Peace is one of the core values of humanity and a pillar of the international system as codified by the UN Charter and many other international conventions and treaties.
Peace is more than just the absence of violence and conflict. It requires a holistic approach to human development that also addresses the roots of the conflict; such an approach would lead not only to greater stability but also to reducing social inequality. Digital technology has a mixed record on fostering sustainable peace.
On one hand, it has increased inclusion and access to information to levels never thought possible. On the other hand, especially in the social media era, digitalisation has contributed to widening fractures and polarisation in society through the spread of misinformation (Catholic Relief Services, n.d.) and hate speech. Often, online tensions and conflicts are a prelude to physical violence, attacks on vulnerable communities, and ultimately civil wars.
In international relations, digital technologies can aid peace processes by providing technologies that enhance transparency, accountability, healing, and social cohesion. Among specific uses of technologies for the promotion of peace, we can include digital systems for verifying arms control agreements and drones for collecting information to address refugee flows.