September 16, 2019

Autonomous Weapon Systems

General Assembly: Disarmament & International Security Committee

Topic: Autonomous Weapon Systems

The phrase “autonomous weapon system” likely brings to mind images of unmanned aerial vehicles, or “drones”. However, this is neither sufficiently broad, nor sufficiently specific – unmanned weapon systems are not confined to aircraft only, and merely being unmanned does not signify a lack of human control. As contrasted to a drone, which is typically operated remotely by a live human, an autonomous weapon system is a weapon system that is capable of operating without direct human input or control, particularly in terms of the actual use of force.

The term “artificial intelligence” is something of a misnomer. True AI, capable of thinking and reasoning for itself, has never been accomplished. What we think of as AI actually consists of elaborate preprogrammed decision trees. Unanticipated factors will inevitably throw off even the most careful calculations. Complex moral and ethical questions about the use of force cannot be reduced to mathematical “right” and “wrong” answers, but must be dealt with. A machine is capable of doing only, and exactly, what it is told to do, whether under direct human control or simply running through a preset chain of logic. Clearly, there is no such thing as a truly “autonomous” weapon system, in the sense that it thinks for itself and is responsible for its actions. There is always a human actor who bears ultimate responsibility. The challenge is in determining who that may be. Both state and nonstate entities have ready access to the necessary components, which from firearms to semiconductors can be sourced anywhere. A simple robotic “suicide bomber” can be built in a suburban garage. Determining who wrote a given segment of code is rather like identifying the author of a typewritten note: style can give clues about identity, but can also be imitated. Proliferation is not the right word to describe the problem we face, because this technology (simple or sophisticated) is already ubiquitous.

A further complication is in classifying types of autonomy. A landmine or a spring gun operates without thought based on mechanical input: the unwary victim touches the wrong thing and sets off the device. Drones of various types – land, sea, air, and space – may navigate themselves into position and then transmit images back to human operators who then select the target and command that a particular action be taken. Point-defense systems like the active countermeasures found on aircraft and armored vehicles, or like the rapid-fire close-in weapons systems mounted on capital warships, may trigger automatically upon detecting an incoming threat – but may also trigger unintentionally, causing friendly-fire incidents or civilian casualties. Penetration of electronic systems, and the safeguards to prevent such penetration, can be automated or human-controlled, and distinguishing one from the other is difficult at best especially when the result is the theft, corruption, destruction, or even hijacking of the computer systems in question. Autonomous weapon systems can potentially incorporate any or all of these features.

Bearing all of these factors in mind, member nations are called upon to deal with the increasing problem of autonomous weapon systems. How should they be classified? Should they be banned? Regulated? How can such agreements be enforced between states, or on nonstate actors? How does one determine who is responsible for the use of a given system in the absence of clear information about its origins or control? Underlying all of this is the question of what happens when a computer becomes truly autonomous. International peace and security depend upon the committee’s answers to these broad questions.

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Submitted Position Papers

KalamazooCentralDelegates 11/25/2021 23:56:03

Country: Pakistan
Delegate Name: Garrett English

Country: Pakistan
Delegate Name: Garrett English

An autonomous weapon is defined as “weapon systems that, once activated, can select and engage targets without further intervention by a human operator”. This definition is a point of stress for many, since these weapons like all are bound to work according to its programing or design, and will follow it to its conclusion. There is also the issue of how easy these weapons are to create, leading to a war of ever increasing numbers.

Pakistan, alongside many other countries, supports a ban on these autonomous weapons, otherwise known as Killer Robots. When used under human surveillance these tools can be used to great effect, but once left to their programing horrible things can happen if a slight change happens after a calculation is made or there is some sort of tampering done to the Killer Robot.
Why take such unnecessary risk?

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SASADelegates 11/24/2021 23:59:20

Country: Brazil
Delegate Name: Unmun Kaur

Unmun Kaur
Disarmament and International Security Committee
Autonomous Weapon Systems
Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy

To distinguish between the enemy or civilians standing in a crowded Battlespace. These systems have sensors that have various types to scrutinize the platform surroundings processing systems to classify objects which are discovered by the sensors as well as the algorithm from the platform is to initiate attack when an allowable target is detected.” Weapon systems that once activated can select and engage targets without further intervention by a human operator, “is a quote from the US Department of defense and how it describes autonomous weapon systems. If your weapons in active service presently exhibit all of these characteristics, many militaries employed close enable defense weapons such as the US. Autonomy then is a matter of degree, with machines receiving ever-increasing capacity to assess their surroundings and decide what to strike and when.

