Disarmament and arms control have not featured prominently, if at all, in mandate letters to Canada’s foreign ministers in many years. But at the end of 2019, Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne was given a new mandate to “advance international efforts to ban the development and use of fully autonomous weapons systems.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has long wanted to get Canada back on the UN Security Council, where it last had a seat in 2000. For Trudeau, such a return would signal Canada’s “renewed commitment to international peace and security.”
Canada is certainly capable of promoting global norms, with a federal government commitment to fund AI research, an active AI community, and a rapidly developing tech sector. Expert help is available from leading AI researchers in Canadian universities and industries. Research institutes and civil-society groups also have expertise on various applications of AI.
The question now is what happens next and how will the mandate be implemented when UN discussions on this issue resume in June. While fully autonomous weapons systems do not yet exist, experts agree that they soon will.
By Cesar Jaramillo Published in The Ploughshares Monitor Volume 40 Issue 3 Autumn 2019 Project Ploughshares works to create “a secure world without war, a just world at peace.” We focus on a few particular issues: the abolition of nuclear weapons, arms control, security in outer space, emerging military/security technologies, and the causes and effects of forced migration. The policies and …
What does a cholera outbreak in Yemen have to do with the effective implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)? Everything.
The undersigned, representing a cross-section of Canadian civil society organizations focused on arms controls, human rights, international security, humanitarian assistance and the protection of civilians in conflict, are writing to follow up on a letter that was sent you five months ago, outlining ongoing concerns about Canada’s export of LAVs to Saudi Arabia.
The call by some states and civil society for the regulation of autonomous weapons continues. But concern is also being expressed that investment and research in autonomous weapons systems are outpacing regulation. In advance of the August meetings of the Group of Governmental Experts at the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), here’s an overview of recent developments. 1. The …
When Canada announced that it would not be extending its commitment to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali beyond one year, few were surprised. But many are perplexed that Canada is reportedly unwilling to consider a UN request to extend its mission until a replacement Romanian contingent arrives in October, a mere three-months extension. On April 5, a House …
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.