SPECIAL SESSION on ICT FOR PEACE
At the November 2005 World Summit on the Information Society held in Tunis, the so-called Tunis Commitment (see http://www.itu.int/wsis/docs2/tunis/off/7.html for the full text) valued the potential of ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) to promote peace and to prevent conflict which, inter alia, negatively affects achieving development goals. ICTs can be used for identifying conflict situations through early-warning systems, preventing conflicts, promoting their peaceful resolution, supporting humanitarian action, including protection of civilians in armed conflicts, facilitating peacekeeping missions, and assisting post conflict peace-building and reconstruction.
The organizers of this special session are all actively involved in the efforts of the ICT4Peace Foundation (www.ict4peace.org) to raise the awareness of and mainstream the Tunis Commitment in all stages of planning and executing crisis management and peace operations, and to enhance the performance of the international community in crisis management through the application of ICT that can facilitate effective and sustained communication between peoples, communities and stakeholders involved in crisis management, humanitarian aid and peacebuilding.
Crisis management is defined, for the purposes of this process, as civilian and/or military intervention in a crisis that may be a violent or non-violent with the intention of preventing a further escalation of the crisis and facilitating its resolution. This definition covers peace mediation, peace-keeping and peace-building activities of the international community. Victims of man-made and natural disasters as well as violent and protracted ethno-political conflict are often severely disadvantaged on account of existing ICT mechanisms that fail to adequately facilitate knowledge and information transfers, augment collaboration and complement multi-stakeholder initiatives.