Thirty countries are calling for a ban on autonomous weapons, and one of these countries is Brazil. In Brazil, they are not referred to as autonomous weapons. They are referred to as killer robots. Brazil is one of the states party to the convention of certain conventional weapons and the advocate for legally binding instruments aimed at regulating the development and usage. According to a poll in December 2020, 62% of Brazilians were against lethal autonomous weapon systems and many other interviews conducted by a particular platform with 14 young leaders from different regions of Brazil between May and July 2021, which also highlighted significant concerns about said weapons. Most countries that use these weapons are substantial countries like the United States, United Kingdom, China, Russia, Israel, South Korea, and many smaller or poorer countries. The Brazilian Ministry of foreign affairs and many other Brazilian companies have discussed in an informal Bierman best practices to share knowledge on the topic as well as meetings in the UN group of governmental experts back in 2020. On May 30, Brazil announced their thoughts on these weapons in 2013 on fully autonomous weapons during Human Rights Council.

There are many things we can do to stop the production of these killer robots. One of them is to make an international law declaring that anything this advanced should not be used in the military field and tested thoroughly before bringing it out into real life. Many other countries with Brazil, including Pakistan, want to ban these weapons and have held many meetings on the systems since 2014. We would also like the law of war to be pushed out more since it is a legally binding international law on deploying or using fully autonomous weapon systems. The truth is these robots cannot fully always detect whether or not we are attacking our men on the other sides when or even civilians have nothing to do with the battle. Major countries are trying to demote that these weapons do not exist yet, but we all know that they have already started making them, and many countries have already started using them. Drones are a big part of warfare and are controlled by humans, a virtually autonomous weapon. For all of these reasons, we say that they should be banned from usage from any country.

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FHCDelegates 11/24/2021 23:50:57

Country: Argentina
Delegate Name: Benjamin Laidlaw

Benjamin Laidlaw
Forest Hills Central
AWSs and IEDs

We feel as follows that the violent incidents of automated weapon system malfunctions, is the result of outdated weapon systems technology, and we deem it necessary to propose a international mandate to install a failsafe for all unmanned land, air, and sea, armed systems, in order to protect the lives of civilians, and to prevent unnecessary death of armed forces. The result of failure to follow these regulations, the procedure is to charge whomever is responsible for upholding these regulations, with whatever damage, or death, that occurred in the the event of a malfunction.

This is necessary in order to prevent anyone dying because of poor technology.

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FHCDelegates 11/24/2021 23:49:24

Country: Niger
Delegate Name: Stephen Wolf

DISEC – Niger – Wolf
Delegate: Stephan Wolf
School: Forest Hills Central
Country: Republique du Niger
Committee/Topic: DISEC: Autonomous Weapons System

The greatest and only perpetual threat to humanity is itself. The creation of autonomous weapon systems with the intent on combat without humans should not only be a cause for fear, but a calling for the international community to tackle this oncoming threat like it did with the proliferation of nuclear devices. It is the developed nations that continue to tinker with the tools to undo thousands of years of existence and therefore are the nations to blame with their continued acts of aggression on the world stage. AI code should not be the base of the world’s arsenals and neither should nonhuman weaponry. As inhumane as wars are, the threat of lethal autonomous weapons in the hands of nonstate actors or in the advent of a large war is far worse to imagine.
Niger has as strong a history with conflict as other nations of this committee. Colonization to self governance has not been an easy road and one made worse by the proliferation of arms within Africa. The developed nations of the world such as the United States and Russian Federation have acted as blind dealers of fate to many African nations and will continue to do so with their newly developed lethal autonomous weapons which they dub as weapons of defense. The practical realities of this for Niger and its fellow African countries is the potential for further military coups and instability funded by an army of loyal drones unconcious to crimes against humanity they cause. The stability of Niger is currently difficult to describe as positive and the introduction of such destructive weaponry serves only to destroy what little has been done. Although not a nation involved in the development or purchase of LAWs, the chance of the weapons developed by other nations falling into hands of groups such as Boko Haram pose great risk to the freedom and democracy we cling to. Africa as a continent has been a battlefield for successful nations engaging in proxy wars to support their ideology or to test their technology and nothing currently would prevent LAWs from getting included into these conflicts for the sake of conflict. Therefore, Niger hopes to stand as an independent mediary on the international stage to help call for the limiting of autonomous weaponry before the world stands on the brink of destruction.
Weaponry is capable of being regulated successfully. The Geneva Convention of 1949 stands as a great example of what this committee should look towards as the topic of lethal autonomous weapons is discussed. A weapon which does not have the basic human abilities to differentiate and identify friend, foe, or noncombatant should not be viewed any less dangerous as unmarked minefields or any less inhumane as flamethrowers. The banning of autonomous weapons from being used in warfare and from being sold to foreign nations will allow countries to stockpile them as deterrents, but will prevent the spread to undesirable nonstate actors in large quantities. In addition, measures must be taken to secure the spread of code related to more advanced autonomous weaponry so as to limit the abilities of said nonstate actors in creating their own LAWs. Furthermore, the development of anti-LAW devices to jam electronic systems should be put into priority with the intent to distribute them to nations suffering from militant groups who have developed rudimentary lethal autonomous weapons.

