more players on both at the moment so it's not only the United Nations it's also the African Union it's a European and audio CD uh most of you would probably know the observers and Ukraine the current example so the UN peacekeeping of peace operations in general and continue to serve in the highly fragile political and security environments all over the world and their characterized by increasing the difficult circumstances and challenges uh just 2 days ago actually there was some another deadly attack on UN peacekeepers in eastern Congo and 2 peacekeepers were killed and 4 us still missing so this shows us how grave and severe conditions can be uh currently over 100 so 20 thousand military police and civilian personnel serving over 16 missions on 4 continents for you and alone and 2 thirds of demand very specific context of significant levels of ongoing violence so why are we talking about innovation and and peacekeeping uh interestingly enough the UN reviewing its structures for peace and security at the moment and there are also taken a very close look at how new technology digital innovations uh but also other means can help them to fulfill their tests and there there was a UN expert panel the just released a report it's called performance peacekeeping that's highly recommended it's actually a very interesting read as long reports but it shows a little bit what is already out there and what is used by the a lot of people like you're those people sitting in the room and how the UN actually is trying to to learn from them and and use it for their purposes so uh our center supported actually this panel also with the workshop and that's the that's where we have the idea of coming here and bring together those different and thus different views and I just want to go into crawled from from the report of this Parliament acknowledge innovation this that that no mission can be expected to succeed in today's complex environments for their ability to innovate and make more effective use of technology and no advantage should be withheld from those looking for the cause of peace so I think that's a very positive note and yet we just want to sort of discussion and um I'm very glad that will have a Skype input from colleagues from from Congo from the mission there is called musical it's an interesting mission because it's um already there that has been working in the call for 15 years it's the biggest and loudest mission we have at the moment for the you and also the most expensive 1 and interestingly enough it's the very 1st admission that acquire the only capabilities in terms of unmanned aerial vehicles and we'll have to call with this dynamite and his 1 of all German experts his based in Goma his and in charge of the strategic planning cell of of musical and within this Lieutenant-Colonel Mathieu white uh he's an officer in the Royal Artillery of the British army and institution of the unmanned aerial systems and income going you will tell us little bit about how they are applying and they're UAV use in Congo and how it helps to operations but as so I also want to welcome the 3 other colleagues on the stage we have Africa's and gonna use social entrepreneur and from Rhonda and he will later on tell us about a very interesting initiative that he has found the dentist and networking with crowdfunding therefore for the purpose of this welcome
yeah I have I also have with us that John checking haggling freelance journalist and the social media activists from South Sudan and you will also give us some insights from from his country and the whole the media and innovation might play a positive role there but he was on stage that had last but not least very glad that you managed to get some John with as again is not just uh the 2 is actually a very good friend of Savannah probably 1 of the most knowledge of people and when it comes to social media and peacebuilding and peacekeeping issues and you is actually the rest multiple hats there but among uh uh many users special advisor to the ICT for Peace Foundation which is based in Geneva Switzerland uh where he works for the use of ICT cities in crisis information management and peacekeeping initiatives at the United Nations and little so as mentioned we will start off with you about colleagues from from the land use and in eastern Congo warm welcome to Rhode Island where the intimacy what it means to you if and talking about technology struggle that's getting the the afternoon just to go the it OK you can hear is right yeah yeah OK excellent really awful lot Q. this that is 0 me and if you just give your introduction actually have just realizing that we will have your power actually imperils I'll could do that and ugent can just have a general introduction and then we start with the presentation it what the the yeah it so this was I did you the the yes it would not let him the sample from 1 and the but my members that in my work and strategic planning so of the UN stabilization mission in the DRC so long as you know this must has been in place the past 15 years and we're seeing all kinds of you know innovations world them to 15 years and some the latest 1 I would say is the unmanned aerial systems and it reflects the importance of the mandate evolution and also the year Walton a Security Council actually sees for new technologies and peacekeepers some with every new capability and before you introduces you have to test that's so we as those basically saying we are in a pilot fates of the UAS and the mission and that of former highlights why we believe that your answers unimportant missile tests it's basically I'm increasing our situational awareness and we can monitor at the humanitarian situation and movements on the ground in a country which actually is characterized by a very very difficult topography of and that conditions that infrastructure is very hostile to move around so having a where they ask capability which he is actually the input increase and what we can see some on the grounds it also helps us to monitor a population movements and displacements and have also 1 you know and support humanitarian operations and it will also help us to increase on you know our awareness of the who mounted on maybe on groups which is obviously 1 of the biggest concerns that is the have tackling on groups in recent years the pendulum with our 1st of all I will hand over to men who will actually get into the technical specifications and show you some examples of how the US has been used so far and 1 is called gnostic sponsors and you're monster new ladies and gentlemen good morning i'm not and the blue helmet but I did where might be there especially for you I was these win 100 but not won't be work slowly on but not aligned frankly I'm an operator and they and operational commander of system so the deadline of announcing whether or from I really goes like 3 pleased with the capability capabilities the cell itself OK the the yeah the the well itself
