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UN and Red Cross join voices against danger of autonomous weapons

United Nations, Oct 5 (Prensa Latina) The United Nations (UN) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Thursday called for actions to preserve human control over the use of force and to establish new prohibitions on autonomous weapon systems.

In a joint appeal, UN Secretary-General António Guterres and ICRC President Mirjana Spoljaric called on States to establish specific restrictions on these technologies to shield current and future generations from the consequences of their use.

“In the current security landscape, setting clear international red lines will benefit all States,” they stressed in the appeal released here.

Autonomous weapon systems, equipped with technology that selects targets and applies force without human intervention, pose grave humanitarian, legal, ethical, and security concerns.

Their development and proliferation have the potential to change significantly the way wars are fought and contribute to global instability and heightened international tensions, they warned.

According to both organizations, machines with the power and discretion to take lives without human involvement, while robotics and artificial intelligence are more accessible, should be prohibited by international law.

Despite debates within the United Nations about these dangers, without a specific international agreement governing autonomous weapon systems, the States can hold different views about how these general rules apply.

The call urged to launch negotiations of a new legally binding instrument to set comprehensible prohibitions and restrictions on autonomous weapons systems by 2026.