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FHEDelegates 11/24/2021 23:05:27

Country: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Delegate Name: Bergen Grochoski

Autonomous weapon systems are considered to be a weapon system that is capable of operating without direct human input or control, particularly in terms of the actual use of force. This definition is broad and unnecessarily vague. Anything from a simple land mine to something as complex as an unmanned aerial vehicle is included in this definition. Autonomous weapons systems, although hard to define, have played a key role in many wars throughout history. 64,000 American soldiers were killed by landmines in the Vietnam war. The United States’ use of drone strikes in Afghanistan lead to around 5,000 deaths. The importance of Autonomous weapon systems in modern warfare is the main reason that their banning has become a topic of deliberation.

Banning autonomous weapon systems is not an item that DPRK wishes to push forward within this committee. DPRK does not wish for its military capabilities to be restricted by flimsy definitions of what is or isn’t an autonomous weapon system. We believe that this vague definition can be used to ban items that are integral to DPRK’s defense and military expansion. The banning of Autonomous weapon systems also eradicates lots of military weaponry that the DPRK has invested in over the years for the nation’s defense.

DPRK refuses to acknowledge any action against the production and use of autonomous weapon systems. DPRK hopes that other countries acknowledge that the banning of autonomous weapon systems won’t solve any issues when it comes to warfare and hope that no motions pass in this committee. DPRK also wishes for the committee to acknowledge that unless the definition for autonomous weapon systems becomes more specific and targeted towards actual issues that it will be hard to garner support for their banning.

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SASADelegates 11/24/2021 22:17:48

Country: India
Delegate Name: AJ Macon

AJ Macon
Disarmament and International Security Committee
Autonomous Weapons Systems
Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy

Autonomous weapon systems are usually defined as “a weapon system that, once activated, can select and engage targets without further intervention by a human operator…” but not always. In most scenarios these systems— despite their self-manning nature— are supervised by human operators, regardless of their autonomous status. A confusion of what may or may not be considered an autonomous weapon, as well as human operators makes the question of these systems, their morality, along with their legality more confusing as days pass. As the body that discusses international security one of our main focuses should be deciding what is considered to be an autonomous weapon [system] and their place in the world.

The Republic of India has developed autonomous weapons systems over the years for the protection of the country— to combat any possible insurrection or threats of invasion. The development of autonomous weapons is simply a step that the entire world is taking forward, and India plans to take that step along with it. Autonomous weapons provide the possibility for manufacturing upkeep in the country as well as less of a dependency on other countries for arms.

An emphasis has been placed on the definition of these weapon systems, as the only way for a body to control something it must understand what it’s trying to control. A total ban on autonomous weapons systems would be ignorant to the future of the military across the globe. India is hopeful that the Disarmament and International Security Committee will look past banning weapons, and instead understand what ramifications that would have on the world.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/24/2021 22:12:23

Country: Viet Nam
Delegate Name: Thien Truong-Phan

Autonomous weapon systems may seem like a new idea due to the advancement in technology, however, this is not true. These ideas of having unmanned weapons have been in existence for ages. There is no concrete definition of “automated weapon systems,” but the term generally refers to weapon systems that are able to function without human intervention. This means that autonomous weapon systems can be anything from simple booby traps to high tech unmanned drones. Autonomous weapon systems can cause lots of damage, intended or not. This is where they push the ethical and moral limits to the edge. Unintended deaths could happen. Civilian deaths to lethal traps around the world are not uncommon. This is not okay and should be dealt with.

Vietnam, being a country which has only recently industrialized, has not yet made or passed any laws regarding the more high-tech autonomous weapon systems such as aerial drones or turrets. Vietnam has however, done many things against other types of autonomous weapons such as traps and mines. Vietnam between 1955 and 1975 was having a civil war, with the US joining in to assist the South. During this conflict many traps were made and placed by both parties: the Viet Cong with their lethal booby traps and the US with its landmines. After the fighting ended, the traps set were never cleared or detonated, leaving many areas to be hazardous. Vietnam now has a number of groups that are dedicated to clearing fields of landmines and traps to make Vietnam a safer place.

Vietnam plans to combat this problem in the future by working together with other countries to regulate the usage and creation of autonomous weapon systems. Vietnam is allied with big countries such as the US and China and will be looking to restrict the usage of high-tech autonomous weapon systems. Vietnam is also looking to clear and eliminate all of the traps from the Vietnam War. Vietnam will work with any other country like China and Russia who wish to minimize the usage of autonomous weapons in wars unless necessary, but not stop development of new technologies.

