All action and achievements

Parliamentarians from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) concluded their annual session by adopting a 19-page declaration that urges participating states to support negotiations on legally binding rules on lethal autonomous weapons.
The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots - Southeast Asia was launched in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Dutch Parliament adopted a resolution calling for a legally-binding instrument on new weapons technologies, including autonomous weapons.
A regional meeting of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan resulted in the adoption of a Communique, which emphasizes working with NGOs, academics, and others at the national level to work toward a legally-binding instrument.
Ljupco Jivan Gjorgjinski of North Macedonia chaired the seventh Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) meeting on lethal autonomous weapons systems on 25-29 March at UN Geneva.
The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots hosted a public event in Berlin, Germany, in addition to a global meeting of the campaign.
A regional meeting of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots in Tokyo, Japan resulted in the adoption of a Communique, which emphasized, among other goals, increasing outreach at the national level within the Asia-Pacific region and expanding the Campaign's presence to additional countries in the region.
Ipsos released a second poll conducted in 26 countries showing that more than three in five people responding oppose the development and use of fully autonomous weapons.
At the annual CCW meeting on 21-23 November, states agreed to continue the formal deliberations of the Group of Governmental Experts in 2019 under chair Mr. Ljupco Jivan Gjorgjinski of the North Macedonia, but scheduled a mere seven days of meetings. El Salvador and Morocco add their names to the list of 28 states that are seeking to prohibit fully autonomous weapons.
At the Paris Peace Forum in 2018, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres called for a ban on killer robots, stating, "For me there is a message that is very clear – machines that have the power and the discretion to take human lives are politically unacceptable, are morally repugnant, and should be banned by international law."
Ambassador Gill chaired the sixth CCW meeting on lethal autonomous weapons systems. Austria, Brazil and Chile recommended a new CCW mandate “to negotiate a legally-binding instrument to ensure meaningful human control over the critical functions” of weapons systems. Despite a majority of states calling for a legally-binding instrument, and many calling for a political declaration, the GGE recommended continuing with their current mandate of exploring “options” for future work.
More than 200 technology companies and organizations from more than 36 countries and 2,600 individual signed on to a pledge released by the Future of Life Institute at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Stockholm, committing to “neither participate in nor support the development, manufacture, trade, or use of lethal autonomous weapons.”
The European Parliament adopted a resolution that calls for the urgent negotiation of “an international ban on weapon systems that lack human control over the use of force.” The resolution called on the European Council to work towards such a ban and “urgently develop and adopt a common position on autonomous weapon systems.”
The Belgian Parliamentary Defence Committee approved a resolution calling for the Belgian government to support international efforts to prohibit the use of fully autonomous weapons and ensure that the Belgian army will never use them.
Google published a set of ethical principles that included a pledge from the company to not develop artificial intelligence for use in weapons. Days earlier, it was revealed that the company would end its participation in Project Maven after the contract expired.
A group of lawmakers in Japan held a parliamentary seminar on killer robots together with local NGOs and AI experts.
House of Lords committee on artificial intelligence report recommended the UK government amend its far-fetched definition of fully autonomous weapons systems and bring it into line with other countries.
Ambassador Gill of India chaired the fifth CCW meeting on lethal autonomous weapons systems. Austria, China, Colombia, and Djibouti joined the growing list of countries calling for a ban on fully autonomous weapons, bringing the total to 26.
After artificial intelligence experts issued a letter calling for a boycott of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), the university issued a statement clarifying that it “does not have any intention to engage in development of lethal autonomous weapons systems.”
In a letter, the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots sought clarification from France on the military’s intention to develop or acquire fully autonomous weapons.
The African Union and African states held a seminar in Geneva to consider greater regional collaboration to address concerns over fully autonomous weapons.
In a letter, the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots invited Google to endorse the call to ban fully autonomous weapons and answered concerns over its participation in a controversial Pentagon-funded project to autonomously process video footage shot by US surveillance drones.
In a letter to the Republic of Korea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kang Kyung-Wha, the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots urged the government to support the call to ban fully autonomous weapons and address concerns raised by a new “Research Center for the Convergence of National Defense and Artificial Intelligence” opened by KAIST and defense manufacturer Hanwha Systems Co., Ltd.
