Good morning, Readers! The Syrian civil war may press ‘pause’ this evening. The United States, which supports the moderate rebel groups, has opposed Russia’s favor of President Assad. Last week, however, Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed a cessation of hostilities. Both countries agreed to call for a ceasefire beginning tonight. While the worst migrant and refugee crisis since WWII is far from over, this agreement is a step towards conflict resolution. The US and Russia plan to commit airstrikes against jihadist militants once the moderate rebels distance themselves from radical ties to al-Qaeda and ISIS. While the ultimate goal is to bring President Assad and the moderate rebels to the negotiating table, this week will signify if moves are being made towards and not just talk about peace.
Technology has the capacity to play a role in promoting peace, security, and democratic resilience, as Jim Della-Giacoma, Deputy Director of New York University’s Center on International Cooperation and Crisis Diplomacy and Peace Operations Program lead, discussed at NDI this past February. In light of recent developments to mitigate conflict, his insights are especially relevant and are reflected upon here.