Killer Robots Remain on UN Agenda

At a meeting of the  Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) at the UN in Geneva, states agreed to keep autonomous weapons systems — “killer robots” — on the agenda for the coming year.

States mandated a five day informal Meeting of Experts for 13-17 April 2015. This isn’t exactly what activists associated with the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots wanted; they had asked for a much longer, more formal meeting. The CCW’s rules of procedure require all decisions to be made by consensus, which means that the discussion is held back by states who benefit from dawdling while busily investing in research and development. As Human Rights Watch put it, “greater urgency is needed to address the threat these weapons pose.”

But this decision gives campaigners another possibility to push the international community to adopt a prohibition on these weapons that fail to maintain “meaningful human control” over individual attacks.

“The broad consensus expressed for continuing the talks shows it is clear that ‘doing nothing’ in the face of ever-greater autonomy in warfare is not an option,” said the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.

For the statement of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control (a group of concerned scholars) — at the CCW, click here. For the CCW’s final report, click here.

~ by Matthew Bolton on 14 November 2014.

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