At the United Nations (UN), Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the UN, moderated a panel on “Utilising Modern Technology in Peacekeeping Operations to Improve Security for Women and Girls.” The panel discussion was the second part of a Panel Series on Women, Peace and Security hosted by the UAE, in partnership with UN Women in its role as the Secretariat of the Global Study on the Implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), and the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security

The panel brought together widely-recognised experts on the topic, including Herve Ladsous, Under-Secretary General of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, David Haeri, Director of the Policy, Evaluation and Training Division at the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support, and, Sarah Williamson, Founder and Managing Director of Protect the People

Ambassador Nusseibeh emphasised the unique and vital role that women play as leaders and decision-makers in conflict and disaster zones. “Women are uniquely situated to employ these technologies in conflict and post-conflict areas, despite the fact that they tend to have unequal access. The field of women, peace and security recognises that women represent an often-untapped resource in conflict prevention and peacebuilding.” “The UAE supports women’s roles in peacebuilding as leaders and decision-makers within formal and informal processes. In the UAE, women are active in government, business, and civil society; women play a prominent role in the economy and are represented in our military and police forces. The UAE is consistently striving towards the full participation of women in all facets of society.” Ambassador Nusseibeh added, “Women bear a differential burden during conflict, but also tend to be most attuned to the needs of the local community. By making these technologies available to women – and ensuring they are developed with gender-sensitive criteria – women are better able to protect their families and communities through information sharing, reporting and documenting abuses, and coordinating responses to crises.” The panel discussion highlighted the multiple ways to harness technology in conflict and post-conflict societies in order to improve security for women and girls within the context of peacekeeping operations. Ambassador Nusseibeh spoke to the multiple uses of innovative technology, such as Big Data to inform crisis response and to better protect civilians. “Social media and mobile phones have increasingly been used in conflict situations to coordinate emergency relief and share information

Ladsous provided the discussion with examples of technology that can better protect civilians. He also highlighted technology’s use in early-warning systems and enhanced awareness. “Technology can empower women and girls to share information.” Haeri echoed these remarks, looking at technology not just in terms of early warning, but also how women can use technology to increase their political participation. “We need to think of women as empowered actors who can shape the peace process.” Williamson provided real-life examples of projects using technology to empower women and girls in humanitarian crises and peacekeeping operations. Further, Williamson applauded Ambassador Nusseibeh for developing this timely panel series on Security Council resolution 1325 (2000

The series of Panels sponsored by the UAE will substantively contribute to the Global Study to review the progress and challenges of resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security. Each panel will result in a summary, written in partnership with the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, reflecting the discussions. These summaries will inform the Global Study, and will be available on UN Women’s web portal. The UAE has also contributed financially to the study

Future panel discussions will highlight women’s access to justice after conflict and economic empowerment in post-conflict situations