12 May 2014
Press Release

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

States to Discuss Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems

at Geneva Meeting, 13-16 May


NEW YORK, 12 May 2014 (Office for Disarmament Affairs) — The Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons will hold discussions on lethal autonomous weapons systems from 13 to 16 May at the United Nations in Geneva, with the record attendance expected from representatives of States, United Nations entities, the International Committee of the Red Cross and non-governmental organizations.

Ambassador Jean-Hugues Simon-Michel of France, who will preside over the discussions, noted that “lethal autonomous weapons systems are a challenging emerging issue on the disarmament agenda right now”.  He went on to explain:  “In the upcoming discussions we need to thoroughly examine issues such as the current state of, and trends in, autonomous technology, as well as their military applications.  We also need to thoroughly examine the legal and ethical challenges related to the development of such technologies.”

The discussions will include substantive sessions on technological developments, the ethical and sociological questions arising from the development and deployment of autonomous weapons, as well as the adequacy of and challenges to international law and their possible impact on military operations.

The outcomes of the discussions will be submitted to the formal conference of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons in November, where States will discuss possible next steps on autonomous weapons.

For more information, please contact the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons Implementation Support Unit, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, Geneva Branch, Ms. Hine-Wai Loose, Political Affairs Officer, at tel.:  +41 22 917 1203, e-mail:  mhloose@unog.ch.

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For information media • not an official record