HELSINKI, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- Fabrizio Hochschild, UN assistant secretary-general for strategic coordination, gave UN drones and social media meetings as examples of peacetech at a Helsinki seminar focusing on the role of technology in solving conflicts.
Hochschild explained how in Ukraine a contact had been arranged between the conflicting sides over social media. "A virtual platform was created even though an actual meeting was not possible," he said.
Hochschild also described how drones have been used by the UN stabilization mission (MINUSCA) in Central Africa. There were only 12,000 UN peacekeepers for a country that is in its area like France and Belgium together.
"Drones could give an indication as to where the opposing sides were in danger of encountering and based on that information UN could be deployed in the area," he said.
UN Technology and Innovation Laboratory (UNTIL) opens in Espoo, part of the Finnish capital metroplex, this week. Besides peace and security, UNTIL will focus on health, education and circular economy.
Hochschild said Finland is an ideal environment for the laboratory, for example, because of the co-operation of private and public actors in the country.
"Peacetech is still in its infancy," Hochschild said, "but in the future it could help tracing emerging conflicts."
Through monitoring the language used in social media, early warnings could be obtained about emerging conflicts. "Peacetech could help coming to terms with social media that has become a force for disinformation and polarization".
Hochschild noted that for thousands of years wars were conducted on land and sea, and from WW2 in the air. But with the internet and social media, a new dimension was added.
He noted that the world community has reacted quickly to nuclear weapons through appropriate international agreements, but the cyber war control will require the participation of both the states and the private sector.