On 17 May 2021, the Permanent Missions of the UAE, Mexico, and Switzerland to the UN, together with the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), co-hosted a panel discussion to hear perspectives from technology innovators and other experts on how frontier technologies could be better utilized by the UN system to ensure the delivery of public goods. The panel was moderated by Teresa Whitfield of UN DPPA and featured interventions from H.E. Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications; Robert Kirkpatrick of UN Global Pulse; Anna Ekeledo of AfriLabs; and Maude Morrison of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue.
With rapid technological change, there is a growing recognition of the multiple ways in which advanced technologies can be applied to enhance the effectiveness of conflict resolution, peacebuilding and mediation. Speakers highlighted how new technologies ranging from Artificial Intelligence to virtual reality can be better utilized by the UN system to further international peace and security. They also emphasized the importance of leaving no one behind in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the need for investment and action to bridge the digital divide. Innovation was expressed as key to capitalizing on the potentials of technology, as well as the importance of strengthening multi-stakeholder partnerships, particularly with the private sector and between governments.
As a candidate for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for 2022-2023, the UAE expressed its commitment to promoting a culture that embraces technology to better prepare for future challenges and its interest in further opportunities to convene around this critical issue area.