Closing Remarks by Hon. Mr. N.P. Saud, Minister for Foreign Affairs at the 7th Partnership for Technology in Peacekeeping Symposium, 16 June 2023, Kathmandu
Under- Secretary General of United Nations, Department of Operational Support, Mr. Atul Khare
Assistant Secretary Generals of the United Nations
Chief of the Army Staff, General Prabhu Ram Sharma
Secretaries of the Government of Nepal
Excellencies the Ambassadors,
UN Resident Coordinator to Nepal,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
- It has been an absolute honour and privilege for Nepal to host the “7th Partnership for Technology in Peacekeeping Symposium”, the first one in South Asia. As we come to the end of this Symposium, I stand before you with the deepest sense of gratitude to all the brilliant minds and passionate individuals who are committed to the noble cause of peace. I sincerely appreciate the hard work of all those involved in making this event a success.
- Over the course of the past few days, we witnessed thought-provoking discussions and innovative ideas aimed at enhancing peacekeeping efforts through harnessing technologies. It has brought together a diverse group of experts, practitioners, policymakers, and stakeholders from around the world.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
- Peacekeeping has continued to remain not only a unique innovation but also an effective tool available to the UN to maintain peace and security in troubled parts of the world. Today technology is advancing exponentially. Considerable strides are made in digital technology, Artificial Intelligence, robotics, biotechnology, and unmanned vehicles.
- However, the advancements have not always been even. Not everyone can equally benefit from such technological advancements. The economic and social benefits of these technological breakthroughs are geographically concentrated. Therefore, LDCs like Nepal have been lagging behind this progress. We must act together to reduce this gap by assisting and equipping them with modern technologies.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
- We have seen that UN peacekeeping missions have constantly evolved during the past seven decades. The peacekeeping missions are now mandated with wider responsibilities from creating lasting peace and stability to creating an environment for political solutions, paths to economic development, and sustained peace.
- However, our peacekeeping troops are far from benefitting from technological advancements. They lack a wide range of capabilities that national militaries, law enforcement agencies, and international organisations have been employing.
- Therefore, we must ensure the well-being of our personnel by pursuing a holistic approach to harnessing the potential of modern technology. Nepal has been a consistent and longstanding contributor to UN peacekeeping. It takes pride in her contributions to the noble cause of world peace for over six decades now.
- It is evident that with technological advancement, the future peace operations can respond to both sides of the problem, prevention and response in fast-moving situations and environments. The digital transformation brings new possibilities allowing us to measure and track sustainability progress, optimize the use of resources, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, among others.
- This Symposium has also reinforced that we need to redouble our collective efforts to strengthen our strategies and sharpen our response in pursuit of peace. Therefore, to make UN peacekeeping operation successful and capable of delivering its mandates, we need regular update and upgrade our systems in terms of technology and training so that our troops are well-trained and well-equipped.
- During the deliberations, we agreed on the potentials as well as challenges of using technology including artificial intelligence in peacekeeping. I am confident that this Symposium further exemplified the strength of cooperation and collaboration necessary to address the crises faced by our personnels in peacekeeping missions and achieved its objectives for future engagements.
- Nepal attaches high priority to attain its goal of international peace, security, and sustainable development around the world. It will continue its partnership in peacekeeping with renewed commitment with the concerned stakeholders in the implementation of ongoing projects in different missions.
- In closing, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the representatives of different Member States, panellists, academia and government officials for their active participation. I would like to convey my deepest appreciation to the organising team from the UN and Nepali side for their hard works and meticulous planning including, the efforts made by the Nepali Army in making this Symposium a reality under the leadership of the Ministry of Defence. My deep appreciation goes to USG Khare in this regard.
- I hope that participants had some time to enjoy the beauty and cultural heritage of Kathmandu City. Please take time off in the future to visit here again with your friends and family to explore the hidden treasure of Nepal, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha.
- Last but not the least, I would also like to appreciate the Soaltee Hotel team for their excellent service and logistical arrangements for the Symposium. Finally, I wish you a safe travel back to your work.
Thank you all for your kind attention.