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on lexical all the herbivores day and nite which is evolves most like but from the situational awareness perspective which is extremely important it from a military expects it or civilians that vaccine but it is not yet appreciated I think at each of the levels of in with each of the organizations what powerful so let's is gems of bringing them information about how I can then plan and execute various operations and and it's also very limited only by the imagination of all the task request and finally it does have a huge amount of arms that potential and and it will I believe as significant individually in operations and that includes the position that don't earn much fainter so much and thank you for a time thank you for this very interesting insights into the operations and I think now we're moving a little bits of from from the air above us through more to the ground I would like to hand over to route traffic this direction is from uh from around as I have mentioned Andrew them as you know as I there was the stage of 1 of the Dr. chapters of UN peacekeeping history and and there are still people that that are suffering from the genocide that took place but after this will actually shows how he is trying to help to to use some of the pain that that was done so just and over to them put up his presentation the thing In this the good morning everyone but I'm up for the small town that not come from to get you go and I this case closed k these uh for young interpre who as fresh graduates and I'm going to present to the initiative we started close each each initiative that as you know in London we had it in site where 1 more than 1 million of diet or aware kid in 100 days and um we have survivors of genocide so in cheated clearly explained 1st there would in cheating GTE's fluently in a negative way it means are in survivors of genocide who of more than 70 as and of course survived a alone but before I start at least we shall we do about this 51 1 seconds the dual and the addition of the class i and how it the thing that you have the movement in the rule and the and the in really the understanding that the the a and we use it all up the and moving all now think you know I want to show view of the story when liked how did they come with this idea but it's after visiting dismount she's quote cut it does seem that the cut up she's 85 she had 9 cheated before 94 genocide 8 for their where kids being doing the genocide in the surviving what was really it's and contracted HIV in 2002 passed away now these these for long you know she kernel talk and do not being wonder 75 % of under 35 the asphalt morbid contrition is you know civility passing out 11 million 7 million people poses mobile phone then I see it as a power what can I do so that they can these people because at that time I learned about the work 859 in the whole country I sibling create this simple is seen for the simplest acknowledging our we decided to create
a the a mobile crowdfunding count toward the simple you just take your you don't start 6 5 for price end up as to which was the language to have 3 languages in 1 the 1 hereunder English 3 French after choosing I ask you to such quiet because it's a 100 days initiated i as to the amount to donate the mean among these of of updates those events since you US dollars in the maximum of these 11 cents and NASA we had the objective of our you know providing a couple of me to these in the survivors of genocide by the CIA we decided to 2 unique and you know with for their houses and that as people we had something do not you know what is in our minds because something to give up the community we said listen to something for some people who you know who we never known as in who we never repay us so the reason why you know we had this quote to have believed to be untiI you have done something for someone who had never never repay you under we say that you know we can make you smile and take you are very much for your kind
attention have half of this has a very interesting initiatives very good and I think it shows that but also the potential and of of mobile penetration Africa which is among the highest in the world and I would like to know what to working and as mentioned as a journalist but also social media activities and you can give us some insights from about which is actually also at the moment and a country where we have U and piece operations the those things there's a whole Tobias about the the nerves with the with the blue helmet I just want to say that the the presentation with the slides from Congo where the the guys just 50 years is something users and let it is not there which I use maybe for a certain reason may be after sometimes because they know that the crisis has it any set containing the crisis of to some initiatives after after some push you might start thinking about the the very simple things that uh you are like the peacekeeping mission in answers to that is like also having sometimes is that that the what which I think we can even like that is something you the there can help more because we have like many of these remote areas where you and I think you and they only through the matter or do whatever where they've never been to other places and there's no accused of fire anybody saying that OK there's the in their communication infrastructure in these areas and because that is also with all this crisis at the time of communication is good we have like 5 telecom commute companies in the country and you would have allowed many kind you when we know by any atrocities happened in a certain area in the country after like when once and imagined after 1 month you know about 100 or 80 80 people killed in a certain area and then you're going to collect their dead bodies doing work with so I'm always have you know like issues in between there you window between the peacekeeping uh mission in the country as well as with the government but also from going to take it from the side of the U. N. uh UN was there actually actually too late for peacekeeping so they should find a way of keeping this not all not only being in the country by like even like come up with initiatives like having the more way and apps that uh citizens induced areas can alert you in of any potential attack or anything happened