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FHEDelegates 11/24/2021 21:44:32

Country: United States of America
Delegate Name: Nanda Murali

Autonomous weapons systems are a novel case for furthering the development of global militaries. The word “autonomous” has many meanings and definitions, but in this case, it means “self-governing.” Lethal autonomous weapons, known as LAWs, allow for military devices to effectively run with little to no human input. “Self-governing” weapons systems contain a broad range of examples, with the most notable being unmanned drones or stereotypical “killer robots”. However, the term encompasses the future of global military and warfare technology. Military weapons that can activate, detonate, and survey without the necessity of human control signal advancements in the worldwide arms race. Some opponents of these technologies belonging to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), a 1980 treaty restricting the use of certain weapons, propose a legally binding ban on all autonomous weapons systems. Critics of the controversial proposal recognize that this halts the progression of technological militaries, and instead, another proposal headed by France and Germany asks for the adoption of a political declaration in which countries using autonomous weapons systems affirm some human control through a code of conduct. This measure would require human responsibility for all autonomous weapons systems at all times and allow the progression of technology to continue.

The United States advocates for the development, deployment, and control of autonomous weapons systems. Having the largest military in the world, new military systems enable the United States to progress technologically and advance the future of warfare. Autonomous weapons systems offer undeniable advantages in combat. In April 2016, the United States Navy introduced its first-ever zero-passenger trimaran, known as “Sea Hunter,” designed to travel the oceans for months at a time, seeking enemy submarines and report intelligence to remote human operators. Eventually, this innovation could result in the deployment of multiple of these vessels that could potentially attack enemies without human input. Similarly, the U.S. Air Force is testing software that will enable pilots to guide unmanned aircraft in seeking and destroying enemy surveillance and other key targets through autonomous drones. These technologies help reduce the casualties of soldiers, protecting American lives and allowing for faster means to end conflict. However, many opponents of autonomous weapons systems fear the sudden imposition of the systems creates unprecedented risks. To avoid this issue, the U.S. Army envisions a gradual adaptation to autonomous weapons systems – first deploy unarmed and unmanned utility vehicles, then introduce armed robotic vehicles with ever-increasing degrees of autonomy. “The process to improve RAS autonomy,” the Army explained in 2017, “takes a progressive approach that begins with tethered systems, followed by wireless remote control, teleoperation, semi-autonomous functions, and then fully autonomous systems.” By imposing regulations such as this and detailed, descriptive publishing of new systems, the potential risk can be mitigated. Through deepened research and trials, autonomous weapons systems can effectively be made intelligent enough to become used to protect, and only to serve that purpose.

The United States of America urges the General Assembly to understand the importance of the development and use of technologies such as autonomous weapons systems. A complete ban only hinders progress, and in order to build a more technologically developed world, progress is necessary. The United States will accept certain regulations on the development of autonomous weapons systems to protect civilians and take precautions against potential dangers. However, the U.S. will continue to push for any resolution that will continue to allow greater military development. Autonomous weapons systems improve militaries, allowing for fewer human casualties, the end of warfare, and ultimately, a more peaceful world. By halting the natural flow of technological development, it is only hindering the progress to a safer and more protected globe.

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ForestHillsNorthernDelegates 11/24/2021 21:29:40

Country: China
Delegate Name: Tanvi Kulkarni

Around 800 AD, gunpowder was invented in China, changing forever how warfare was waged, and beginning what is considered the first revolution in weapon development. In July of 1945, the United States began the second revolution with the successful splitting of the atom in the desert of New Mexico. If deployed, the Lethal Autonomous Weapon System (LAWS), known colloquially as “killer robots,” would mark the third revolution in weapon development, as they will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend. Even after the UN picked up the topic over half a decade ago, there is no established definition of LAW. This further complicates the international response to the emergence of increasingly autonomous military technology, whether regulation or a developmental ban.

The UN took up the issue of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems in 2013, with an Informal Meeting of Experts during the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects (the CCW). The CCW had already been expanded to include protocols restricting Non-Detectable Fragments, Mines, Incendiary Weapons, Blinding Weapons, and Explosive Remnants of War. And since 2013, China and 30 other countries have supported the Stop Killer Robots campaign (launched by Human Rights Watch and other non-governmental organizations).

Even today, the People’s Republic of China exhibits a desire to negotiate and conclude a new protocol for the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons to ban the use of fully autonomous lethal weapons systems. China is greatly concerned with the ability of LAWS to effectively distinguish between soldiers and civilians and calls on all countries to exercise precaution, and to refrain, in particular, from any indiscriminate use against civilians. This ban that China proposes to the UN, categorizes LAWS based on five principles. Those being: lethality, autonomy, the impossibility for termination, indiscriminate effect, and evolution. To further explicate, China defines LAWS as weapons with an absence of human intervention and control for the entire process of executing a task. Using these categories and definition, the UN can work together to formulate a cohesive and safe plan for all nations. However, China would also like to emphasize that there should not be any preset premises or prejudged outcomes that may impede the development of AI technology.

