UNTIL Sets the Agenda for Tech at Stockholm Peace Forum

Stockholm, Sweden – A discussion on technology hosted by UNTIL at the annual Stockholm Forum Peace and Peace signalled a shift among development leaders on how access to technology can be a driver for and impediment to peace.

 

“Increasing complexity of conflict situations requires new understandings and mechanisms,” Maria Mekri, a consultant for UNTIL, said in opening remarks. “Technological solution may aid not just our understanding of conflict but also create tailored solutions for local conflict drivers.”

The field of Peace-Tech remains fairly new but the UNTIL roundtable was able to focus conference attention on the role of technologies in conflict prevention.

Key Takeaways:

-- Technology can be used for war as well as for peace. In an increasing and fast changing world, technologies cannot be seen merely as a tool. Tech changes the world, the individual, and how do humans relate to each other and the ongoing development of technology and humanity is very intertwined.
-- Most technology is currently being developed by private companies seeking to monetize and sell their products, creating challenges for its wide use and in global governance.

-- At the grassroots level, Peace-Tech initiatives are already being used for peacebuilding in user-based initiatives. It is also being used for open participatory peace processes. Nonetheless, the issue of security and data protection remains a challenge.

Key Recommendations:

-- Push past the initial stage of understanding how technology and innovation has a role in peace and begin charting practices.

-- Empower peacebuilders, activists, and academics to fill gaps of information making it possible to identify patterns and trends in conflict.
-- Cyber and technological attacks to basic infrastructure, such as broadband and communication, should be taken in consideration in the humanitarian sphere.