UN begins new round of talks on autonomous weapon systems
From 7-11 March 2022, participants in the UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on autonomous weapon systems are meeting in Geneva to continue discussions from the last eight years. Last year, the GGE met for many weeks of valuable discussions about the challenges posed by the potential development and use of autonomous weapons. These discussions resulted in an emerging agreement about what international legal restrictions and prohibitions are necessary to prevent them, with most participants supporting immediate, concrete action. But in December 2021, a handful of states that are actively developing increasingly autonomous technologies of violence, blocked the way forward for this issue at the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW). They would only accept ten days of further discussion, rather than setting aside several weeks to negotiate a new instrument, as supported by the majority. After nearly a decade of such talks, this is wholly inadequate and gravely irresponsible. Related technology developments are proceeding apace in each of the states blocking progress at the CCW, including Russia, the United States, Israel, and a few others.
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