Delivered by: His Excellency Omar Sultan AlOlama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications
At the outset, I’d like to express my appreciation to our colleagues from the Russian Federation and congratulate them on a successful Presidency of the Council last month. I wish the same to Switzerland during its Presidency of the Security Council this month.
We thank Switzerland for organizing today’s meeting, and also High Commissioner Türk, Youth Ambassador Chigwenya, and Professor ‘Funmi Olonisakin for their insightful briefings. We also thank the Peacebuilding Commission for their written advice on this important topic.
Too often, future generations do not have a voice in our policy decisions and discussions, yet every decision we make will impact the world that they will inherit. It is our duty to be good stewards, not only to focus on current challenges, but to set the foundations for lasting peace.
We appreciate the emphasis in today’s discussion on future-proofing peacebuilding. This Council responds to crises in the here and now, but exactly how we do so has long-lasting impacts on the sustainability of peace.
The lives of millions of people depend on the cumulative effect of each decision we take to build peace.
Accordingly, I would like to emphasise four points to inform our discussions today.
First, inclusion remains critical for peacebuilding.
Peacebuilding must be both for all and by all, because policymakers alone are not the sole drivers of progress.
The full, equal, and meaningful participation of women and inclusion of youth can ensure that decision-making processes address actual needs. Incorporating their input contributes to building and consolidating trust. Alignment of peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts across municipal, national, regional, and international spheres helps engage communities at different levels. Meanwhile, civil society actors, those from academia and the private sector, have the potential to amplify peacebuilding efforts from their unique perspectives.
Second, the institutional reforms must ensure that the peacekeeping architecture is fit for purpose.
By strengthening the peacebuilding architecture, we can help address a broader range of long-term challenges, such as climate change, extremism, the global public health emergencies, and others. This also includes linking more effectively the work of peacebuilding and financial institutions.
The UAE looks forward to discussing the recommendations of the High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism in order to preserve global public goods for present and future generations as well.
Third, it is crucial to address hate speech, racism, intolerance, misinformation, and other manifestations of extremism. These forces are threat multipliers. Sowing the seeds of division, they erode the social fabric of communities, engender instability, and undermine all efforts towards peacekeeping.
In contrast, the promotion of tolerance and human fraternity builds mutual trust and promotes social cohesion, which are critical foundations for peace.
The emergence of new, powerful technological tools that can be used to connect or divide the world makes it imperative for all of us to pursue a common approach that addresses and guides the proper use and governance of these tools.
These positive uses can be seen in providing accurate, informed, and reliable data. Digital tools can help counter narratives of intolerance and hate that fuel extremist ideologies and undermine peace.
This leads me to my fourth and final point: the need to harness digital technologies and innovative technologies to build and sustain peace.
Data is key. It can provide unparalleled insights into the root causes of conflict, encompassing social, economic, and political factors as well. Data can also function as an enabler for peace, stopping conflicts in their tracks by using geographic information systems to predict the outbreaks of violence and monitor ceasefires.
This speech was written by a human, but soon, may be written by an artificial intelligence agent, such as ChatGPT, or others. These technologies that are progressing at exponential speeds have the ability to magnify peacekeeping efforts or affect them negatively.
Alongside the infinite potential that these technologies have, there’s also a chance that these tools can be leveraged by bad actors to manipulate public opinion and affect peacekeeping altogether. It is therefore imperative that we, as a collective multilateral body, engage the relevant stakeholders, including the private sector, to ensure that we’re able to benefit from its development.
Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, finally,
I’d like to mention that the UAE has been a long-time advocate of anticipatory action that aims to disburse resources and drive preventative work based on credible forecasts of climate change-induced disasters. Taking every action has the potential to make a difference, and the Secretary General’s Early Warning for All initiative could provide a significant boost to scaling up anticipatory action. We urge the UN to employ early warning systems more broadly and at scale.
Peacebuilding is not simply a preserve of the present. It is also the proactive step required for us to prevent conflicts before they begin, before they escalate, and before they evolve into protracted struggles.
The UAE will continue supporting these efforts in order to shape peaceful and resilient societies for future generations.
Thank you very much.