Campaign coordinator Mary Wareham addressed a panel at the Munich Security Conference on artificial intelligence and modern conflict.
The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots conducted outreach to states in Geneva.
A total of 116 scientists working in fields including artificial intelligence, robotics and computer science issued an open letter calling on Belgium to support a ban on weapon systems lacking meaningful human control over the critical functions of targeting and engagement in every attack.
The Danish Institute for International Studies held its second public seminar on autonomous weapons. On December 5, Denmark’s largest newspaper Politiken published an article by Campaign to Stop Killer Robots coordinator Mary Wareham asking why Denmark is not actively working to address this serious concern.
First meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts Ambassador Amandeep Singh Gill of India chaired the first meeting of the CCW Group of Governmental Experts. At the annual CCW meeting on 24 November, states agreed to continue the formal deliberations under the current chair and scheduled two week-long meetings of the Group of Governmental Experts in 2018.
Noel Sharkey and other members of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots spoke on a panel on lethal autonomous weapons at a WIRED Live conference in London. Machine learning company DeepMind’s co-founder Mustafa Suleyman introduced the panel and affirmed his company’s support of the call to ban these weapons systems.
More than 200 Canadians working in the field of artificial intelligence, including AI pioneers Geoffrey Hinton and Yoshua Bengio, issued an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, demanding Canada support the call to ban lethal autonomous weapons systems and commit to working with other states to conclude a new international agreement that achieves this objective.
More than 120 members of the Australian AI research community wrote to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to demand that Australia endorse the call to ban lethal autonomous weapons systems and work to conclude a new international agreement that achieves this objective.
The Permanent Mission of Mexico and the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots convened a side event briefing for UNGA First Committee delegates. Other 2017 UNGA First Committee side events hosted by Kazakhstan on 4 October, UNIDIR on 5 October, and Germany on 25 October also covered concerns related to killer robots. During the 72nd session of the UNGA First Committee, at least 34 states and three regional groups raised the issue of lethal autonomous weapons systems in their statements.
At an informal briefing convened by Germany, the campaign communicated to states that it is beyond disappointed by the current state of the CCW process and distributed an open letter from AI and robotics founders to CCW delegates.
Campaign coordinator Mary Wareham spoke at an ICRC meeting on the ethics of autonomous weapons systems.
During the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI) in Melbourne, Professor Toby Walsh released an open letter demanding a stronger response to concerns over killer robots signed by founders and directors of more than 100 AI and robotics companies.
The Swiss government declined to support two parliamentary motions proposing that Switzerland seeking a preemptive ban on lethal autonomous weapons systems. Swiss former President and then-Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Burkhalter expressed support for the principle but questioned the need to take action. The next day, Burkhalter announced his retirement from politics.
The Under-Secretary-General High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu, made her first public remarks on autonomous weapons during an address to a high-level summit held in Geneva on “Artificial Intelligence for Good.” She explained that states must discuss a range of issues relating to the weapons, particularly “what they consider to be the acceptable degree of human control over the lethal functions of a weapon system, and whether a specific international treaty or instrument is required to ensure that control is maintained.” Campaign co-founder Amnesty International’s secretary-general Salil Shetty reiterated the urgent need for a preemptive ban on fully autonomous weapons.
Campaign representatives joined diplomats for an informal meeting to discuss ethical concerns over lethal autonomous weapons systems convened at the UN by the Permanent Mission of the Holy See to the UN in Geneva in conjunction with the Caritas in Veritate Foundation.
CCW president-designate Ambassador Matthew Rowland of the UK announced that the first meeting of the newly established Group of Governmental Experts scheduled for 21-25 August had been cancelled due to a lack of funds.
The new Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, informed the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots by letter of the UN’s shared concern at “the prospect of weapons systems that can autonomously select and engage targets.”
The Norwegian Labor Party adopted an electoral programme that commits it, if elected, to “bring international weapons control and disarmament work forward and taking necessary initiatives to regulate the development and use of fully and semi-autonomous weapon systems.”
Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary, Tehmina Janjua, reaffirmed the government’s support for the goal of a preemptive ban on lethal autonomous weapons systems in a letter to the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.
