Jamaica has attended some of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) Group of Governmental Experts meetings on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (GGE on LAWS) since 2014. Jamaica supports the negotiation of a legally binding instrument on autonomous weapons systems.
At the 78th UN General Assembly First Committee in 2023, Jamaica voted in favour of resolution L.56 on autonomous weapons systems, along with 163 other states. Resolution L.56 stressed the ‘urgent need for the international community to address the challenges and concerns raised by autonomous weapons systems’, and mandated the UN Secretary-General to prepare a report, reflecting the views of member and observer states on autonomous weapons systems and ways to address the related challenges and concerns they raise from humanitarian, legal, security, technological and ethical perspectives and on the role of humans in the use of force.
Speaking on behalf of the CARICOM community at First Committee in 2023, Jamaica stated that ‘it is becoming increasingly evident that new technological applications, such as autonomous decision-making in weapons systems (AWS), also raise significant legal, ethical and moral concerns’, and noted that ‘CARICOM Member States are concerned that such weapons systems may have detrimental implications on the maintenance of international peace and security, as well as the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure.’ Jamaica further underscored that ‘CARICOM Member States join other States in their efforts to negotiate an international legally binding instrument that prohibits uncontrollable autonomous weapons systems capable of using force independent of human control’. The CARICOM community also recognised and supported ‘the call issued by the Secretary-General through ‘The New Agenda for Peace’ for States to adopt such a treaty to prohibit and regulate autonomous weapons systems by 2026. The CARICOM member states also acknowledged ‘the important work undertaken on this issue within the framework of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW)’, but emphasized ‘the need to broaden the discussion to accommodate potential negotiations regarding an international legally binding instrument, which would incorporate prohibitions and regulations on autonomous weapons systems.’Statement by Jamaica on behalf of CARICOM, UNGA First Committee, 24 October 2023. https://reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/1com/1com23/statements/24Oct_CARICOM.pdf
At the 2023 CARICOM conference on the human impacts of autonomous weapons, Jamaica joined the CARICOM Declaration on Autonomous Weapons Systems, stating its commitment to ‘support the indispensability of meaningful human control over the use of force and thereby encourage the pursuit of an international legally binding instrument which incorporates prohibitions and regulations on AWS’, and to ‘collaborate on endeavours aimed at negotiating an international legally binding instrument that prohibits unpredictable or uncontrollable AWS capable of using force without meaningful human control, and prohibit those designed or employed to apply force against persons, while implementing regulations for other forms of AWS’.CARICOM Declaration on Autonomous Weapons Systems, https://www.caricom-aws2023.com/_files/ugd/b69acc_c1ffb97ed9024930a3205ae4e34c1b45.pdf
Jamaica is also member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which supports the negotiation of a legally binding instrument on autonomous weapons systems. In July 2021, a working paper on behalf of the NAM and other States Parties to the CCW was submitted to the GGE on LAWS, which stated that ‘a strengthened and reinforced multilateral approach, with new legally-binding provisions for addressing the humanitarian and international security challenges posed by emerging technologies in the area of LAWS, is vital. There is an urgent need to pursue a legally-binding instrument on LAWS’.Working paper submitted by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, CCW Group of Governmental Experts on LAWS, June 2021, … Continue reading
In a statement delivered by the government of Antigua and Barbuda at the United Nations General Assembly First Committee Meeting on 25 October 2019, CARICOM said that ‘we must remain vigilant in our understanding of new and emerging weapons technologies’.Statement delivered by Antigua and Barbuda on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), UN General Assembly First Committee , 25 October 2019, https://media.un.org/en/asset/k10/k106jlrx1l; … Continue reading
|↑1||Statement by Jamaica on behalf of CARICOM, UNGA First Committee, 24 October 2023. https://reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/1com/1com23/statements/24Oct_CARICOM.pdf|
|↑2||CARICOM Declaration on Autonomous Weapons Systems, https://www.caricom-aws2023.com/_files/ugd/b69acc_c1ffb97ed9024930a3205ae4e34c1b45.pdf|
|↑3||Working paper submitted by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, CCW Group of Governmental Experts on LAWS, June 2021, https://documents.unoda.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/NAM.pdf|
|↑4||Statement delivered by Antigua and Barbuda on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), UN General Assembly First Committee , 25 October 2019, https://media.un.org/en/asset/k10/k106jlrx1l; please note that this link leads to the full recording of the relevant meeting.|