Representatives of 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean agreed in Costa Rica on the urgent need to negotiate a legally binding international instrument to regulate the autonomy of weapons systems.
The region recognizes risks and manifests the political will to negotiate a legally binding instrument on autonomous weapons at the international level, indicates the Final Communiqué of the Ribera de Belén, site where the Regional Conference on the social and humanitarian impact of this type of attack armament met for two days.
Among the new actions agreed upon by the participants in the Conference are collaborating to promote the urgent negotiation of this instrument, with prohibitions and regulations regarding autonomy in weapons systems.
Prevention of the social and humanitarian impact
The foregoing, indicates, to ensure compliance with International Law, including International Humanitarian Law and ethical perspectives, as well as the prevention of the social and humanitarian impact that autonomy in weapons systems entails.
They also commit to actively participate in order to advance common positions to advance these negotiations, as well as to continue and strengthen cooperation and partnership with international and civil society organizations, academia and other relevant stakeholders, to take advantage of their relevant experience and support.
Finally, the attendees expressed that the discussions between the States of Latin America and the Caribbean will continue, with a view to developing possible recommendations that can be promoted within the framework of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and other multilateral forums.
Emerging technologies pose concrete challenges
All this, considering that emerging technologies pose concrete challenges to international peace and security, and raise new questions about the role of human beings in war.
The Communiqué argues that a holistic understanding of the effects of autonomy on weapons systems and their impact on significant human control is required to fully assess the ethical, legal, humanitarian and security implications.
Believing that it is essential to maintain significant human control to avoid further dehumanization of war, as well as to guarantee individual accountability and State responsibility.
It recalls that the States of Latin America and the Caribbean have actively participated in the Government Expert Group discussions related to emerging technologies in the field of lethal autonomous weapons systems, within the framework of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.
A future regulatory framework
A group of States presented elements for a future regulatory framework and a draft Protocol VI within the framework of the Convention on certain conventional weapons and adds that some States of the region have joined the Declaration of another 60 in the Assembly General of the United Nations in October 2022 on autonomous weapons.
On the other hand, it stands out that the Declaration of Buenos Aires at the VII Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, of January 24, 2023, highlighted the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed at the II Summit of Heads of State and Government in Havana, in January 2014.