Expert Panel on Technology and Innovation in UN Peacekeeping

 

Walter Dorn served on the UN Panel whose final report "Performance Peacekeeping" was released on 19 February 2015 at www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/resources/reports.shtml, linking to www.performancepeacekeeping.org, where the report can be downloaded as a pdf (also available from this site as a pdf, 11 MB).

Below you will find:
- the UN announcement (pdf) for the creation of the panel
- the UN Press Release after the conclusion of the panel's work. "Experts urge technology boost for UN peacekeepers in ‘rapidly evolving, complex world’"
- the Note to correspondents on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's website regarding the panel.

 

Establishment of the Panel

PRESS RELEASE (4 June 2014, pdf)

USGs Announce Expert Panel on Technology and Innovation in UN Peacekeeping

Under-Secretaries-General Hervé Ladsous (DPKO) and Ameerah Haq (DFS) announced today the appointment of a five-member Expert Panel to advise them on how best to use new technologies and innovations to benefit United Nations peacekeeping.

The Panel will be led by Ms. Jane Holl Lute (United States), a seasoned expert on peace and security who is currently the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for Relocation of Camp Hurriya Residents Outside of Iraq. The four other members of the Expert Panel are Lieutenant General (retired) Abhijit Guha (India), Major General (retired) Michael Fryer (South Africa), Major General (retired) Ib Johannes Bager (Denmark) and Dr. Walter Dorn (Canada).

The members bring considerable experience and understanding of Peacekeeping and in particular the need for new technologies and innovations to improve performance in carrying out the critical tasks entrusted to peacekeepers. The initiative is part of a concerted effort by both Departments to realize efficiency gains and cost savings from the use of new and emerging technologies and innovations. The Panel will advise on how these technologies can be leveraged to enable peacekeepers to respond more effectively to an increasing number of complex, multidimensional tasks in challenging field environments. It will also examine how technological innovations can improve operational effectiveness, multiply impact and enhance safety and security of both Peacekeepers and host communities.

The Expert Panel will visit field missions and consult widely with Member States, partner organizations with similar field operations, non-governmental and governmental research institutions and think tanks as well as industry leaders in areas of interest to United Nations peacekeeping. The Panel will convene in early June and its final report is expected to be released by November 2014. It will recommend how the two Departments can benefit from ongoing technological innovations in a systematic and integrated manner in the longer term.

4 June 2014

 ATTACHMENT TO PRESS RELEASE

Biographical Notes on Expert Panel on Technological Innovation in UN Peacekeeping Members

Jane Holl Lute served as Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support in 2008 and as Assistant Secretary-General for Mission Support in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations from 2003 to 2008. She has also served as the former United States Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security (2009-2013). Prior to joining the UN, Ms. Holl Lute was executive vice president and chief operating officer of the United Nations Foundation and the Better World Fund. She served on the National Security Council staff under Presidents Bush (41) and Clinton and had a distinguished career in the United States Army.

Abhijit Guha has recently concluded a term as the Director of the Office for Peacekeeping Strategic Partnerships in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and also served as the former Deputy Military Adviser in the Department from 2010 until 2012.

Michael Fryer served as the Police Commissioner for UNAMID (2007-2010). Prior to that, he headed the South African Police Force’s Specialized Operations Division and also served as Commander of the South African Special Task Force.

Ib Johannes Bager retired from the Danish Army as a senior commander for NATO and a specialist in signals and communications technologies. He is currently historical adviser to the Danish Army, reorganizing Army archives to incorporate IT-based installations and exhibitions.

Walter Dorn teaches at the Canadian Forces College and at the Royal Military College of Canada. He is a professor of defence studies and until recently served as Chair of the Department of Security and International Affairs. Mr. Dorn has been studying and advocating for technology and innovation in UN peacekeeping for two decades and is an author of a book and many articles on the subject. 

 

PRESS RELEASE (UN News Centre)

Experts urge technology boost for UN peacekeepers in ‘rapidly evolving, complex world’

20 February 2015 – A group of United Nations experts have urged the Organization’s peacekeeping presence to incorporate technological advances into its operations in order to better confront the dynamic challenges of the 21st century, the UN’s spokesperson’s office said today.

The findings of the five-member Expert Panel on Technology and Innovation, led by peace and security expert Jane Holl Lute, include a number of practical recommendations that call on the UN Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support to keep pace with innovation and to take full advantage of readily available and existing technologies that are considered essential to success in the field.

“In a rapidly evolving and complex environment, UN peacekeeping must be ready to respond to a vast array of challenges,” Ms. Lute declared in a note to the press issued by the Office of the UN Spokesperson. “Being able to transition to a culture that values innovation is central to being able to execute more effectively on peacekeeping mandates.”

Scattered across vast countries and forbidding territories, UN peacekeeping missions frequently encounter challenges in executing their mandates. Over the past year, however, the UN has steadily ramped up its use of technology in the field in order to assist its missions with monitoring efforts.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where unwieldy terrain, dense forests and vast distances can debilitate the UN’s response time to an emergency, the introduction of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has had an immediate impact. In one instance last year, a UAV detected a ferry accident in Lake Kivu, in the country’s east, instantly prompting the UN peacekeeping mission in the country to dispatch its speedboats and helicopters to the scene. The ‘blue helmets’ quick response led to the rescue of 15 people.

“No advantage should be withheld for those working for peace,” Ms. Lute continued. “Missions must deploy with at least the same technological advantages that most governments and enterprises around the world now find indispensable to their daily operations.”

The panel’s findings were based on several field visits and interviews with Member States, partner organizations, and partner organizations with similar field operations.

Along with the critical upgrade of field technology, UN blue helmets are also aiming to ‘go green’ through the responsible use of limited resources, in a bid to leave mission areas in better shape than when they arrived. Among other steps, GIS data is being used to help find water sources for missions so as not to compete with the local water supply.

Missions are also including waste water treatment plants designed to drastically reduce the need for water and generation of disposable waste, as well as exploring alternative sources of energy such as solar panels.

 

BAN KI-MOON (UN Secertary-General's Website)

NOTE TO CORRESPONDENTS 

New York, 20 February 2015


The Expert Panel on Technology and Innovation in UN Peacekeeping released its report today on how new technologies and innovations can best benefit United Nations Peacekeeping.

The five-member panel of independent experts, led by Jane Holl Lute, was appointed in June 2014 by Under-Secretaries-General Hervé Ladsous from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Ameerah Haq from the Department of Field Support to recommend ways in which the technological foundation of peacekeeping operations can be strengthened in order to increase operational effectiveness.

“In a rapidly evolving and complex environment, UN Peacekeeping must be ready to respond to a vast array of challenges. Being able to transition to a culture that values innovation is central to being able to execute more effectively on peacekeeping mandates,” said Ms. Lute.

The Panel’s findings were based on several field visits and interviews with Member States, partner organizations with similar field operations, non-governmental and governmental research institutions and think-tanks as well as industry leaders in a variety of sectors of interest to United Nations Peacekeeping.

The report features a number of practical recommendations to keep pace with innovation and to take full advantage of readily available and existing technologies that are essential to success. “No advantage should be withheld for those working for peace. Missions must deploy with at least the same technological advantages that most governments and enterprises around the world now find indispensable to their daily operations,” added Ms. Lute.

The full report is accessible online: http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/resources/reports.shtml