Where does the world stand on killer robots? The view from recent UN meetings on autonomous weapons

Branka Marijan Conventional Weapons, Emerging Technologies, Featured, News

From March 25 to 29, the Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons met at the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons in Geneva, Switzerland.

Tracing Canada’s military exports: Analyzing the 2017 report

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The release of Global Affair Canada’s (GAC) Report on the Export of Military Goods from Canada—2017 provided the most authoritative and comprehensive account of Canadian military exports on record.

The military, AI, and why it’s time to worry

Branka Marijan Featured Leave a Comment

“We are not talking about walking, talking terminator robots that are about to take over the world; what we are worried about is much more looming: conventional weapons systems with autonomy. They are beginning to sneak in.”

Arms sales, murder, and the illusion of firmness

Cesar Jaramillo Featured Leave a Comment

While the Jamal Khashoggi murder illustrated the Saudi regime’s contempt for human rights and warranted intense media attention, it was only the latest incident in a consistent pattern of repression and human-rights violations at home and abroad.

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?

Branka Marijan 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 …