UN team in SA ahead of peacekeeping technology symposium


South Africa’s opportunity to host a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping technology conference this year lies in the hands of a technical verification team from the world body.

The UN Office of Information and Communication Technology (OICT) currently has a three-member technical verification team in South Africa for a site visit and inspection ahead of the sixth international Partnership for Technology on Peacekeeping (PTP) symposium, at present set for 23 to 26 June.

The June 2022 date presently set for the PTP symposium is the third with both previous ones “deferred” due to COVID-19, according to a statement by Defence Corporate Communications (DCC). After winning the bid to host the symposium, South Africa was originally scheduled to host it in June 2020, but this was deferred to the first quarter of 2021 and now to mid-2022.

The CSIR international convention centre in Pretoria is the venue for the sixth iteration of the PTP. The event is open to all interested military, police and civilians from UN member states and UN partner entities.

The PTP symposium is a UN initiative intended to create a platform where member states, troop and police contributing countries, fund contributing countries and specialised personnel and equipment pledging countries as well as the international community can collaborate with the UN to promote the use of modern advanced technologies and concepts in UN-led field missions.

The UN technical verification team arrived in South Africa on Monday 24 January and departs tomorrow (Friday, 28 January).

At present, South Africa’s coronavirus Alert level 1 restrictions mean no curfew is in place and there is no restriction on the movement of people. Gatherings are limited to no more than 1 000 people indoors and a maximum of 2 000 people outdoors.