that you and then really rights and like this figure out what to do with it but the distance and that there always say no that you and so so then it is a very unique situation whereby it become like a playground where it is so a playful well blissful phi coefficient between you and between the mission and the government and then the people out of the victims of these decisions between you and and and the government I think you and also has a big role to play and to play by taking side with the people much of the time because it is the people who were dangers you when so there's a lot but I think this is somewhat something's missing uh which is which which I think I can tell from hundreds of them in all the technologies there have you have conga no help of 2 sometimes they can select thinking seriously by doing researchers and go to see all the conditions of the people around all of these areas and come up with something better than what we have here and it is really really bad that you and to know that people were killed someone up to 2 months sometimes we used to go with them to go to these areas and yet they don't fall shy to go there then Ireland and collect and then you wanted to press conference after 2 2 years of after 2 months when the press conference for you announcing organ people were killed and then you just know now uh and uh this is the numbers in this is the figures and this is some causes of the problem with this is that it's not your mission to collect by the Commission is to prevent that due to leg prevent anything that is going to affect the citizens in industry so I think there must be some good plan for technology to to to be used on the peacekeeping mission it is not only is between the government and then governing give you permission to go and rescue people because the government there like they they don't do that but they already already have dishes so I think that's a very good point in the future actually tried to notion that technology will not actually and supplant the need for human presence on the ground it's only 1 tool but it can enable peacekeepers to do the job better to be better informed to
gain situation awareness as the call as mentioned in the case of recent years the and yet as mentioned is only 1 to but it's definitely not a substitute for for the present as such I would like to hand over you and I think you would have a little bit about the central challenges that we're facing and how you might make use of all this new technology coming up in the data that is available a please and letters and that woman as I think the 1st 2 speakers and indeed there the mission from UNESCO's adjusted this variance in the adoption adaptation and availability of technology in various countries even just in in is presence I think that's 1 challenge but I have a couple of points i'd like to make in the time that I have maybe looking at a more macro perspective and a more future-oriented perspective as opposed to a country Suel context-specific um I take and as you mentioned the performance peacekeeping report by DFS peak is a very interesting 1 it's very beat the UN does not know that the logical how to make short some on reports about that but the but having said that is also very interesting um for what it has included in it I think to extrapolate from that there are a couple of points that I like to flag in particular 1 is that the age major living in instructors in Berlin but about based acknowledged today there is this problem of radical inclusion and the term is a spin-off on Sonja's radical transparency today for peacekeeping or peacebuilding enterprise that the real challenge is how do due to the multiplicity of voices on the ground because the democratization technology has happened to such a degree that potentially everybody every state order irrespective of where they are who they are what age they are what gender past cast all economic segment has a potential voice entities that politics the optics of the matrix the architecture that inclusion as well as exclusion that I think is going to be far more challenging than the more wanted the future ironically the evolution of technology is going to book make this in a sense more challenging but also open more potential and possibilities as well so that's a discussion that I think we need to have a long slide that I think all of us some of you are looking at the screen the not looking at us and that seems to be a feature of these kinds of conferences big simply because we would call this social witnessing you while at the same time petty fully cognizant of what is being spoken and happening around you but your attention is almost focus on that 9 5 4 3 inch or tablet in front of you and we are all on witnesses to what happens around us so it's not as if the journalists are the 1st ones to balance it as of the UN is the arbiter are the arbiters of truth anymore so social witnessing wherever the R is an interesting phenomena and I do you I think it's easy in our lifetimes everybody is probably going to have some kind of mobile device never in human history has the earth's population being addressable individually by a unique identifiable number and we don't even know what implications this might have a certain for peacekeeping and peacebuilding it does raise some interesting questions around as and the whole society when everybody is a potential witness in impacts and influences peacekeeping and peacebuilding a under good being that the foundation of that I think is something that is a bit of a white elephant in this room was because we have funders and other supporters of this kind of event from the likes of Google and Microsoft and be cooperate agencies like Facebook for example now the benevolence of these companies is often taken as a given however the privatization of i individual information think cooperate america is a concern the information that the UN needs to make actionable intelligence out of currently an increasingly is resident in corporate domains and he's hostage to the benevolence of corporate America now when the peace order and good it's a good thing and there are a number of examples that I think can be quoted in these companies often court as to how they had been peacebuilding and peacekeeping and humanitarian domains when it is a concern because all information is monetized primarily and is only secondarily effect on available for more charitable civil society peacekeeping and peacebuilding causes and effects now that is a question I liked a place for your consideration that there is also this talk of the data knowing country I know Big Data is probably a bit of a