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On 26 March 2014 Sanjana Hattotuwa and Daniel Stauffacher from the ICT4Peace Foundation continued its ongoing engagement with the Peace Mission Support and Rapid Response Section and the Methodology, Education and Training Section at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights around the need to embrace new media and ICTs to strengthen High Commissioner’s mandate. For several years, these consultations focused on two key aspects: The need to critically observe and engage with developments in social and new media and secondly - given the increasing surveillance of human rights defenders and the myriad of ways through which ICTs can be used to spread hate, hurt and harm - how new tools can aid vital communications in fragile and violent contexts. 

Given the ICT4Peace Foundation’s considerable field level experience in using new media and ICTs to strengthen human rights, our engagement with OHCHR’s important mission is to strengthen its effectiveness in a complex world, and place help those in charge of rapid response and commissions of inquiry make a better use tools that can help in information gathering, sharing, dissemination and archival. The meeting on the 26th in Geneva focused also on ways key ICT tools, that could help OHCHR’s internal workflows, could be prioritized and adapted.