Latin American and the Caribbean Conference
on the Social and Humanitarian Impact of Autonomous Weapons
This event was organized by:
- Costa Rica was among the 30 states that publicly spoke out on fully autonomous weapons following the Human Rights Council debate on May 30, 2013.
- On November 15, the states that are party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) met at the United Nations in Geneva and decide to include the issue of fully autonomous weapons in their work program for 2014.
- The first CCW expert meeting on lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) took place from May 13-16 at the United Nations in Geneva.
- The second CCW expert meeting on LAWS was held April 13-17 at the United Nations in Geneva.
- The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots urged states before the First Committee to articulate their views on autonomous weapons concerns and indicate their support for further work, through an open-ended Group of Governmental Experts that can accelerate the pace through expanded discussions.
- RC Position to the 5th CCW Review Conference
The manufacture and use of lethal autonomous weapons brings new challenges to ID, IHL and IHRL.
- The third CCW expert meeting on LAWS took place from 11 to 15 April 2016 in Geneva.
- RC position to the 5th CCW Review Conference:
“The robotic revolution is the next biggest revolution in military affairs, comparable to the introduction of gunpowder and nuclear weapons.”
However, this revolution goes even a step further than its predecessors, as there is a change in the identity of those who use them. With lethal autonomous weapons, the distinction between weapons and warriors is lost, as they are merged into one.
- Governmental Group of Experts (GGE) on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems begins in November.
- The final report of the 2017 GGE meeting, in particular its “Conclusions and Recommendations” section, provided guidance and direction for the GGE’s work conducted in 2018.
- Wide range of participation: 125 High Contracting Parties to the Convention, representatives of international organizations, non-governmental organizations, academia, industry and civil society.
The report of the 2018 session of the GGE agreed on guiding principles as new common elements, conclusions and recommendations.
- Advocated for the GGE mandate to be reformulated to have a negotiating scope.
- A legally binding instrument banning fully autonomous lethal autonomous weapons, and a positive principle or obligation regulating autonomous weapons systems in general were promoted.
- CCW annual meeting agrees to continue talks
EAt the CCW annual meeting held November 13-15, States agreed to continue formal discussions of the Group of Governmental Experts for ten days in 2020 under the chairmanship of Mr. Jānis Kārkliņš de Letonia.
- Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Affairs launches national campaign
The Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched the national campaign “For a country free of autonomous weapons: technology at the service of peace” and pledged to work for a legally binding instrument to ban fully autonomous weapons systems and maintain meaningful human control over the use of force.
- ICRC calls for new legal norms to address autonomy in weapons systems
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) issued an updated position on autonomous weapons systems, noting that they are “…convinced that international limits must take the form of new legally binding rules to regulate autonomous weapons”. The position called for new legal standards, including prohibitions and regulations, to address the moral and legal concerns of autonomy in weapons systems and ensure human control.
- First GGE LAWS meeting of 2021
At the first meeting of the 2021 Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems, 55 states gathered for intense and focused discussions on key elements of a possible new framework on autonomous weapons, with many calling for the negotiation of new international law.
- Killer Robots at UN General Assembly
In a statement to the UN First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, Stop Killer Robots urged states to come together in a spirit of cooperation and solidarity and agree to begin negotiations on a treaty to address the risks of autonomy in weapons at the CCW’s sixth RevCon. Stop Killer Robots also issued a joint civil society statement on race and intersectionality in humanitarian disarmament. arguing that an anti-racist and intersectional perspective on humanitarian disarmament is fundamental to centering human security and peace.
- Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities raises self-reliant weapons
For the first time, a report by the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities recognized autonomous weapons as a threat to the rights of persons with disabilities, demonstrating concerns about the “ability of artificial intelligence-driven weaponry to discriminate between combatants and non-combatants, and make the nuanced determination of whether an assistive device qualifies a person with a disability as a threat.”
- Group of 10 states propose roadmap to new CCW protocol on autonomous weapons
At the July meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), a group of ten states, including Argentina, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Panama, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, the State of Palestine and Uruguay presented a proposed roadmap towards a legally binding instrument that would require counties to regulate autonomous weapons systems to ensure that “meaningful human control is maintained” throughout their life cycle.
- ICRC urges states to take steps to negotiate autonomous weapons treaties
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) issued its statement following the recent meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts on Autonomous Weapons Systems, writing that “the conclusions of the Group of Governmental Experts do not reflect the gravity of the problem and the urgent need for an international response. They do not recognize the specific challenges posed by autonomous weapons or provide guidance on effective measures to address them.”
- UN Human Rights Council adopts resolution on human rights issues related to emerging military technologies
The Human Rights Council adopted a resolution drafted by Austria, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Uruguay on human rights issues related to emerging military technologies.
- 70 states deliver joint statement on autonomous weapons systems at UN General Assembly
For the first time at the United Nations General Assembly, states from around the world joined together to issue a joint statement on autonomous weapons systems. With a total of 70 states joining, this was the largest inter-regional group statement ever made throughout UN discussions on the subject. The statement, delivered on behalf of the group by Ambassador Alexander Kmentt, Director of the Department for Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation at the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, consolidated key elements of the urgently needed international response. It included:
- Recognition that autonomous weapons systems raise serious concerns from humanitarian, legal, security, technological and ethical perspectives.
- Recognition of the need to maintain human responsibility and accountability in the use of force.
- Emphasis on the need for internationally agreed rules and limits, including a combination of bans and regulations on autonomous weapons systems.
- Stop Killer Robots believes that collective action taken by states provides an important component toward a legally binding treaty on autonomous weapons systems.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship in conjunction with the Foundation for Peace and Democracy organizes the Latin American and Caribbean Conference on the Social and Humanitarian Impact of Autonomous Weapons in Costa Rica.
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