misnomer but the data can be taken in very different ways and there's no 1 single definition of it but if you take it as a given that there is more data produced today than ever before you have but if does that mean really does that mean that all of us particularly in our part of the world are empowered to a greater degree than we were in the past all that produces the primary on there's of this information in any degree ship or form better able to govern to architect to vision and to hope for a better life as a consequence of the data or is it the case that it is also common asymmetry that the purveyors the analytics of big data the people who can crunch the date of the people who ask for the data and the people who on the data are still very much reflective all of the public asymmetry within other communities within a country and subtly in the international arena so these are questions that I think we need to ask around the oft-quoted potential of Big Data to influence peacekeeping which I think is a given but
there's a darker side to it as well and finally in terms of disruptive technologies and we have seen for example you would use I is an interesting debate currently that's 1 of the hottest debates right now around how peacekeeping and peacebuilding can rest away the understanding of you is of as a as a confusion with the offensive capabilities of the drawings and predators for example used by the military so that's an interesting debate that's currently ongoing what I wonder for example just by the mere introduction of you with these with that's also a good thing for example if hold on is that images do the communities war have been reproduced all framed by this imagery have any kind of say in divisions that I've been made as a consequence of that imagery being available you saw for example over destroyed but there were several slides there that said classifier know what that means is that within the same mission force which ones the data does not as the forward share that information with an integrated mission and other actors in that mission so most itself has an asymmetry of intelligence cannot and does not show what it knows to other parts of the mission not do we talk about this or do we take it as a given that saving lives only Q. is by extension a justification for the promotion adaptation and adoption of this technology at a greater scale and I think that these are questions that need to be or lost because you itself is often the and we ask them not to be read the process but we ask it such that the process itself is strengthened and from a rights and ethical perspective are perspectives as the cost audience of that information as local communities is also protected so for example you have questions around informed consent what does it mean to be a citizen in the DRC or insults and how these things flying on top of fast where there might be an expectation of help and support but it's not may not be there and n by saying that currently the tragic earthquake that he near upon about of the Google brings to the forefront of some of the real concerns and challenges around you UAV operations in humanitarian effects uh there is absolute chaos on the ground and it is not entirely clear why but some news media reports also suggest that the Government of Nepal has banned UAV flights simply because there is a chaotic motley array of actors on the ground doing things not in harmony in collaboration and coordination and the government is slightly boring so these are these are new challenges and new concerns but as we move into the future I think technology is a given but I think as not live the former High Commissioner for Human Rights in opening address in March last year to the panel of the session on Human Rights in Geneva said drones you with vs and social media and the Internet these are new things to the domain of human rights and Arkansas that my concern enjoy chatting amongst this room is that they're all arrays needs to be and it could go rights-based perspective to the technologies we champion otherwise the outcomes for the best of intentions may be very far removed from what we desire to see in a peaceful would thank you you know have you very much for just a photo so very passionate uh talking and said let me just ask 1 question interestingly enough and amateur whether the audience is aware of the UN is still lacking a comprehensive policy itself for the use of social media and I think there's still it's on the way uh and and what is your what assistance answers is there really and a very good debate going on a they and knowing what the potential is so what what kind of role to we as a community or you recipe and you have to play if there is there's certain interface where the host communities can actually interact with the strategic debate in the York wherever we haven't was at work and in practice or this is apocryphal story about the tweeter from somebody in camp insulted on about that can would straight up to the head of WFP this was 7 years ago and it was kind of a wake-up call for the UN that it's about what it traditionally considered to be recipients all all victims all the but disaster when all people at the agency and it is now a given that the 1st responders to any disaster not you win but the committees on the ground themselves so if you take for example in Haiti in quick of 5 years ago and the nearby that quick a couple of weeks ago and take a look at sudden onset natural disasters but also complex political emergencies scenes in just the past 5 years I think it is not fashionable in more to be very honest with you to say that you are going to turn a blind eye to the plateau about the synonymy of social media information out there I can the challenges moved from trying to convince the you in that this is important to now hitting the you into say know what the hell do I do not even just out of the of the port city are you have a huge spectrum of unverified of voices at create the loss city in grade 1 you coming almost every single day so now the challenges of what on machine Albert level so you need supercomputing and great strides in computing power to deal with this information but you also need a human annotator capabilities as well to understand how people make the mistake of all this conflicting information intelligence and it's not the same you can be awash in information and completely devoid of intelligence that helps you to action something so I think this is another challenge for the US it is they've variance across agencies and departments but I can be you went past that up to this challenge with the up to be like Francis defined not because of it might across the board be convinced of it but I think that people have realized that if it doesn't do it quite frankly and bluntly put this is why level being a diplomat you and is going to be irrelevant OK thank you and I just want to give up the other 2 people the a chance to to react and maybe comment from from their individual perspectives before we open up and to the audience for some questions which I'm sure there might be some of uh evidence was so what's your oppression if you if you see that is that something and that see the future you have and have a greater role for for brought 4 words then seeing this in other respects so what they want to say is about you know the case you win missions in on the UN mission use the their
