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

Norwegian campaign gets underway

Interest in tackling fully autonomous weapons is growing in Norway with events in Oslo on 4 September, where campaigners outlined civil society concerns and called on the government and opposition parties to articulate their policy on banning the weapons.

ICRC on new technologies and warfare

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has issued a new edition of its quarterly journal International Review of the Red Cross, focused on new technologies and warfare and featuring articles by several members of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots: Dr. Peter Asaro of ICRAC on banning autonomous weapons systems, Prof. Noel Sharkey of ICRAC on autonomous robot warfare, and Richard Moyes and Thomas Nash of Article 36 on the role of civil society in the development of standards on new weapons. The accompanying editorial is entitled, "Science cannot be placed above its consequences."


United Kingdom debating killer robots

Representatives from both sides of the House of Commons in the United Kingdom agree that fully autonomous weapons raise numerous concerns warranting further deliberation, including at the international level. The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Alistair Burt, however emphasized that the government does not support the call for a moratorium on these future weapons that would select and attack targets without further human intervention, described as "lethal autonomous robotics" in the parliamentary adjournment debate held late in the evening of 17 June 2013.


Consensus: killer robots must be addressed

On 30 May 2013 in Geneva, nations for the first time ever debated what to do about fully autonomous weapons at the United Nations Human Rights Council following the presentation of the report on ‘lethal autonomous robotic weapons’ by the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Professor Christof Heyns. During the "interactive dialogue," 20 nations spoke for up to three minutes each on the report's findings on fully autonomous weapons: Algeria, Argentina (GRULAC), Austria, Brazil, China, Cuba, Egypt, France, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia, Sierra Leone, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, and US. There were also statements by the European Union (comprised of 27 states) and Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (56 states). All these nations expressed interest and concern in the challenges posed by fully autonomous weapons. None opposed discussing the issue further. Pakistan expressed its support for a ban, while others endorsed the report's call for a moratorium. The United Kingdom was the only state to declare its opposition to the call for a moratorium or a ban on fully autonomous weapons. Brazil and France suggested the Convention on Conventional Weapons as a venue for discussing the topic further. Sweden explained that it is traditionally responsible for the resolution on the work of the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. It said the resolution will be put forward in 2014 at the 26th session of the Human Rights Council (this is currently the 23rd session). Sweden indicated that the resolution will include operative paragraphs on the recommendations contained in the report. The United Nations disarmament chief Angela Kane provided a statement delivered by Jarmo Sareva that noted, "[t]he emergence of autonomous weapons calls into question the adequacy of measures to implement the rules of armed conflict that apply to the use of all weapon systems. The purpose of these rules is clear. The major imperative is to protect civilians from unacceptable harm. There must also be adequate human accountability at all times. Yet, one key question posed by autonomous weapons is how can accountability be maintained when humans are no longer involved in the final decision?"


UN report on lethal autonomous robotics

The United Nations (UN) report calling for a global moratorium on lethal autonomous robotics, weapons systems that can select and kill targets without a human being directly issuing a command, will be considered this week in Geneva. The report is due to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council during the afternoon of Wednesday, May 29 by its author Professor Christof Heyns, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The presentation will be followed by a debate where--for the first time-ever in a multilateral forum--governments will provide their views on the question of what to do about fully autonomous weapons.

Campaign launch in London

This week saw the launch of the international Campaign to Stop Killer Robots in London with a series of events to brief activists, media, and parliamentarians. A conference for non-governmental organizations (NGOs), held at the Human Rights…

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