posted on Tue 25 Jan 2011 3:12 PM
Insights on the Use of Technology in the Council

Today the Council was briefed by Atul Khare, ASG for Peacekeeping (representing DPKO head, Alain le Roy, who is out of town) and UNAMID head, Ibrahim Gambari who spoke to the the Council by video-link from Darfur. The use of video-link during Council consultations and public meetings is an interesting development that we are are following.

Starting in November we noticed regular use of the video-link to speak with key personnel in the field. During the 11 November informal meeting with TCC/PCCs of UNMIS, the UNMIS force commander discussed the UN request for 2000 more troops via video-link. During informal consultations on 30 November the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Augustine Mahiga spoke to Council members by videolink from Nairobi. In early December the SRSG in Côte d’Ivoire, Choi Young-jun spoke to the Council via video-link at the start of the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire.

There appears to be a shift in attitude to the use of technology to help inform Council discussions. Council members who had previously been wary of video-link briefings appear more open now to using them, particularly in situations where there is a fast changing situaiton on the ground. Perhaps the use of video-link by PBC country specific configuration meetings have helped assure those who were concerned about the unpredictability of such briefings. If this trend continues it could lead to an interesting change in in the Working Methods of the Council.