News

In July 2020, the Campaign hosted an event at “RightsCon,” the preeminent annual gathering of activists and others working for human rights in the digital age. This was the Campaign’s first participation at RightsCon and it certainly won’t be our last. Originally scheduled to be held in Costa Rica, the 2020 RightsCon was transformed into Read more...
The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots participated in a webcast version of the Berlin Forum on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems on 1-2 April. The original face-to-face meeting for government representatives and non-governmental organizations was initially cancelled due to the rapid spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19). Read more...
The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots held its second global meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 26-28 February 2020. More than 80 campaigners from 35 countries participated in the meeting hosted by Asociación para Políticas Públicas (APP), a member of SEHLAC, the Human Security Network in Latin America and the Caribbean that is on the Read more...
As we close out the decade, it is worth reflecting on how far the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots has come. The killer robots challenge is now regarded by foreign ministers and other high-level politicians as an urgent “politically relevant” concern deserving immediate multilateral action. There is widespread recognition that weapons systems that would select Read more...
Yet again, the killer robots challenge has received high-level attention at the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly To re-cap, in 2018 UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the prospect of machines with the power and discretion to kill “morally repugnant and politically unacceptable,” while Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas urged nations to support Read more...
What happens when you bring 75 youth passionate about disarmament affairs to New York, introduce them to experts in the field, and put them together on a…ship? Just a regular day for Peace Boat, who held “Youth Champions for Securing our Common Future” on 11 October and invited the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots along. Read more...
“What is a killer robot?” The refrain was heard over and over again at the edge of a small tent in the middle of West Virginia. As thousands of feet trampled down a path at the Summit Bechtel Scout Reserve, eager for the next adventure, heads turned to peer closer at bright red flags flapping Read more...
This round-up of recent actions at the national level supporting the call to preemptively ban fully autonomous weapons systems covers developments in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Holy See, Italy, Netherlands, UK and US in November-December 2017. Australia On 2 November 2017, more than 120 members of the Australian AI research community wrote to Prime Minister Read more...
The first meeting of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) Group of Governmental Experts on lethal autonomous weapons systems opens at the United Nations (UN) Palais des Nations in Geneva on Monday, 13 November. The following “frequently asked questions” review the meeting’s agenda and objectives as well as the expectations of the Campaign to Stop Read more...
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 Read more...
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 Read more...
Yesterday (21 January 2015), the World Economic Forum convened an hour-long panel discussion in cooperation with TIME to consider “what if robots go to war?” The session at the annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland featured four speakers: former UN disarmament chief Angela Kane, BAE Systems chair Sir Roger Carr, artificial intelligence (AI) expert Stuart Russell and robot ethics Read more...
For the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, the highlight of 2015 was the second meeting on lethal autonomous weapons systems held at the United Nations in Geneva in April. Representatives from more than 90 countries as well as UN agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the campaign convened at the Convention on Conventional Weapons Read more...
The leadership of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots will be in New York on 19-20 October to conduct outreach at the UN General Assembly’s annual First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, which opened on 8 October and is chaired by Ambassador Karel van Oostrom, permanent representative of the Netherlands to the UN in New York. Nations are Read more...
Japan commemorates the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th and 9th, respectively. These attacks killed approximately 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 70,000 in Nagasaki, mostly civilians. Ever since then, humankind has been forced to coexist with nuclear weapons. The fear of nuclear war will remain until nuclear weapons are prohibited and their stocks destroyed, Read more...
The second multilateral meeting on “lethal autonomous weapons systems” by members of the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) will be held at the United Nations (UN) Palais des Nations in Geneva on 13-17 April 2015. On Monday, 13 April, the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots will hold a side event briefing for all CCW Read more...
Concerns over fully autonomous weapons or “killer robots” have been raised at the 2015 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland with various publications and speakers addressing the matter. This is the first time that the annual meeting of world leaders from government, business, and civil society has considered the challenges posed by weapons systems that select targets Read more...
Prominent scientists and researchers from industry and academia have signed an open letter calling for artificial intelligence (AI) and smart machine research to focus on developing systems that are “robust and beneficial” to humanity. The letter links to a document outlining “research directions that can help maximize the societal benefit of AI” that includes a list of legal, ethical, and Read more...
Government delegates attending next week’s annual meeting of the Convention on Conventional Weapons  (CCW) at the United Nations in Geneva will decide whether to continue in 2015 with multilateral talks on questions relating to “lethal autonomous weapons systems.”  Read more...
