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­.n. Report Focuses on Modern Technology to Improve Peacekeeping Missions

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More than 200 Nepalese peacekeepers arrive in Juba, South Sudan, in February 2014.

A new report found that United Nations peacekeeping operations could benefit from more up-to-date technologies.

Credit: Isaac Billy/United Nations

United Nations (U.N.) peacekeeping missions should make better use of innovative technology to establish situational awareness, carry out mandates, and protect themselves, according to a report from the Expert Panel on Technology and Innovation in U.N. Peacekeeping.

The report offers numerous technology recommendations across a wide range of areas and issues, and notes certain principles should guide the U.N. in acquiring and using technology.

The panel says the focus should be on using widely available, but not proprietary, technologies that can be relatively easy to maintain, and prioritizing mobility with regard to maneuverability of assets and mobile information technology platforms, among others. For example, the report says mine-protected vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and smartphone innovations such as the UNMAS Landmines and ERW Safety application could help peacekeeping missions face the threat of landmines, explosive war relics, and improvised explosive devices in multiple languages.

However, the panel notes the U.N. also will need to address issues such as limited bandwidth, lack of interoperable systems, and cybersecurity. For the long term, the report says the U.N. needs to create a culture of innovation.

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