At the Fifth Review Conference of the Convention on Conventional Weapons,  states established a Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) to formalize the process on lethal autonomous weapons and meet for two weeks in 2017. The group of nations endorsing the call to ban these weapons expanded to 19 with the additions of Argentina, Guatemala, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela. China for the first time called for new international law on killer robots, providing the precedent of the CCW protocol banning blinding lasers.
Campaign coordinator Mary Wareham spoke on a panel on autonomy in military operations at a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace & Carnegie Mellon University colloquium on technology, innovation and international affairs.
Campaign coordinator Mary Wareham addressed a panel on robots & artificial intelligence at a Harvard University Law and International Development Society symposium on technology.
The Campaign held a side event briefing for UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security delegates with President of the CCW's Fifth Review Conference Pakistani Ambassador Tehmina Janjua, AI expert Professor Stuart Russell, and Human Rights Watch Arms Division Director Steve Goose. During the 71st session of the UNGA First Committee, at least 36 states expressed support for the efforts to address concerns over lethal autonomous weapons systems.
Kanae Doe of Human Rights Watch spoke at the World Business Council for Peace in 2016 conference on inhumane weapons and killer robots.
Campaign members Richard Moyes of Article 36 and Heather Roff of ICRAC attended the United Kingdom’s Second International Weapon Review Forum in Shrivenham.
Campaign coordinator Mary Wareham spoke on a panel on lethal autonomous weapons systems at a conference on emerging technologies held by the PIR Center and diplomatic academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
Heather M. Roff of Arizona State University published the first publicly-available dataset tracking military autonomy, which identified 284 weapons systems with autonomous features.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) & Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) hosted a workshop on autonomous systems and their societal impact.
More than 30 states reaffirmed the objective of establishing a Group of Governmental Experts at the Preparatory Meeting for the CCW's Fifth Review Conference. Only one state expressed reluctance.
Buzzfeed published an 8,000-word long-read by Sarah Topal on autonomous weapons, providing an unprecedented profile of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, the diplomatic process, and the state of development of autonomous weapons.
The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots held a strategy retreat, meetings in the Hague with officials and parliamentarians, and a public forum at De Balie in Amsterdam.
German Ambassador Michael Biontino chaired the third Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) informal meeting of experts on lethal autonomous weapons systems. Algeria, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Nicaragua were added to the list of states calling for a ban.
The Association for Aid and Relief in Japan hosted an event in Tokyo on autonomous weapons concerns featuring campaign coordinator Mary Wareham.
The German Foreign Office & SWP (German Institute for International and Security Affairs) convened a workshop in Berlin on defining autonomy and autonomous weapons.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) convened a second experts meeting on autonomous weapons systems.
The ethics council of the $830 billion Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global announced that it intended to begin monitoring companies investing in the potential development of fully autonomous weapons systems and see if such investments would be contrary to the fund’s investment policies and ethical guidelines. Council chair Johan H. Andreson described the initiative as “a statement of fair warning, a heads-up.”
report for the Human Rights Council on the proper management of assemblies by two Special Rapporteurs recommended: “Autonomous weapons systems that require no meaningful human control should be prohibited.” This enhanced a moratorium call first issued by one of the Special Rapporteurs in 2013.
The World Economic Forum and TIME convened a panel of disarmament, weapons, and robotics experts to consider “what if robots went to war?” in Davos, Switzerland. Killer robots were first raised at the forum during a 2015 panel on technology.
Nations agreed to hold a third meeting in 2016 to continue deliberations on lethal autonomous weapons systems at the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW). Campaigners were denied access to an informal consultation after the United Kingdom objected, breaking a 20 year practice of NGO participation in such sessions. During the meetingIraqNicaragua, Kazakhstan, and Zimbabwe articulated their views on killer robots for the first time.
At the UN General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security in New York, 32 governments and five groups of states raised concerns about autonomous weapons, including BotswanaKuwaitLebanon, and Romania for the first time. AI letter signatory Professor Toby Walsh addressed a Campaign to Stop Killer Robots side event held with Costa Rica on 20 October as well as a press conference.
More than 1,000 artificial intelligence and robotics researchers and 15,000 other endorsers signed an open letter calling for a ban on autonomous weapons.
Representatives from 90 nations, UN agencies, the ICRC, and the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots attended the second Convention on Conventional Weapons meeting on lethal autonomous weapons systems, chaired by Ambassador Michael Biontino of Germany.
