PAX launches 'Crunch Time' today at the UN in Geneva. The report provides an overview of the positions of European states on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS), also known as 'killer robots'. The report finds that there is a general agreement that there is a ‘red line’ beyond which increasing autonomy in weapons systems is no longer acceptable. European states also agree that there must be human control over the use of force and that there is a need to work towards concrete policy outcomes.
About 2.2 million Syrians, the vast majority of them civilians, have been forcibly moved to Idlib province during the course of the war in Syria, according to the 10th and final quarterly Siege Watch report, published today. That includes more than 110,000 people expelled after the forced surrender agreements of northern Homs countryside and various suburbs around Damascus, including Eastern Ghoutha, this past spring. For the second time in just a few months, these civilians are facing devastation.
The European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for a ban on lethal autonomous weapons, also known as killer robots. The resolution stresses the importance of preventing the development and production of such weapon systems and calls for the start of negotiations on an international treaty that would prohibit lethal autonomous weapon systems. The adoption of this resolution sends a strong message to maintain human control over weapons systems.
“How long before we will see the first AK-47 version of an armed drone?” Wim Zwijnenburg of Dutch peace organisation PAX and one of the leading researchers connected with The European Forum on Armed Drones (EFAD ) warns that the threshold to employ armed drones becomes lower. He launched a report at the Fourth Conference of States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in Japan.
A group of concerned citizens in South Sudan warns that the situation in the country is likely to become even worse unless a genuine, inclusive political process can be started immediately. The group says South Sudan’s internal conflicts cannot be settled by war, but must be settled through political dialogue based on a shared vision for a peaceful future in which the South Sudanese are united in diversity. The Concerned Citizen’s Network for Peace (CCNP) therefore calls upon the wisdom of the leaders of all South Sudanese parties to act for the general good of all citizens.
PAX has won the prestigious Green Star Award for responding to environmental crises resulting from armed conflict. The Green Star Award was established by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), UN Environment (UNEP) and the Green Cross and is presented every other year to three organizations for preparing for and responding to environmental emergencies. PAX won the category Response for leadership in the protection of civilians from environmental pollution during war and armed conflict and commitment to building peace with justice.