Digital technologies can support mediation, confirmed UN Secretary-General

During his speech at the 6th Istanbul Mediation Conference in Turkey on 31 October 2019, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres drew attention to the role of social media and digital technologies in mediation through enhancing outreach and inclusivity especially for minority and marginalised groups, young people, and women. Yet, he also pointed out that they could also ‘create serious challenges for mediation’ through online hate speech, artificial intelligence, misinformation campaigns, and manipulating content that hinder inclusivity. Mr Guterres warned against the impact of cyber weapons that intensify traditional military operations. He further referred to the UN Digital Toolkit for Mediators that was developed to promote the safe use of new technologies in mediation efforts, with concrete recommendations and case studies.