September 16, 2019
 In Autonomous Weapon Systems

Country: Germany
Delegate Name: Anay Moitra

The nature of autonomous weapon systems, otherwise known as killer robots, is a crucial discussion in the modern world. They are defined as weapons that do not require human intervention to select and engage a target. These lethal devices appear in many shapes and forms (most commonly developed as drones), and the damage performed by them can blindside not only soldiers but policymakers as well. Furthermore, the obscure complexity of Artificial Intelligence, which raises moral and ethical questions, makes it harder to form a solution. Incidentally, in March 2019, the United Nations Secretary-General urged AI experts to restrict the development of lethal autonomous weapons systems. To resolve this intricate issue, the Disarmament and International Security Committee must explore solutions that deal with the regulation of autonomous weapon systems.

Troubled by the destruction such weapon systems could perform, Germany has educated itself and established its position in this predicament. During the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) in March 2019, Germany voiced its opinion, pledging not to use autonomous weapon systems. The country is, nevertheless, preparing to defend itself against potential attacks carried out by foreign weapons. An Arms Division advocacy director from Germany stated that “Germany should turn its statements on the need to prohibit killer robots into action by launching negotiations of a new ban treaty … Public expectations are rising that political leaders will act decisively to prevent the development of fully autonomous weapons.” Inspired by the public response and the reaction from other states, Germany plans to take further action to regulate such types of weapons.

The questions raised by the development and use of autonomous weapons systems are of great significance for the shaping of German security and defense policy. In the committee, Germany will cooperate with like-minded countries to open negotiations on a resolution that prohibits weapons systems that select and attack targets without human intervention. The resolution must include a clear step-by-step procedure, that Germany plans to discuss, for achieving an international regulation of these devices. Several countries do support the investment of these weapons, so a compromise must be found that accommodates the wishes of all countries.

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