DPPA Launches OICT-developed Chatbot for UN Information System on Question of Palestine Website

The United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL) website is an online collection of texts of United Nations resolutions, documents and publications concerning the question of Palestine, the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, and other issues related to the Middle East situation.

With such a high volume of current and historical content, finding information can be challenging.

The United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) wanted to make UNISPAL’s static search functionality more dynamic so that visitors could find information quickly and easily.

As a solution, DPPA collaborated with the Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT) to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and develop a chatbot for the site.  

The “UNPal” chatbot, which took approximately two months to develop, was launched on UNISPAL on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, making it the first public-facing UN site to be equipped with a bot.

Powered by Alba technology, the UN chatbot for Secretariat personnel, UNPal is a prime example of how emerging technologies like AI can be used in the everyday work of the UN.1

The collaborative effort with OICT exceeded expectations and highlights the potential of enhancing Alba’s skill­s to better support each department’s unique requirements and ultimately improve the Organization’s ability to deliver on its mandates.

Visitors can interact with UNPal via text and get answers on various information on the website in a clear and concise manner.

Examples of questions you can ask the chatbot include:

  • What was the British mandate?

  • What happened in June 1982 in the Middle East?

  • What was the aim of the Madrid Peace Conference?

To date, UNPal has responded to more than 500 queries. Since it is built on an AI platform, the chatbot will continue to learn and become more capable.

To ask UNPal your questions about the Question of Palestine, visit: https://www.un.org/unispal.

1. OICT launched Alba in the Secretariat in November 2020. The chatbot was built on this AI platform with the goal to give UN departments the opportunity to collaborate with OICT on enhancing the chatbot with the specialized skill­­s needed to support each department’s unique requirements.​​​​​