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UN conference cry’s for effective information handling

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Delegates at the preparatory conference for the 2023 United Nations Peacekeeping Ministerial in Kigali, Rwanda, on Monday stressed the urgent need for a robust approach to addressing information challenges within peacekeeping missions.

The two-day conference brought together a diverse group of participants, including government officials, international peacekeeping and peacebuilding experts, civil society organizations, academia, think tanks, and senior representatives from the United Nations, regional organizations, and military and civilian sectors from Africa and beyond.

During the conference, Rwandan Minister of Defense Juvenal Marizamunda highlighted the critical timing of the event, as peacekeeping missions worldwide confront substantial challenges in their deployments. “These challenges are particularly acute with respect to the core task of protecting civilians in a context where disinformation, misinformation, and hate speech are being propagated faster than ever through social media platforms,” he said.

Multidimensional peacekeeping missions face increasing challenges from armed groups involved in peace disruption, war economies, sexual violence, organized crime and drug trafficking, Marizamunda added. He said that no peacekeeping mission is immune to these threats, making it vital to manage the expectations of local populations and use technology effectively to counter false narratives and shape perceptions of UN Missions.

UN Assistant Secretary-General for Africa Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee called for comprehensive communication strategies aligned with political and security priorities, emphasizing the need for a robust approach to address information-related challenges across all mission components.

The UN Peacekeeping Ministerial serves as a crucial opportunity for member states to collaborate in strengthening the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations and their impact on the communities they serve. The 2023 Peacekeeping Ministerial is scheduled to be hosted by Ghana in Accra on December 5-6. The preparatory conference was a collaborative effort organized by Rwanda, Indonesia, Britain and the Netherlands.

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