International peace scholars, practitioners, researchers and policy makers have been challenged to critically examine how increased application of innovative communication and digital technologies can be used to attain global peace.
Speaking at Multimedia University of Kenya (MMU) during the official opening ceremony of 28th Biennial International Peace Research Association (IPRA) General Conference, MMU Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, Research and Innovation Prof. Paul Mbatia challenged the scholars to come up with theoretical knowledge to inform discourse on global security and practical recommendations that can be adopted to curtail the increasing threats to world peace.
“We need to use technology to build bridges across divides between nations, people, communities and cultures. We must therefore use this platform to ask ourselves how digital and communication technologies can be used to contain threats to global peace,” he said.
Prof. Mbatia also said that global peace is still fragile and increasingly under threats and that unless preventive measures are taken, human suffering due to wars and conflicts will possibly continue to escalate.
“As we engage here today, let us also ask ourselves; how can digital and communication technologies improve management and governance systems to reduce conflicts and wars? ask Prof. Mbatia.
His sentiments were echoed by IPRA Secretary Christine Atieno who also urged the participants to use the conference to discuss imperatives of ICT and responsible use of the same in a manner that does not threaten peaceful co-existence.
“We need to proactively and responsibly manage emerging digital divide in all its new and old dimensions, brought about by Fourth Industrial Revolution so that it does not intensify inequality and make growth less inclusive,” she said.
The conference comes at a crucial time when Kenya has just joined the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to be a contributing partner to global conversations that entail peace and security, climate change, gender issues, human rights, and international development among other functions.
The five-day event was officially opened by the MMU Vice Chancellor Amb. Prof. Festus Kaberia and will end on Friday 15th January 2021.