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The ICT4Peace Foundation was invited to participate at the early warning for protection conference in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, organised by Oxfam Australia and supported by Australian Government's AusAID, to explore how private, public and civil society institutions can harness early warning information and communication technologies (ICTs) and mechanisms to contribute to the prevention of mass atrocity crimes.

On behalf of The United Nations Francis Deng, Special Advisor of the Secretary General for the Prevention of Genocide and Dr. Edward Luck Special Advisor of the Secretary General for the Responsibility to Protect and leading experts participated.

The conference has explored a number of issues:

  • What is the role of new technologies in conflict early warning and how do they interact with more traditional monitoring systems?
  • How can we harness, coordinate, and utilise the sometimes overwhelming amount of information available?
  • What systems and mechanisms need to be put in place to ensure effective early-warning is given?
  • How does the humanitarian sector work effectively with communities at risk once early-warning has been sounded?
  • How can a change in attitude and behaviour at a policy level be brought about in a way that forestalls a descent to violence?

The programme brought together both technology and early-warning specialists, and members of the international development and humanitarian communities concerned with the protection of vulnerable populations and the prevention of mass atrocity crimes. These included specialists from the UN and regional organisations, non-government organisations, scholars, government representatives and affected communities. Read the OXFAM outcome document here.

Daniel Stauffacher participated on behalf of the ICT4Peace Foundation, and made the presentation embedded above. In preparation of the conference Caroline Hargreaves, Researcher, ICT4Peace Foundation and Sanjana Hattotuwa, Special Advisor and TEDGlobal Fellow prepared the following research paper.