Canadian Red Cross and Carlton University held an event in Ottawa on “‘Killer Robots: The Future of Weaponry and IHL.”
Steve Goose of Human Rights Watch and Prof. Ron Arkin of Georgia Tech debated on autonomous weapons at the annual Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) conference in Austin, TX.
After the first conference held by the Future of Life Institute on the “future of artificial intelligence” in Puerto Rico on Jan. 2-4, prominent scientists and researchers from industry and academia issued an open letter calling for AI and smart machine research that is “robust and beneficial” to humanity, linking to a document outlining “research directions that can help maximize the societal benefit of AI,” including numerous questions on ‘lethal autonomous weapons systems.’ On January 14, Elon Musk announced a $10 million donation to implement the research call. The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots welcomed the initiative’s inclusion of autonomous weapons concerns as an interdisciplinary research priority.
The Dalai Lama (1989) and other Nobel Peace Laureates issued a declaration that reads, “we support the call for a pre-emptive ban on fully autonomous weapons (killer robots) – weapons that would be able to select and attack targets without human intervention,” and urges, “we must prevent this new form of inhumane warfare."
States agreed to hold a second Convention on Conventional Weapons meeting on lethal autonomous weapons systems in 2015. Colombia and Palestine also spoke on the matter for the first time. The Campaign saw strong turnout for side events on autonomous weapons.
More than 70 faith leaders of various denominations, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, endorsed an interfaith call to action against fully autonomous weapons.
During the UN General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security in New York, 23 governments included killer robots in their remarks, including Bulgaria and Finland for the first time. The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots also saw strong turnout at its side event hosted with Croatia on 21 October, which featured Ryan Garipy of Clearpath Robotics.
ClearPath Robotics of Kitchener, Canada issued a statement pledging its support for the call for a preemptive ban on fully autonomous weapons. The company stated it will continue to work with its military clients, but “vouched to not manufacture weaponized robots that remove humans from the loop” as it “has chosen to value our ethics over potential future revenue.”
Representatives from 87 nations, UN agencies, the ICRC, and the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots participated in the first multilateral meeting on “lethal autonomous weapons systems” at the UN in Geneva. Convened under the auspices of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), the informal meeting featured presentations by 18 experts on technical, ethical, legal, and operational questions raised by the weapons. Czech RepublicGuatemalaMali, and Norway also spoke for the first time on the matter at the meeting.
Jody Williams (1997) and 20 other Nobel Peace laureates issued a joint call for a preemptive ban on fully autonomous weapons. Signatories include Mairead Maguire (1976), Betty Williams (1976), Rigoberta Menchú Tum (1992), Shirin Ebadi (2003), Leymah Gbowee (2011), and Tawakkol Karman (2011), who together with Williams are members of the Nobel Women’s Initiative, a co-founder of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.
The International Committee of the Red Cross convened its first experts meeting on autonomous weapons systems, which was attended by 21 states and members of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.
Campaigners briefed the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters on the emerging international concern over killer robots.
By a vote of 534–49, the European Parliament adopted its first resolution calling for a ban on “development, production and use of fully autonomous weapons which enable strikes to be carried out without human intervention.”
At a Strategy Meeting of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots in London, PAX (formerly IKV Pax Christi) launched a brief animation film for the campaign and its first report on killer robots.
Chatham House hosted its first conference on autonomous military technologies, featuring Steve Goose, Noel Sharkey, and Jody Williams as panelists.
The US Naval War College held a workshop on “legal implications of autonomous weapons systems” attended by armed forces representatives from the US, Australia, Canada, Israel, and UK.
The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights hosted an experts meeting on armed drones and robots in Divonne, Switzerland.
ICRAC's Dr. Peter Asaro and Professor Matt Waxman of the Lawfare Blog debated the topic of autonomous weapons at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.
States Parties to the Convention on Conventional Weapons agreed to a mandate to begin work in 2014 on the emerging technology of “lethal autonomous weapons systems.”  
Nobel Laureate Jody Williams briefed Italy's Foreign Minister and leading parliamentarians in Rome.
