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India in collaboration with UN launches tech platform for peacekeepers

PTI United Nations | Updated on August 19, 2021

UNITE Aware is a situational awareness software programme that will utilise modern surveillance technology for real time threat assessments to peacekeepers

India, in collaboration with the UN, on Wednesday, launched a technology platform to ensure the safety and security of peacekeepers who are operating in an increasingly complex and risky environments across the world.

The launch of the UNITE AWARE platform came as India assumed the Presidency of the 15-nation UN Security Council for the month of August.

The project, for which India has contributed USD 1.64 million, was launched in the presence of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar here at the UN headquarters.

Technological improvements

Later, in his address to the UN Security Council’s open debate on Technology & Peacekeeping, Jaishanakar said that UN peacekeeping “simply cannot” afford to cede the information advantage to actors determined to undermine prospects for peace by using modern technology to aid their violent cause.

“21st-century peacekeeping must be anchored in a strong ecosystem of technology and innovation that can facilitate UN peacekeeping operations in implementing their mandates in complex environments,” he said.

He said the international community must focus on operationally proven, cost-effective, widely available, reliable and field-serviceable technologies that must also prioritise mobility, both in the sense of agile manoeuvrability of mission assets and in the sense of the use of mobile digital/IT platforms.

He called for contributing to ensure that technological improvements are continuous and are available on the ground, in the gear that peacekeepers carry and the weapons and tools they use to enhance their mobility, performance, endurance, range, and load-carrying capabilities while guaranteeing their safety and security.

He said that consistent training and capacity building of peacekeepers in the realm of technology also needs attention and investment.

Real time threat assessments

Jaishankar, addressing reporters at the Security Council stakeout after the open debate, said that UNITE Aware is a situational awareness software programme that will utilise modern surveillance technology for real time threat assessments to peacekeepers and help them enhance their security. This will access live video and satellite imagery, and in very volatile circumstances can also deliver early warnings to peacekeepers. It can also record data on critical incidents and events and follow daily operational activities.

Using the platform, the entire peacekeeping operation can be visualised, coordinated, and monitored on a real time basis.

India has developed the technology platform in partnership with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Operational Support.

This project aims to demonstrate the impact of modern surveillance technology on the detection of asymmetric threats. The project aims to improve camp security for UN peacekeepers, the overall security situation, and the quality of situational awareness, the Ministry of Affairs said in New Delhi earlier.

India has partnered with the UN to roll out the UNITE Aware platform initially in four UN Peacekeeping Missions: MINUSMA (Mali), UNMISS (South Sudan), UNFICYP (Cyprus) and AMISOM (Somalia).

Published on August 19, 2021

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