Campaign to Stop Killer Robots members and guests from eight Asian states met in Islamabad, Pakistan on 9-10 December 2019 at the invitation of the Sustainable Peace and Development Organisation (SPADO).
The aim of the meeting was to learn more about the serious ethical, moral, technical, legal, proliferation, and security concerns raised by the ongoing development of fully autonomous weapons, also known as lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWs) or killer robots. The participants strategized on how to achieve the Campaign’s goal of a pre-emptive ban treaty to retain meaningful human control over the use of force.
The participants discussed approaches to building coordination between civil society in the region, and considered ways to engage regional bodies, such as the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), and states in South and Central Asia and Azerbaijan to create a strong regional position in support of banning lethal autonomous weapons systems. The participants reaffirmed the importance of the private sector in developing technology for peaceful purposes and civilian uses, and discussed disarmament as a tool to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
The participants reflected on some measures that have been proposed to address concerns over killer robots, and the current status of multilateral talks within the United Nations. They agreed that fully autonomous weapons would violate international humanitarian law and international human rights law. They concluded that measures that fall short of a new international treaty to retain meaningful human control over the use of force will be insufficient to deal with the urgent threat posed by the introduction of fully autonomous weapons.
As a result, the participants adopted a civil society declaration affirming the urgent need to foster greater regional cooperation by and between Asian states towards the goal of immediately launching negotiations of a new treaty to prohibit development, production, transfer, and use of fully autonomous weapons and retain meaningful human control over the use of force.
Representatives of the Center for Non-Proliferation and Export Control Taalaibek Bektashev and Marat Sadykov have participated in this event and made a presentation about perspectives of work in the field of expanding the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.
Reference Information: The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is a coalition of more than 130 nongovernmental organizations in more than 60 countries that is working to preemptively ban fully autonomous weapons and retain meaningful human control over the use of force.
Website: www.stopkillerrobots.org Twitter: @BanKillerRobots Facebook: @stopkillerrobots