Keeping Watch

Monitoring Technology and Innovation in UN Peace Operations

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Knowledge is power. In the hands of United Nations peacekeepers, it can be a power for peace. Lacking knowledge, peacekeepers often find themselves powerless in the field, unable to protect themselves and others. This book explains how technologies can increase the range, effectiveness and accuracy of United Nations observation. It also identifies potential problems and pitfalls with modern technologies and the challenges to incorporate them into the United Nations system. It examines the few cases of technologies effectively harnessed in the field and offers creative recommendations to overcome the institutional inertia and widespread misunderstandings about how technology can complement human initiative in the quest for peace in war-torn lands.



Monitoring: The constant need

Monitoring is a basic function of all UN peace operations, past and present, and in some cases it is the primary function. All mission mandates have included observation, monitoring (i.e. observation over time) or verification (i.e. monitoring to determine if parties are living up to agreements). Almost two dozen missions have had these tasks explicit in their mission names. The peace operations created in the twenty-first century have been explicitly tasked by the Security Council to monitor many activities and areas, including


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