Lethal autonomous weapons, LAWs, also called military robots, are autonomous robots or remote-controlled mobile robots designed for military applications,
from transport to search & rescue and attack, such as artificial intelligent missiles, drones, unmanned vehicles, military robots among others.
- A.M. Costa Rica illustrative photo -
Government launches campaign against military robots
Published Thursday, March 11, 2021
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
The government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched the campaign against Lethal autonomous weapons entitled "Por un país libre de armas autónomas: la tecnología al servicio de la paz," which in the English language translates to: For a country free of autonomous weapons and technology at the service of peace.
Lethal autonomous weapons, LAWs, also called military robots, are autonomous robots or remote-controlled mobile robots designed for military applications, from transport to search & rescue and attack, such as artificial intelligent missiles, drones, unmanned vehicles, military robots among others.
According to Human Rights Watch, fully autonomous lethal weapons are robotic weapons systems that, once activated, could select and strike targets without the need for any intervention from a human operator. The weapon would have an autonomous choice regarding the selection of a target and the use of lethal force.
This campaign has been developed with the support of a group of experts from the scientific, security and international humanitarian law areas from both the public and private sectors, the ministry said in its statement.
In the country autonomous lethal weapons are not produced, however, the goal of the ministry is to involve the population to support the development of technology for peaceful purposes at the national level. For this, a series of activities such as work tables, webinars, free talks, videos, among others, are published so that the people can learn more about the idea that artificial intelligence must be used for exclusively peaceful purposes.
One of the international experts taking part in the campaign is the U.S. citizen Jody Williams, a 1997 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, for her work to eliminate landmines.
Williams is also co-founder of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, ICBL. The goal of the international coalition is to fully ban autonomous weapons and maintain humane control over the use of force.
"Costa Rica has always taken a leadership role in disarmament in the world," Williams said in her speech she gave virtually. "So being with you at the launch of the campaign is awesome to me."
According to Williams, Costa Rica's role to have Central America declared a zone free of antipersonnel mines may encourage other countries to join the campaign to eliminate autonomous weapons.
Williams's work includes articles for magazines and newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, The Independent, The Irish Times, The Toronto Globe and Mail, and The Los Angeles Times.
Her writing goes beyond articles to manuscripts. She has published the following books: “After the Guns Fall Silent: The Enduring Legacy of Landmines,” “Banning Landmines: Disarmament, Citizen Diplomacy and Human Security and her memoir,” “My Name Is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl's Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize."
The campaign will be published on the Ministry's Facebook page.
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