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FHEDelegates 11/24/2021 21:15:07

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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ForestHillsNorthernDelegates 11/24/2021 16:39:59

Country: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Delegate Name: Alex Mochel

Country: St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Delegate Name: Alex Mochel
Committee: Disarmament & International Security Committee
Topic: Autonomous Weapon Systems
The role of autonomy in modern-day warfare has proved to elevate conflict to an unprecedented level of devastation to both military personnel and civilian life. To assess the use of autonomous weapons in conflict we must first understand the true definition of AWS and what they look like. Autonomous weapon systems are devices designed to perform a task with or no human control or intervention, usually with lethal intent. Examples of autonomous weapon systems can include entities such as drones, radar-guided missiles, and even landmines and traps. Throughout the 20th century, the sciences of autonomous weapons increased leading to numerous deaths and hostile conflicts around the world. Several peaceful countries around the globe although mostly devoid of these weapon systems are not entirely free of their harmful effect. Overuse of autonomous systems risks an increase of immigrants from affected nations which can easily cause offset in many smaller less stable countries.
Autonomous weapons in St. Vincent have been avoided with the direct opinion of the public and the nations leading military body. The history of St. Vincent has avoided conflict that is without justifiable cause. The use of autonomous weapons increases hostility and conflict internationally.
St Vincent and the Grenadines believe these issues that threaten such life must be irradicated at all costs. The war-torn nations in the middle east need rest from the increasing drone strikes still plaguing them. St Vincent’s lack of autonomous weapons systems is a direct result of the opinions of anti-war and pro-peace. St Vincent urges international bodies to reconsider their investments in these lethal tactics and calls for significant alleviation of these inhumane actions. St Vincent identifies 0% of the military in the nation consisting of autonomous units and recognizes over 100 foreign bodies employing such tactics. The facts stated support St Vincent’s claims that and over-reliance on autonomous weapons has led to increasing conflict globally. St. Vincent supports a future devoid of drones, missiles, and land mines altogether, calling out the self-inflicted wounds caused by an increase in military tactics including traps and AI.

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FHEDelegates 11/24/2021 16:23:51

Country: Tunisia
Delegate Name: Pranav Mudhas

As we advance into the 21st century, the technological improvements of weapons have advanced beyond control. As a result of all these improvements, many countries have been debating the initiation of autonomous weapons systems into the military. Autonomous weapon systems are currently defined as weapons that are capable of operating without direct human output or control, particularly in the terms of the actual use of force. An autonomous weapon system is only capable of doing exactly what it is told to do without any chain of logic making it a destructive force without remorse or compassion. DISEC must properly define autonomous systems clearly and precisely to a point, in order to achieve an agreement between countries to limit the death of innocent civilians.

As a country with autonomous weapon systems, Tunisia recognizes the need for these systems as defensive measures against hostile invaders. Tunisia also sees the need for other countries to have the same defensive measures given they do not abuse the moral conduct that would be integrated with autonomous weapons systems.

Tunisia urges The Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC) to create a stable and acceptable definition for autonomous weapons systems in order to create an agreeable agreement between the countries that are in possession of them. Tunisia believes the only way to implement disarmament measures is through multilateralism within the framework of the United Nations adding that international cooperation is a vital role in order to agree upon the fate of autonomous weapons systems.

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FHEDelegates 11/24/2021 15:24:41

Country: Colombia
Delegate Name: Sam Zaruba

Disarmament and International Security Committee
Autonomous Weapons Systems
Republic of Colombia
Sam Zaruba

In 1997, chess master Garry Kasparov lost to “Deep Blue,” a robot engineered solely to dominate chess games. This defeat of Kasparov to Deep Blue signified a concerning shift from man to machine in society. With the onset of new technological advancements daily and robots becoming an increasingly important part of our reality, there is growing concern as to whether these advancements should be incorporated into the military. Although autonomous weapons are still in their development, many countries have made critical advancements in order to make these weapons deadly without human intervention. Despite the majority of countries’ agreement that autonomous weapons should never be without the control of a human, the exact details vary from country to country. In 2019, UN Secretary-General António Guterres spoke to the Committee of Conventional Weapons, stating that “autonomous machines with the power and discretion to select targets and take lives without human involvement are politically unacceptable, morally repugnant and should be prohibited by international law.”
Concerned for the welfare of humankind, Colombia deems autonomous weapons a critical issue, and urges countries to regulate the exponential advancements that are being made in autonomous weapon technology. Colombia has been an active member of the CCW’s meetings on killer robots for the past six years, and continues to condemn autonomous weapons. On September 21, 2020, at a CCW GGE meeting, Colombia stated that “regulation is essential to be able to move forward with peace of mind…. [Autonomous weapons systems] must have a legally binding framework before that type of weapon can be rolled out. . .” These weapons pose a threat to international security and the safety of Colombians, and Colombia maintains that they have the potential to become detrimental to the ethicacy of modern warfare. Also, in April of 2015 Colombia stated that weapons should be regulated “at the multilateral level in order to ensure the control by humans persists at all times, so that no machine makes life or death decisions.” Colombia also believes that regulations regarding autonomous weapons should be endorsed by other countries, as Colombia stands that these regulations are necessary in order to promote a safer world. The Republic of Colombia condemns autonomous weapons and other weapons that lack meaningful human control. With autonomous weapons not only posing a threat to the security of Colombia, but also of the world, Colombia believes that further action should be taken in order to prevent the dastardly effects of these types of weapons
Similar to numerous other countries, Colombia stands with the UN’s statement on autonomous weapons and believes that they pose a threat to the ethicacy of modern warfare. Colombia encourages other countries to enforce regulations on autonomous weapons, and will continue to denounce unethical advancements in artificial intelligence in the military. On top of this, Colombia also recommends that the international community increase their awareness of the real threat that autonomous weapons pose to the world.

