Time for answers: Letter to Trudeau on the Saudi arms deal

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The Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P. Prime Minister of Canada 80 Wellington Street Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A2 4 March 2019 Re: Canada’s Export of Light Armoured Vehicles to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, The undersigned, representing a cross-section of Canadian civil society organizations focused on arms controls, human rights, international security, humanitarian assistance …

We are ready for 2019

Cesar Jaramillo Conventional Weapons, Defence & Human Security, Featured, Forced Displacement and Migration, Nuclear Weapons, Space Security Leave a Comment

As 2018 ends, you may feel disheartened by the state of global security. Multiple, overlapping crises—some brewing, others already manifest—seem to outpace the international community’s capacity to respond effectively. Published in The Ploughshares Monitor Volume 39 Issue 4 Winter 2018 by Cesar Jaramillo The world is in the midst of the worst refugee crisis in history. According to figures from the UN …

Customers or allies? The dilemma of Canada’s AFCCL

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In late 2017, the government of Canada added Ukraine to the Automatic Firearm Country Control List (AFCCL) of 40 states to which Canadian weapons producers can legally export automatic firearms. This decision was made in the fourth year of an increasingly entrenched conflict in Ukraine’s Donbass region involving separatist forces, Russian forces posing as irregulars, and Ukrainian government forces, which, …

Human-less or human more?

Tasneem Jamal Featured Leave a Comment

Recently, Lockheed Martin, the U.S. aerospace and defence company, released a promotional video of its work on autonomous systems. The main message: “The future of autonomy isn’t human-less. It’s human more.” Published in The Ploughshares Monitor Volume 39 Issue 2 Summer 2018 by Branka Marijan Doublethink lives on This formulation brings to mind George Orwell. In his novel 1984, Newspeak, the language …

The ‘Black Mirror’ spectre and autonomous weapons

Branka Marijan Conventional Weapons, Featured, News

Thinking about the future of warfare through science fiction Laughter doesn’t often fill the meeting room at the United Nations. When it does, it’s a refreshing reminder that country delegates are ordinary citizens, just like the rest of us. While they have been given a great privilege and responsibility to represent their nations’ interests and serve the planet, they also …

Should you worry about Killer Robots?

Branka Marijan Conventional Weapons, Featured, News

Last week, the Group of Governmental Experts met at the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) in Geneva, Switzerland. Many countries, including Canada, provided statements on autonomous weapons, advancing discussions that started 4 years ago. Project Ploughshares was one of the several civil society organizations observing the meetings. In a surprising turn of events, China stated that it …

Project Ploughshares: Our 2018 Plan

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Last year was remarkably active for virtually all Project Ploughshares program areas—and 2018 is turning out to be at least as busy. From unscrupulous arms transfers that fuel human rights violations to troubling forced migration patterns that continue to test the international community’s ability to respond, from efforts to proactively regulate the development and deployment of autonomous weapons systems to …

Unintended consequences and malicious uses of AI

Branka Marijan Conventional Weapons, Featured, News

News stories on artificial intelligence (AI) herald advancements in medicine, applaud the ability of programs to defeat human players in complex games, and anticipate the ability to read our minds. While it is important to highlight these positive contributions, we must stay alert to the full range of effects of AI on our society and the world—the unintended as well …

We cannot and do not support Bill C-47 in its current form

Cesar Jaramillo Featured Leave a Comment

Remarks to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development— November 2, 2017 By Cesar Jaramillo, Executive Director, Project Ploughshares Good afternoon. My name is Cesar Jaramillo and I am the executive director of Project Ploughshares. Thank you very much for the kind invitation to address this Committee. For decades, efforts to better regulate illicit or …

The case for the Petrov rule

Branka Marijan Featured Leave a Comment

On September 26, 1983, Stanislav Petrov, a 44-year-old lieutenant-colonel in the Soviet Air Defence Forces, made a critical decision (Chan 2017). Petrov was on duty at Serpukhov-15, a control centre outside Moscow that monitored the Soviet Union’s Oko early-warning satellite system, which identified ballistic missile launches, mainly by the United States. The Soviet Union/Russia used these satellites until 2015. Petrov …