The countries behind a agreement on weapons have been meeting this week on the thorny issue of lethal autonomous weapons systems, colloquially known as killer robots, which advocacy groups want to strictly limit or ban.


The latest conference of countries behind a Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons is tackling an array of issues from incendiary weapons, explosive remnants of war, a specific category of land mines, and the autonomous weapons systems.





Opponents of such systems fear a dystopian day when tanks, submarines, or fleets of drones with facial-recognition software could roam without human oversight and strike against human targets.


It’s essentially a really critical opportunity for states to take steps to regulate and prohibit autonomy in weapons systems, which in essence means killer or weapons systems that are going to operate without meaningful human control, said Clare Conboy, spokeswoman for the advocacy group Stop Killer


The various countries have met repeatedly on the issue since 2013. They face what Human Rights Watch called a pivotal decision this week in Geneva on whether to open specific talks on the use of autonomous weapons systems or to leave it up to regular meetings of the countries to work out.


A group of governmental experts that took up the issue failed to reach a consensus last week, and advocacy groups say nations including the United States, Russia, Israel, India and Britain have impeded progress.


The Committee of the Red Cross cautioned this month that the loss of human control and judgment in the use of force and weapons raises serious concerns from humanitarian, legal and ethical perspectives.


Some world powers oppose any binding or nonvoluntary constraints on the development of such systems, in part out of concern that if the countries can’t develop or research such weapons, their enemies or non-state groups might. Some countries argue there’s a fine line between autonomous weapons systems and computer-aided targeting and weapons systems that exist already.


The United States has called for a code of conduct governing the use of such systems, while Russia has argued that current law is sufficient.


U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in a statement delivered on his behalf at Monday’s meeting, urged the conference on CCW to swiftly advance its work on autonomous weapons that can choose targets and kill people without human interference.


He called for an agreement on an ambitious plan for the future to establish restrictions on the use of certain types of autonomous weapons.


The talks are scheduled to run through Friday.


The issue is likely to remain with the group of governmental experts and not be elevated to special talks with a view toward other U.N. agreements that restrict cluster munitions and land mines.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor





Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *