The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, of which Pax Christi International is a member, issued the following statement on the occasion of the second United Nations meeting on this issue, held in Geneva on 13 April.
Concerns about the prospect of weapons systems that would select and attack targets without further human intervention are multiplying and show the urgent need for nations to begin drafting new international law to preemptively ban the weapons, said the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots as a second round of multilateral talks on the matter began today at the United Nations in Geneva.
“We have fundamental objections to permitting machines to take human life on the battlefield or in policing,” said Nobel Peace Laureate Ms. Jody Williams of the Nobel Women’s Initiative, a co-founder of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. “It’s time for nations to move from talking about this challenge to taking action on it.”
Many of the 120 states that are part of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) are participating in this week’s meeting of experts on “lethal autonomous weapons systems” chaired by Germany’s Ambassador Michael Biontino. The meeting will consider questions relating to the emerging technology of these weapons, but there is not yet a negotiating mandate. Based in large part on this week’s talks, states will decide at the CCW’s annual meeting on 13 November 2015 on whether and how to continue the work.
Several autonomous weapons systems with various degrees of human control are currently in use by high-tech militaries including the US, China, Israel, South Korea, Russia, and the UK. There is concern the trend towards greater autonomy will result in weapons systems that would give machines the capability to select and attack targets without further human intervention…