UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in his New Agenda for Peace, has called on states to ‘conclude, by 2026, a legally binding instrument to prohibit lethal autonomous weapon systems that function without human control or oversight, and which cannot be used in compliance with international humanitarian law, and to regulate all other types of autonomous weapons systems.’
Launched on 20th July 2023, the New Agenda for Peace also highlights that the design, development and use of autonomous weapons systems ‘raise humanitarian, legal, security and ethical concerns and pose a direct threat to human rights and fundamental freedoms’, and states that ‘machines with the power and discretion to take lives without human involvement are morally repugnant and politically unacceptable and should be prohibited by international law.’
The Secretary-General’s recommendation and his unprecedented timeline for action further underscores the urgent need for new international rules on autonomy in weapons systems, and demonstrates the widespread support for prohibitions and regulations among states. To learn more, read Stop Killer Robots’ comment on the Secretary-General’s call.
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