On the 21st October 2022, the first-ever UN General Assembly joint statement on autonomous weapons was delivered on behalf of a cross-regional group of seventy states by Amb. Alexander Kmentt, Director of the Disarmament, Arms Control and Nonproliferation Department at the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The joint statement recognises the need for ‘internationally agreed rules and limits’ on autonomous weapons systems, and notes that ‘the human element is and must remain central in the use of force’. The statement also emphasises ‘the necessity for human beings to exert appropriate control, judgement and involvement in relation to the use of weapons systems in order to ensure any use is in compliance with International Law, in particular International Humanitarian Law, and that humans remain accountable for decisions on the use of force’.
The majority of states involved in UN-level discussions on autonomous weapons systems support the negotiation of new legally binding rules on autonomous weapons.
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