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Stop Killer Robots calls for new international law on autonomy in weapons systems.

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Concern from the United Nations

The United Nations says it is “closely following developments related to the prospect of weapons systems that can autonomously select and engage targets, with concern that technological developments may outpace normative deliberations.” It expresses hope that UN member states "make meaningful progress toward a shared understanding on how to ensure the core values of the international community are safeguarded in this context.”

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Diplomatic Efforts Falter

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is deeply disappointed that the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) has cancelled a crucial week of formal discussions on fully autonomous weapons in August. This step was taken because of the failure of several states, most notably Brazil, to pay their assessed dues for the convention’s meetings.

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Parliamentary actions

During the first half of 2017, the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots has been stepping up its outreach at the national level to build support in key capitals for the call to ban development, production, and transfer of fully autonomous weapons. We are also engaging with diplomats from key countries at the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) in Geneva, where the first meeting of the newly-created Group of Governmental Experts on lethal autonomous weapons systems is scheduled to take place on 21-25 August 2017.

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Moving forward in 2016

The most significant development for the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots in 2016 came at the very end of the year when countries agreed to formalize and dedicate more time to their deliberations on lethal autonomous weapons systems. The move came after states held informal discussions on the matter since 2014. The final document of the five-year Review Conference of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) contains the decision to establish a Group of Governmental Experts to meet over 10 days in 2017 and then report back to the CCW’s annual meeting on 22-24 November.

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Formal talks should lead to killer robots ban

Governments have heeded the call of civil society to formalize and expand their deliberations on lethal autonomous weapons systems next year. The decision taken today by 89 nations at the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) to establish a Group of Governmental Experts brings the world another step closer towards a prohibition on the weapons.

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Making the Case for Action

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is calling on all countries to participate in next week's Fifth Review Conference of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW). It invites states to join the group of 14 nations calling for a preemptive ban on weapons that would select and attack targets without further human intervention. On Friday, 12 December, states attending the United Nations meeting in Geneva will decide on future work to address concerns over fully autonomous weapons systems, known as lethal autonomous weapons systems. The proposal is to formalize their deliberations by establishing a CCW Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) to meet next year.

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United Nations New York outreach

For the fourth consecutive year in a row, concerns over fully autonomous weapons have featured prominently at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) First Committee on Disarmament and International Security. More than 150 countries are participating in the month-long session at the UN in New York, which is open to registered non-governmental organizations (NGOs). On 12 October, the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots coordinator delivered a statement to the UNGA First Committee while the campaign held a side event briefing on 18 October. Campaigners met with the UN disarmament chief KIM Won-soo and with France, Germany, Pakistan, the US and other delegations during the week. They also saw Peter Asaro of the New School speak on behalf of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots at a New York University conference on artificial intelligence and ethics. 

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Moscow contemplates robot arms control

Russia's reluctant position on supporting more formal efforts to address concerns over lethal autonomous weapons systems came under scrutiny at a conference in Moscow at the end of September. The Russian Federation views more formal discussions on the matter at the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) as “premature” and told an April 2016 meeting that it sees “divergent and conflicting positions” relating to “a common understanding of the subject under discussion and the scope of this issue.”

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