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ICT4Peace participated in The Humanitarian UAV Network (UAViators) recent 3-day Policy Forum on Humanitarian UAVs at the Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio Italy. The purpose of the Forum was to draft guidelines for the safe, coordinated and effective use of UAVs in humanitarian settings. Sanjana Hattotuwa, Special Advisor, ICT4peace, is a founding Board member of UAViators.

In Bellagio, UAViators brought together a cross-section of experts from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), UN Department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), World Food Program (WFP), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), American Red Cross, European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Organization (ECHO), Medair, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap, ICT for Peace Foundation (ICT4Peace), DJI, BuildPeace, Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO), Trilateral Research, Harvard University, Texas A&M, University of Central Lancashire, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Pepperdine University School of Law and other independent experts.

Five key sets of guidelines were drafted, each focusing on priority areas where policy has been notably absent: 1) Code of Conduct; 2) Data Ethics; 3) Community Engagement; 4) Principled Partnerships; and 5) Conflict Sensitivity.

These five policy areas were identified as priorities during the first Humanitarian UAV Experts Meeting, co-organized at the UN Secretariat in New York by UAViators and OCHA and co-sponsored by ICT4Peace.

In March 2014, Patrick Meier, the founder of UAViators had invited Sanjana Hattotuwa of the ICT4Peace Foundation to give input into what at the time was a draft note around creating a global network of civilian UAV pilots to support humanitarian efforts.