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PRESS RELEASE: Only a new ban treaty will prevent a future of killer robots. Foreign ministers must commit to

26 September 2019
New York, USA.

Only a new ban treaty will prevent a future of killer robots. Foreign ministers must commit to launching negotiations now.

  • Dozens of foreign ministers endorsed a killer robots declaration today as part of an “Alliance for
    Multilateralism” initiative led by Germany and France. Killer robots are identified alongside climate
    change and four other “politically relevant” issues as areas where multilateral inaction will threaten a
    “rules-based international order”.
  • Fully autonomous weapons systems will fundamentally destabilize nations around the world. Only a
    new international ban treaty can effectively address the multiple ethical, moral, legal, accountability,
    security, and technological concerns raised by killer robots.
  • The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots calls on foreign ministers to be much bolder in their actions to
    ensure that one of the most dangerous and unacceptable applications of artificial intelligence and
    emerging technologies is stopped before causing untold human suffering.
  • Demands for a preemptive treaty by thousands of tech workers, AI and robotics experts, 26 Nobel
    Laureates, the UN Secretary-General, faith leaders, the EU Parliament, 61% of the public in 26
    countries, and civil society are growing. A total of 29 countries have now explicitly called for a ban on
    killer robots.

Coordinator of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, Mary Wareham of Human Rights Watch, said:

“If political leaders are serious about securing the rules-based international order, they should immediately launch negotiations on a treaty to preemptively ban killer robots and retain meaningful human control the use of force.”

“History will note which political leaders recognized the gravity of the killer robots threat and took legislative action to avoid the inevitable human suffering that will occur if killer robots are deployed.”

“Permitting the development of killer robots will undermine existing law, erode ethical values and pose a fundamental challenge to our humanity and shared security.”

At the Convention on Conventional Weapons, the forum hosting diplomatic talks on killer robots, work has formally been taking place since 2016. It has so far failed to deliver any substantive result. A small number of military powers—most notably Russia and the United States—have blocked progress toward that objective.

This initiative by the Alliance for Multilateralism shows a desire for progress at the highest level of government around the world. The Campaign calls on political leaders to harness this desire for action and show more ambition and urgency by launching negotiations to preemptively ban killer robots.

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is a coalition of 118 nongovernmental organizations in 59 countries that is working to preemptively ban fully autonomous weapons and require meaningful human control over the use of force.

Clare Conboy, Media & Communications Manager

Tel./WhatsApp. +44 (7507) 415-987

Geneva, Switzerland

[email protected]

[email protected]

Mary Wareham, Campaign Coordinator

Tel./WhatsApp. +1 (646) 203-8292

Washington DC, USA

[email protected]

For more information, see:
● Website:
● Twitter: @BanKillerRobots
● Facebook: @stopkillerrobots
● Instagram: stopkillerrobots

Clare Conboy

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