Thank you Madame President and thank you for your work chairing this preparatory meeting this week here in Geneva.
I wanted to say a few remarks in my capacity as the coordinator of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. I work for Human Rights Watch but our global coalition has more than 60 non-governmental organizations working on this topic.
Following the ICRC, we would also like to express support for the recommendation to create an open-ended Group of Governmental Experts to continue this work on lethal autonomous weapons systems.
You’ve heard us call for a maximum amount of time to be dedicated to this work next year. At the last meeting in April we heard wide support for a proposal that this Group of Governmental Experts meet for 6 weeks over 2017 and 2018.
We see the long list of topics to be discussed and I’d like to remind delegates again that the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots agrees on the “critical importance” of hearing “views on appropriate human involvement with regard to lethal force and the issue of delegation of its use.” For us, this is a key topic which can help guide the deliberations.
We will be back here in December for the Fifth Review Conference of the Convention on Conventional Weapons. In the period between now and December we hope to do work in capitals to encourage the development of national policy on lethal autonomous weapons systems so that countries can come prepared for this Review Conference in December.
Just this week our campaigners were participating in events on this topic in Stockholm and the Hague. Later this month, we will be in Moscow and New Delhi. We really hope to see action back in national capitals.
We appreciate the work that has been done to date on lethal autonomous weapons systems and strongly hope that this recommendation of a Group of Governmental Experts is agreed in December.