role is to protect the population and there so when they're going to protect the population but sometimes you use you see that the acting on on this side of the company so far I would like to show if you are on they 1 homegrown solutions of what's that run the mission themselves so that in central freak out doing we have something called the so-called conduct that is the community to walk where every last Saturday power we as according to equal to give that to clean the country or to to do something for the society and a you little run and the defense force out into the and and uh and the central because they started something you look to so cial output flows we the people where the 4 in the half Morgan that gave us where the initially they called me the population in the world to give us so that they the population their prisons thicker and then after that will go under they can have a meeting with the population interconnected table file you know we are having these who want to talk with you of all these you know they are now open to the population according to date this year the Hong Kong social thank you the thing that he wanted to get a local because of my and the services and is there a unique from ruined and from the him because we're totally like on the on the level of building things not only building like building the country where there's states will follow service and we did it with a mission is sedan the there's totally nor any uh uh like leans in there these 2 and the people that the mission is supposed to be there protecting and and them themselves whereby in many cases it happened which boarded the this example is that reason 15th of December and the crisis broke out in Dubai out of nowhere people follow what they now people are being taken to the you in this is not to the UN cans whereby there was no accounts actually you want to protect people to left lost people in those camps and then the question was like OK where did these people like the the uh organize what are we you and that going to move to the basis and for you and all that and sigh like organizing shelters for them in in basis which is not in their camps that was for the whole thing is that it so that 1 will always be a problem there because people know that you and doesn't have colliders not any interaction additional any like mutual all the debates with the between you and the territories that reason that these that a territory less emissions and the people in 1 place so whenever there's something both the government and the citizens so that people are going to accuse you and form you're going to accuse the mission and the mission will have no anyway of justification of whatever's happening because the only thing so so that no the only thing in in Dubai for example where the majority of you and then this is is that people only see the you and your caused by the UN vehicles coming and helicopters and everything but there's no light at the end of a relations you have to in the US and the people the only initiative that happened was that it happened lies year right after the crisis actually was the Rwandan battalions who study like building these bridges between the peacekeeping mission and the community and also the try to play causal link did to run communities in and you were by building they build 1 school actually in like to 1 of the biggest drew the dual role ever areas and they're like the really think about it the I really feel like it should be that it should be how the peace keeping these by them trying to link there people OK it is just the toolkit the run and say that there was a whole nation by trying to build a ties between 2 random people and that's so Sudanese and trying to teach so Sudanese about the Tromelin in Rwanda and like giving them examples of how the they're trying to cope and trying to forget that there are trying to do all the countries trying to a really live in peace and people said like really believe in them and we would like things sedan out in Dubai knowing what the media area is the random battalions of like the that that the soldiers people respect the sources that because of that because of that because of certain things happened and then the window with the London battalions come came coming to the rescue bill always be like respected but the so I think is a very good those does a very good example of that and that's actually a positive mode and that we can and just take a look here the colleges and show that the watch to me I think it's good to see that there are examples where the human presence on the ground really makes a difference and that we cannot do without the interaction of the of the troops on the ground of the local population and that there are some ways of enhancing this direction by a by a new social media means whatever and I think it's also very good uh the message that that's son John told us that the UN is actually receiving those signals signals and they're they're worried about it they concerned about it they grapple with that conceptually and are on their way to to fuse it into their their work and I think there's there's scripts uh things to come in the future and I think it's for all of us through to shape disobey also and and just point the fingers at the critical moment John said the privatization of data is a big issue and worlds to data and how do we use it but I think there's there's some some good potential and the I would invite everyone you to shape the debate and and get involved and if you really see some potential for if you're a developer and and say I have this idea to free to approach us or even the you and maybe we can we can work something else and come up with a tool and that will help us to do to make the world a better place so thanks a lot for your attention and I wish you a very good configuration of the value
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