As the German NGO Facing Finance reports, the support for an international ban on autonomous weapon systems is growing. At the recent informal consultations at the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) in Geneva 14 countries voted for such a prohibition, among them Chile, Cuba, Mexico, Pakistan, and Vatican State. Progress is slow, though. The expert meeting agreed to recommend to the forthcoming CCW Fifth Review Conference in December 2016 to establish a Group of Governmental Experts who should develop recommendations to the UN on a more formal level over the next two years – what seems like a quite long time considering the rapid progress of the technology. But it’s better than nothing.
Germany’s approach to deal with autonomous weapon systems on a national level has been criticized by several participants of the meeting. „There is no evidence that national assessment procedures ever prevented the development of any weapon system“, says Thomas Küchenmeister from Facing Finance. „Therefore we need a new, preventive convention to prohibit autonomous weapon systems, based on international law.“