One hundred years have passed, since the first World War ended, in 1918. The so called “Big War” is to be considered one of the major tragedy of the last century, the actual reason of huge economic, social, political and cultural changes, able to overturn our lives. The technology serving the cause of war is the main reason of those epochal mutations, turning fast and brutal struggles of the past in long lasting, static, no-contact conflicts.
As long as technology transformed and enhanced the impact of conflicts in the modern society, molding most of modern political balances, nowadays it is crucial to consider the so called “New Technology” one of the key weapon for the building and the maintenance of peace. “Technology”, in this contest, doesn’t have to be necessarily connected with the idea of more destructive and precise weapons. On the contrary, modern Hi-Tech tools might be particularly useful facilitating monitoring and observation procedures, data collecting (to create intelligence), vital to reduce the gap between warnings and responses on the field and, eventually, to ameliorate civilian protection activities.
The United Nations defines Peacekeeping as “A unique and dynamic instrument developed by the organization as a way to help countries torn by conflicts to create the condition for lasting peace”.
The word “dynamic” itself means a lot, because the instrument is supposed to be flexible, able to evolve and face different kind of challenges, to tangibly assist countries to make the difficult transition from conflict to peace.
Our world is changing faster and faster, and nothing is faster than modern technology, focused on performance and speed. This kind of velocity, moreover, has a big impact on economic development and social transformation. If the Peacekeeping instruments yearns for Dynamicity, a close attention must be paid to provide that instrument appropriate tools.
Unfortunately, for decades the technological innovation didn’t’ have a concrete effect on UN Peace Missions. The “Soldier’s Kit” of UN peacekeepers, for years, didn’t evolve, depriving Peace Missions of a wide range of capabilities necessary to operate effectively.
Nowadays, UN has definitively decided to invest on Modern Technologies. On 2014 the Department of Peace Keeping Operations (DPKO), together with the Field Support launched an expert Panel on Technology and Innovation, seeking to understand how to enhance missions effectiveness. From that moment on, many different venture has followed, focusing on enhanced modernity.
The 2017 “Cruz Report – Improving Security on UN Peacekeepers”, stressed that <<The United Nations must review and initiate efforts to rapidly equip troops with basic technology for improving security. High-level sophisticated technology will not give personnel the capabilities and information they need on the ground. Knowing know who is who, where and when will make it possible to prevent attacks and identify attackers. Then, basic technology will enable personnel to take action against attackers […]>>
On the other hand, new technologies present, as a matter of fact, not only opportunities but also new threats. Cybercrime, armed drones, cyber-soldiers or, at a lower level, a sloppy use of personal social networks by people deployed on the field, might be the cause of a leak of information (pictures, positioning, routes, names, dates and so on) and a consequent, mighty loss of security.
As we are going to see through the detailed studies in the following pages, presented by civilian and military experts, UN is definitively moving faster, having reached important goal in the field so far, longing to accomplish a perfect match between its peace strategies and new opportunities provided by innovation.
The CoESPU, on his side, following (and contributing to) UN strategies since a long time, plays a crucial role in this contest. Mr. Dmitry TITOV himself (Retired UN Founding Assistant Secretary-General) within his remarkable contribution to this number, stresses that our Center of Excellence is always ready to train police-contributors in all technology and innovations implemented by peacekeeping. An example of this vital feature might be found in the “MaGISTrA” room, realized in 2016 inside the CoESPU facility, to train attendees in “Command Post” and “Computer Assisted” exercises, with hi-tech training tools.
In this third issue of the Magazine, among other contributions, we provide an overview on UN Regulation about New Technologies, on the use of Social Media in Peace Operation, and we try to understand how the “Digital Forensic Activities” might be used on the field. We display a study on the modern approach to operational communications, and on possible influences of mobile technology in our memory. You’ll find, in the end, an interesting report on the way a Unique Carabinieri Unit, the “Cultural Heritage Protection” (TPC), uses Modern Technology (database, searching algorithms, and digital “App”) to perform in depth investigations, also to provide specialized support to Peacekeeping Operations.
|CoESPU Magazine 3 -2018.pdf