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ForestHillsNorthernDelegates 11/24/2021 13:04:05

Country: Afghanistan
Delegate Name: Marcos Calderon

Committee: Disarmament and International Security
Topic: Autonomous Weapon System
Country: Afghanistan
Delegate: Marcos Calderon, Forest Hills Northern

The oldest autonomous weapon dates back in the 1600’s which were the landmines. Autonomous weapons are a device that does not need full human control to work. It could be well called Artificial Intelligence. By 1997 many landmines had been banned around the world. Autonomous weapons are most known to be used during battles or something some people own for instance like a drone. But even a drone can be used for battle. At this point in time autonomous weapons have not been banned completely but have regulations of how a country can use them without taking advantage of.
The Taliban use autonomous weapons mostly for battle. They have used them in the past for attacking towns in Afghanistan. One of the newest autonomous weapons is a drone that can be used during war. It is called a combat drone and can be used in many sorts of ways. Some can fire from the air while some might just spy. The Taliban have used combat drones most recently when attempting to take over Afghanistan again.
Autonomous weapons in some views can be helpful with human society. It can help countries in battle to win or for people to have some fun playing with a drone. There are a lot of autonomous weapons like landmines or combat drones. There’s lower risk ones and higher risk ones. But for individuals and for a group, some could use it with advantage. Rules have been set and bans have been made to countries for people’s safety. Autonomous weapons are most used during battle for countries. With newer technology, advantages are set for countries and more risks can also evolve.
Giving the Taliban more autonomous weapons could keep a huge cost to Afghanistan with money and civilization. Afghanistan is already a poor country and buying more autonomous weapons from other countries could greatly affect civilization and more corruption would appear. But it would feed the Taliban more weapons to run over civilization making them more powerful. At this point no matter what decision Afghanistan were to take, there would be pros and cons. Now it’s more of which one the Taliban and Afghanistan want to take.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/23/2021 23:15:15

Country: United Kingdom
Delegate Name: Micaela Story

The very concept of autonomous weapons spands a plethora of dimensions like military, technology, legal, and ethical. With the debated history of autonomous weapons, questions about legislation and human accountability are at the top of the list. For starters, the exact criteria and classification of autonomous weapons remains inconclusive, as well as the terms for accountability. Naturally, it has been questioned whether the UN has any right to regulate autonomous weapons amongst countries. One of the places this was raised and the issue of autonomous weapons has been discussed thoroughly and fiercely was the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) forum. Several countries including the U.K. were heavily involved in the convention where ambassadors as well as civilians offered their testimony on the subject and the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) was utilized. As more and more countries stack their defense programs and perform military tests, agreement and legislation regarding autonomous weapon systems have never been more important.

As one of the world’s top weapons suppliers and owner of a vast military arsenal, the U.K. has a vested interest in autonomous weapons and the security of the world. The U.K. believes any current ban on use and development of lethal autonomous weapons is infringement and unnecessary, on the grounds that there is no current situation warranting such a restriction. A preemptive ban not only aims to solve a problem that does not yet exist, but it also restrains the ability to explore other military technologies and tactics that may be gained from the use of artificial intelligence. Improved artificial intelligence systems could potentially lead to higher weapon accuracy and fewer civilian casualties. The U.K. also believes the existing International Humanitarian Law is sufficient regulation regarding autonomous weapons. To repeat the words of the Ministry of Defense, “The U.K. does not possess fully autonomous weapon systems and has no intention of developing them. Such systems are not yet in existence and are not likely to be for many years, if at all.” The MoD has also announced a new allocation of funds that will allow for autonomous vehicles and drones to be explored for military use. U.K. weapons will always be under human control but any ban on LAWs is counterproductive.

The U.K. is hopeful that the rights and innovations of independent countries will be upheld at this conference and that the world will not fall victim to the doomsday mentality that surrounds the idea of autonomous weapon systems. Although the U.K. supports an across the board definition of autonomous weapons systems consistent with that of the MoD, the stance of the U.K is that any ban of such technology is premature, and limits the technological capability of the world. The U.K. feels similarly to the U.S., the Russian Federation, Australia, and Israel in that the prohibition of artificial intelligence technologies should be opposed to protect the freedom and development of nations.

