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Good morning, this is Pip. Today, we’re hearing how new digital tools are changing the peacebuilding landscape, and why mediators need to be more prepared for cyber risks.

And, ahead of the Building Bridges sustainable finance summit next week, the ICRC's Gilles Carbonnier explains how an innovative financial scheme launched by the organisation four years ago is already making big humanitarian gains.

photo journaliste

Pip Cook


Why peacekeepers need digital tools to respond to cyber threats

Photo article

(Credit: Keystone/EPA/Sascha Steinbach)

Digital tools are changing the peacebuilding landscape, for better and for worse. Traditionally a low-tech field in which face-to-face interaction is key, the work of peacekeepers has typically relied on emotional intelligence, empathy and human creativity to find common ground between conflict parties.

However, as conflict is increasingly digitised, with adversaries now waging wars online using misinformation and social media, peace mediators need to keep up to speed and adapt their own operations.

A number of digital technologies have become more common in the peacebuilding world in recent years, such as sentiment analysis software to help organisations get a better understanding of local populations, or geographic information systems (GIS) which allow mediators to monitor the respect of ceasefires and observe migration patterns during conflicts.

But with the uptake of AI-powered digital tools comes risk, explains Francesca Bosco, chief of staff at the CyberPeace Institute in Geneva, which has been looking into the impact of this digitisation on mediators and peace builders.

Read more on Geneva Solutions

Opinion piece of the day

Photo article

ICRC’s physical rehabilitation centre in Kabul where a landmine survivor has been fitted with prosthetic limbs, 2018. (Photo: ICRC/Roya Musavi)

When your investment helps people with disabilities to walk. In September 2022, private individuals who have invested in the ICRC's “humanitarian impact bonds”' will see the return on this innovative financial vehicle. The organisation’s vice-president, Gilles Carbonnier, says the gains are already there for the hundreds of victims who have been able to access a rehabilitation centre. Translated from Le Temps, this piece was commissioned ahead of Building Bridges, the sustainable finance conference, taking place next week in Geneva.

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