Representatives from the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots will be in New York on 20-21 October to talk to government representatives and other United Nations (UN) delegates as well as media and the public about their concerns over fully autonomous weapons or “killer robots” and the need for government action. Read more...
Concerns over killer robots and armed drones were at the forefront of a “Night of Peace” or “De Nacht van de Vrede” event convened by Dutch non-governmental organization PAX in Amsterdam on 24 September, which featured talks by international speakers including a drone operator and roboticist. Read more...
On Tuesday, 15 July, Representative Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) convened a “special briefing on killer robots” to discuss issues surrounding the development and use of fully autonomous lethal weapons. Roughly 65 people attended the briefing held in the Cannon House Office Building of the US Capitol from various Congressional offices as well as from the State Department Read more...
At the first multilateral meeting ever held on killer robots, nations have recognized the need to confront the challenge of fully autonomous weapons that could select and attack targets without any human control. The call issued by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots for a pre-emptive ban on these fully autonomous weapons has become a central Read more...
The first multilateral talks on killer robots open at the United Nations in Geneva (UN) at 10:00 on Tuesday, 13 May. Many of the 117 states party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) are expected to attend the four-day meeting of experts on “lethal autonomous weapons systems” in addition to representatives from international and UN agencies, Read more...
The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots and its concerns over the prospect of weapons systems that would be able to select and engage targets without meaningful human control features this week in a Newsweek Japan special edition on robotics. The issue comes as US President Barack Obama met with representatives from Japanese robotics companies and their robots during his visit to Japan Read more...
Members of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots this week called on the government of Canada to support the creation of new international law to pre-emptive ban fully autonomous weapons or ‘killer robots’ as part of a new outreach effort by Mines Action Canada, a co-founder of the global Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. Mines Action Canada‘s Erin Hunt urged Read more...
On 10 April, the Irish launch of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots took place at at Trinity College Dublin with a  keynote address by Professor Noel Sharkey, chair of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, a founder of the global Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. Afri—a peace and human rights organisation that opposes war Read more...
The first Chatham House conference on autonomous military technologies in London on 24-25 February brought together individuals from different constituencies to contemplate autonomous weapons and the prospect of delegating human control over targeting and attack decisions to machines. The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots was pleased to be able to attend this well-organized and timely Read more...
Italy’s top political leadership has been briefed by Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams of the Nobel Women’s Initiative and Italian non-governmental organizations on the need for the government to support the call for a ban on fully autonomous weapons and play an active role in international efforts to address the weapons. The outreach in effect marks Read more...
At the newly refurbished United Nations in New York this month, there have been several signs that momentum is building behind calls for international talks on fully autonomous weapons, also known as “lethal autonomous robots” or “killer robots.” The evidence that this issue has arrived could be seen everywhere during the UN General Assembly First Committee on Read more...
At an event at the United Nations in New York today (Monday, 21 October), representatives of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots urged all nations to agree to begin international talks aimed at preventing the creation of fully autonomous robot weapons that, once activated, would select and engage targets without human intervention. Read more...
A number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Sweden including Civil Rights Defenders, Svenska Freds (Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society, SPAS), and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Sweden are campaigning for the government to support the call to ban fully autonomous weapons or “killer robots,” known in Swedish as mördarrobotarna. In a Read more...
On 3 September 2013, France in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs held a seminar for interested governments and civil society on fully autonomous weapons systems. The 90-minute event was held in the grand Council Chamber at the UN Palais des Nations in Geneva, in the same room where the Conference on Read more...
Following significant outreach by non-governmental organizations, German politicians and officials are beginning to commit to the call to ban fully autonomous weapons, known as vollständig autonome waffen or kampfroboter.  A poll of political parties participating in the 2013 federal election shows that Germany’s next government will likely engage actively on this issue in the years ahead, including Read more...
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. Read more...
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 Read more...
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, Read more...
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 Action Centre on Monday, April 22, was attended by about 65 campaigners from 30 NGOs. The activists provided input and guidance on Read more...
On April 23, a news conference was held at the Frontline in London to publicly launch the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. In its first public statement, the campaign called for urgent action to preemptively ban lethal robot weapons that would be able to select and attack targets without any human intervention. Read more...
Apr. 22, 2013
On Monday, April 22, the Steering Committee of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots convened a day-long conference at the Human Rights Action Centre in London for representatives from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to discuss the new initiative to pre-emptively ban fully autonomous weapons. Read more...