Skip to main content

The UN is finally getting on board with digital transformation

United Nations
(Image credit: Flickr / sanjitbakshi)

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.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.