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RoyalOakDelegate 11/23/2021 23:02:33

Country: Central African Republic
Delegate Name: Vincent Holden

Country: Central African Republic
Delegate Name: Vincent Holden
Committee: Disarmament and International Security
Topic: Autonomous Weapon Systems

Along with modern warfare technology comes autonomous weapons systems, essentially Artificial Intelligence systems are weapons capable of attacking without human action. These can be terrorist weapons, such as a drone equipped with an IED, or used by the government, such as anti-missile systems, or anti-aircraft systems. While these can be set to only attack incoming threats to a country, with every automatic system, failure is always a possibility. This doesn’t even account for the possibility of hijacking by terrorists.

CAR recognizes the dangers of autonomous weapons. We also recognize the benefit if used properly. The duty of countries is to protect their people. We believe that autonomous weapons can effectively protect its people, such as thwarting missiles that are heading for populated places. However, when used in warfare, especially in places with a civilian population, fatal errors can be made.

With these concerns, CAR proposes a resolution to this subject be brought forth. CAR believes in banning autonomous weapons used in warfare. However, when it comes to banning all autonomous weapons, CAR knows that AWS can be used for good in some scenarios, such as thwarting terrorist attacks and so forth. An agreement needs to be made about the use of AWS used in warfare, as the actions of all countries that use autonomous weapons affect all humans.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/23/2021 21:10:28

Country: Greece
Delegate Name: Addison Beckhorn

Along with modern warfare technology comes autonomous weapons systems, essentially Artificial Intelligence systems of weapons, capable of attacking without human action. These can be terrorist weapons, such as a drone equipped with an IED, or federally used, such as anti-missile systems, or anti-aircraft systems. While these can be set to only attack incoming threats to a country, with every automatic system, there is room for failure or errors. [1] This doesn’t even account for the possibility of hijacking by terrorists. Can Autonomous Weapons have ethics in warfare? Can machines see right and wrong, make a good choice on their choice of attacking? [2]

Greece recognizes the dangers of autonomous weapons. It also recognizes the benefit if used properly. The duty of countries is to protect their people. It believes that autonomous weapons can effectively protect its people, such as thwarting missiles that are heading for populated places.[1] However, when used in warfare, especially in places with a civilian population, fatal errors can be made. What if an autonomous weapon guarding a military detects a small child, and deems them as a threat? This use of an autonomous weapons system poses a mortal threat to humanity, with the possibility of committing war crimes all without human oversight or interaction. [1]

With these concerns, these are Greece’s proposed resolutions to this subject. Greece believes in banning autonomous weapons used in warfare. However, when it comes to banning all autonomous weapons, Greece knows that autonomous weapons systems can be used for good in some scenarios, such as thwarting terrorist attacks and so forth. An agreement needs to be made about the use of autonomous weapons used in warfare, as the actions of all countries that use autonomous weapons affect all humans. This agreement would forbid Autonomous weapons in warfare, and prevent unneeded civilian casualties. Inaction about this subject could have deadly, ethical violations and harm. Greece expects to find allies in progressive countries with its same care and understanding of warfare conflicts. [2]

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/23/2021 17:54:29

Country: Japan
Delegate Name: Hunter Sturm

Country: Japan
Committee: DISEC
Topic: Autonomous Weapon Systems
Delegate: Hunter Sturm
School: Williamston High School

The issue of Autonomous Weapon Systems impacts the whole world, not just Japan. Lethal autonomous weapons (more commonly referred to as LAWS) are military assets that are employed by countries throughout the world. Within this broad scope of LAWS, there exist 3 main types; human-in-the-loop, human-on-the-loop, and human-out-of-the-loop. Human-in-the-loop LAWS seek out and employ force on a target, but only with a human command. Human-on-the-loop LAWS select targets and deliver force on a target with the oversight of a human operator who can override the weapon’s actions at any time. Human-out-of-the-loop LAWS are the most troubling, as they select targets and execute force with no human interaction or input required. At this current point Human-out-of-the-loop weapons do not exist, but could feasibly exist soon with the serious advancements of AI overall.
Japan has a strong opinion against LAWS, and is trying hard to prohibit the use and development of them. The country of Japan highly favors some of the components and methods used in the development and implementation/creation of LAWS, but would prefer to use them for peaceful and civilian purposes. They are also working to foster more cooperation between countries in the Asian and Pacific regions to negotiate new treaties on the issue before it spreads too much out of control. They have even created a Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, which is trying to spread out more and more in the region.
In the future Japan has many ideas and plans to regulate and prevent the spread of LAWS, which they prefer describing as killer robots. While partially implemented already, the primary goal is to completely prevent the spread of LAWS. While the technology behind them is good, it is the actual purposes of them that worries Japan. They hope to sway the opinions of their citizens towards this view, and are also attempting to highlight this issue in other countries within this geographical area. If the technology is regulated it can very well be put to helpful uses, and can benefit many people. If there can be strict regulations and control of the idea of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robots, Japan believes it can be a good thing, rather than a tool of destruction.

