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

Digital tools can strengthen information-gathering and early-warning capacity but the risks they pose must be addressed (Photo via UN)

(United Nations News) While digital technologies have offered “boundless opportunities” for sustainable development, education and inclusion, the UN political chief warned on Monday that there is also a clear downside.

“We have a critical opportunity to build consensus on how digital technologies can be used for the good of people and the planet, while addressing their risks,” Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, told the Security Council.

“But collective action by Member States remains essential towards this goal”.

She noted that social media has transformed human rights and humanitarian advocacy, “making it possible to mobilise people around the world quickly and efficiently around issues requiring urgent action”.

In maintaining peace and security, technical developments have improved the ability to detect crises, better pre-position humanitarian aid, and create data-driven peacebuilding tools, she said.

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

She pointed to the UN Mission to Support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA) in Yemen, which uses mapping and satellite technology to enhance ceasefire monitoring and increases the UN’s ability to “understand, analyse and respond to crises that may have a digital dimension, and…address digital risks”.

Read more at: United Nations

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