At the the Convention on Conventional Weapons in Geneva, 35 nation expressed their views on autonomous weapons systems, including 15 nations for the first time: Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Ghana, Holy See, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Madagascar, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, and Ukraine. A Campaign to Stop Killer Robots side event on Nov. 13 attracted 120 delegates from dozens of countries.
AAR-Japan hosted an event in Tokyo featuring a presentation by ICRAC’s Dr. Peter Asaro.
IKV Pax Christi’s Miriam Struyk spoke on autonomous weapons and military technology at the University of Amsterdam.
During the UN General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security in New York, 16 governments articulated their views on killer robots in their statements, including for the first time Costa RicaEcuadorGreece, India, IrelandJapanNetherlandsNew Zealand, and South Africa. There was strong turnout for two consecutive side events on autonomous weapons: a UNIDIR briefing by Professor Christof Heyns and a Campaign to Stop Killer Robots briefing held with Switzerland on 21 October.
Human Rights Watch’s Steve Goose debated Georgia Tech Professor Ron Arkin at a Zebis (Zentrum für ethische Bildung in den Streitkräften) event in Berlin on autonomous weapons.
Norges Fredslaget began a public campaign to secure Norwegian support for a ban on fully autonomous weapons.
More than 20 countries attended a seminar convened by France at the UN in Geneva on fully autonomous weapons systems.
The International Committee of the Red Cross issued a “new technologies” edition of its quarterly journal that featured discussion of fully autonomous weapons.
A University of Massachusetts survey of 1,000 Americans found that a majority of respondents oppose fully autonomous weapons and support actions to campaign against them.
The UK parliament held its first-ever adjournment debate on lethal autonomous robots.
Kill Decision author Daniel Suarez called for an international treaty to ban autonomous robotic weapons in his TED talk in Edinburgh.
During the first Human Rights Council debate on lethal autonomous robotics, following the presentation of the report by the UN special rapporteur on extra-judicial killings, 20 nations spoke for the first time on the matter. Pakistan spoke first and called for a ban. Other statements were delivered by AlgeriaAustriaBrazilChinaCubaEgyptFranceGermanyIndonesiaIranMexicoMoroccoRussiaSierra LeoneSwedenSwitzerlandUK, and US, as well as the European UnionOrganization of the Islamic Conference, Latin American network GRULAC, and Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. More than 20 nations attended the campaign’s first-ever side event on May 28. See report.
Campaign representatives participated in a seminar on unmanned military systems at SWP in Berlin.
The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots launched in London with an all-day NGO conference, press briefing, and Parliamentary event.
The US Department of Defense issued a policy directive on autonomous weapons, making the United States the first government to spell out its policy on fully autonomous weapons systems.
Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic launched a 49-page report, Losing Humanity: The Case Against Killer Robots, which calls for a preemptive ban on fully autonomous weapons.
At a Campaign Summit in New York, representatives from 40 NGOs working in humanitarian disarmament committed to take action against fully autonomous weapons.
Representatives from seven NGOs met in New York and agreed to form a coordinated civil society “Campaign to Stop Killer Robots” aimed at securing a preemptive prohibition on the development, production, and use of fully autonomous weapons.
British NGO Article 36 called for a ban on military systems that are able to select and attack targets autonomously.
Dutch NGO IKV Pax Christi issued a report outlining its ethical and legal concerns with the use of armed drones and autonomous weapons.
In an article for the International Journal of Intelligence Ethics, Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams called for a ban on “fully autonomous attack and kill robotic weapons.”
ICRAC convened its first workshop in Berlin where its members called for an international treaty to prohibit development, acquisition, deployment, and use of armed autonomous robot weapons.
report by United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Prof. Philip Alston, found that “Urgent consideration needs to be given to the legal, ethical and moral implications of the development and use of robotic technologies, especially but not limited to uses for warfare.”
Noel Sharkey, Jürgen Altmann, Peter Asaro, and Rob Sparrow agreed to establish the International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC), calling, inter alia, for “prohibition of the development, deployment and use of armed autonomous unmanned systems.”
Landmine Action (now Action on Armed Violenceexpressed support for the creation of an international treaty against machines that make their own targeting decisions.
In The Guardian, roboticist Prof. Noel Sharkey warned against the development of fully autonomous robots that make their own decisions about lethality and called for their international regulation.