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Country: Russian Federation
Delegate Name: Eva Schwark

The Russian Federation is becoming increasingly advanced in the realm of Artificial Intelligence, which carries over to the battlefield. The Russian Federation will continue to develop these technologies as one of the world leaders in weaponizing AI. As technology advances, the Russian Federation believes that the fusion of artificial intelligence and war is inevitable, and that instead of imposing a ban on autonomous weapons, we should prepare ourselves for the future and what is to come. The Russian military seeks to be a leader in using AI technology in warfare in the form of autonomous weapon systems. A report titled “Artificial Intelligence and Autonomy in Russia” [1] identifies over 150 military systems employing AI technologies. Also, the Military Industrial Committee plans for 30% of Russia’s military combat power to come from AI enabled robotic weaponry. This stated, the Russian Federation fully backs the use of autonomous weaponry and will oppose any attempts to ban militarizing AI technologies.
Advancements in autonomous weaponry are challenging global standards in warfare as they develop and grow in popularity. These technologies open up new opportunities for military use as well as increasing the threat posed by countries employing them. Advanced AI weaponry is already being used in the war zone, although it has not yet become mainstream. The development of AI technology is only beginning to emerge in many nations, and others refuse to use it entirely. The use of autonomous weapons has raised concern in developing nations, as new means of defense will be necessary to combat attacks. Not only third-world nations are concerned, however, because every country should take into consideration what autonomous warfare would mean for them as individuals. Concerns surrounding the AI race are common, and artificial intelligence will likely continue to be a controversial topic. Within the near future, the Russian Federation seeks to reason with or combat these beliefs and some of the misconceptions surrounding AI. [1]

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Country: France
Delegate Name: Tyler Ragan

Committee: Disarmament & International Security Committee
Topic: Autonomous Weapon Systems
Country: France

The autonomous weapon is not a new concept, and certainly not a foreign one to many states across the world. It comes in many different shapes and forms, from the simple landmine to the most complex aerial drone. It kills blindly, with disregard to its target and the damage that it causes. The most popular image of the autonomous weapon is the aerial drone, a fully autonomous version of which first took the life of a human target in Libya in 2020. Though it is quite limited in use, it is no less serious of a threat than more widely used weaponry. It is the lesser thought of land mine however which poses the most grave threat in today’s world. In 2019, 2,170 were killed and 3,357 were injured by landmines across the globe, an appalling 80% of which were civilians. The topic of the autonomous weapon is broad, however it is necessary to develop a comprehensive resolution to curb the dangers of them in order to prevent autonomous drones, missiles, sentries, and other such weaponry becoming as ubiquitous as the land mine which destroys the lives of so many each year. France is a firm believer that warfare is best left to those with a conscience, not that which takes human life without the ability to understand the consequences of its actions. It is also important to make the distinction between lethal weapons and non-lethal combat support systems. Though AI may be responsible for the targeting of a drone, it is the process of confirming an attack which must be limited to human action. Ultimately, it is taking the life of another which only a human can bear responsibility for, not the programmed brain of a machine.
France is no stranger to the threat that autonomous weapons pose, mines still litter the battlegrounds of the first and second world wars, and autonomous drones similar to those used in Libya could eventually pose a threat to French forces combating extremist groups in Africa and the Middle East. In respect to land mines, France is a signatory to and firm supporter of the 1997 Ottawa Convention. In keeping up with the convention, France completed destruction of land mine stocks in 1999, and finished clearing mines under its jurisdiction in 2008. This policy of turning away from the use of autonomous weapons does not only apply to land mines though, as France is a party to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, the 11 principles on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems of which France is also a supporter of. Official French policy on lethal autonomous weapons seeks to prevent their use and acquisition, but does not completely prohibit research into autonomous weapons in order to combat their spread to terrorist groups, and develop a solution to effectively combat their use.
France seeks a resolution which is guided by the 11 principles on lethal autonomous weapons laid out in the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, which seeks to at the very least regulate autonomous weapons to the point where there are numerous safety measures in place to prevent civilian casualties and ensure compliance with humanitarian law. France would support a resolution similar to the 1997 Ottawa Convention applied to a larger scale of autonomous weaponry, however, if support fails to materialize for such a solution would not be opposed to heavy regulation in the place of prohibition. The overarching concern of France is that autonomous weaponry is not used against civilians, and believes that the best way to ensure that is for autonomous weaponry to be very limited in application. France looks forward to working with like minded states such as China and Pakistan which have in the past expressed a desire to ban fully autonomous weapons and hopes to find a comprehensive solution to the topic. As Cicero said, “Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error.” Let us not be the idiot then in letting the killer drone become the new land mine which makes no distinction between combatant and civilian. Human life must rest in the hands of humans, not machines.

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