Supports the negotiation of a legally binding instrument.
Austria participated in the first debate on autonomous weapons systems at the UN Human Rights Council in May 2013, and has engaged in all Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons meetings on autonomous weapons systems since 2014. It has also spoken on autonomous weapons systems at the UN General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security.
Austria supports the negotiation of a legally binding instrument on autonomous weapons systems, and has repeatedly expressed this support in various fora. At the 77th UN General Assembly First Committee meeting in October 2022, Austria said that ‘Autonomous weapons systems raise serious concerns from a humanitarian, legal, security, technological and above all ethical perspective. It is our clear view that the current legal framework needs to be strengthened, to ensure human responsibility and accountability in the use of force. We need to address these issues with urgency as we are facing research, development and deployment of new weapons technologies progressing at a rapid pace.'Statement by Austria, 77th UN General Assembly First Committee, 04 October 2022, https://reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/1com/1com22/statements/4Oct_Austria.pdf At the UN General Assembly First Committee in 2021, Austria stated that ‘there is still time to prevent humanity from crossing a very dangerous threshold by adopting legally binding norms to safeguard human control over autonomous weapons systems.’ Statement by Austria, 76th UN General Assembly First Committee, 06 October 2022, https://reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/1com/1com21/statements/6Oct_Austria.pdf
At the CCW Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (GGE on LAWS) in March 2023, Austria stated that ‘for Austria, a legally binding instrument is urgently needed, as the current framework of international law is not sufficiently developed to address the emerging challenges of autonomy in weapons systems.'Statement by Austria, CCW Group of Governmental Experts on LAWS, March 2023, https://media.un.org/en/asset/k1a/k1al2nqtt6; please note that this link leads to the full video recording of the relevant … Continue reading
At the third session of the 2021 meeting of the CCW GGE on LAWS, Austria said that ‘technology deciding over choosing targets and attacking them without meaningful human control is morally, legally and politically unacceptable. To avoid such a scenario new international law is urgently required. Work on such an instrument should start without further delay.’ Statement by Austria, CCW Group of Governmental Experts on LAWS, 02 December 2021
Austria believes that ‘the moral, ethical and legal concerns’ stemming from the development of autonomous weapon systems which could select and attack targets independently, without any human control, are ‘among the most pressing challenges facing disarmament efforts today.’ Federal Ministry of the Republic of Austria, ‘Autonomous Weapons Systems’,
https://www.bmeia.gv.at/en/european-foreign-policy/disarmament/conventional-arms/autonomous-weapons-systems/ In a written contribution to the GGE on LAWS in 2020, Austria stated that it ‘considers the necessity of developing specific international law in the context of autonomous weapons systems without meaningful human control over the selection and engagement of a target as an urgent matter to be dealt with by the international community’, with the development of such law being ‘key to preserve human moral dignity, the rule of law and international security as a whole.’ Austria further highlighted in this contribution that ‘the absence of clear legal norms regulating LAWS might ultimately challenge many of the previous achievements in international law, international humanitarian law, the ethical principles enshrined as a minimum standard in the Martens clause and human rights law.’ Written contribution of Austria to the Chair`’s request on the Guiding Principles on emerging technologies in the area of LAWS, … Continue reading
|↑1||Statement by Austria, 77th UN General Assembly First Committee, 04 October 2022, https://reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/1com/1com22/statements/4Oct_Austria.pdf|
|↑2||Statement by Austria, 76th UN General Assembly First Committee, 06 October 2022, https://reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/1com/1com21/statements/6Oct_Austria.pdf|
|↑3||Statement by Austria, CCW Group of Governmental Experts on LAWS, March 2023, https://media.un.org/en/asset/k1a/k1al2nqtt6; please note that this link leads to the full video recording of the relevant meeting.|
|↑4||Statement by Austria, CCW Group of Governmental Experts on LAWS, 02 December 2021|
|↑5||Federal Ministry of the Republic of Austria, ‘Autonomous Weapons Systems’,|
|↑6||Written contribution of Austria to the Chair`’s request on the Guiding Principles on emerging technologies in the area of LAWS, https://documents.unoda.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/20200901-Austria.pdf|