In a first ‘virtual diplomacy’ of its kind, the UN Security Council used virtual reality for a field trip to Colombia to evaluate the progress of the peace process in the country.
“Today, for the first time, the UNSC went on a virtual field trip,” Norway, the President of the Council for the month of January, said in a statement.
The members of the Council visited prior to a briefing by Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Colombia and Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia, Carlos Ruiz Massieu, and former combatant with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP), a signatory to the Final Agreement and now the leader in reintegration initiatives, Luz Marina Giraldo.
“Listening. Watching. Getting insights into the peace process and what it looks like for the people in Colombia,” the statement added.
Counselor in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN, Pratik Mathur, tweeted that India is a “proud supporter of using Technology for Peace! “3-D Virtual Diplomacy in action in UNSC today. First ever Security Council session to use a virtual reality VR experience! Innovative solutions to better understand (world) conflicts, peace keeping & Peace-building.”
The United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) also tweeted, “Bringing the Colombian peace process closer to decision-makers in New York today and having Colombian voices heard.”
The Colombian peace process is the reconciliation between the Colombian government of President Juan Manuel Santos and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC–EP) in 2016 to bring an end to the Colombian conflict. Over 50 years of war in Colombia had led to over 220,000 deaths and displaced nearly 6 million people before the peace deal was signed.
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