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NZ Killer Robots Campaign Welcomes Major Step Forward

Thirty-three Latin American and Caribbean states have issued an historic call for “the urgent negotiation of an international legally binding instrument on autonomy in weapons systems”, to “ensure compliance with international law, including international humanitarian law, and ethical perspectives, as well as the prevention of the social and humanitarian impact that autonomy in weapons systems entail”; and have pledged to collaborate to achieve this goal.

The call, described by the global Stop Killer Robots campaign as a significant act of political and moral leadership, came in a Communiqué at the end of the two-day Regional Conference on the Social and Humanitarian Impact of Autonomous Weapons, hosted by Costa Rica in San José on 23 and 24 February.

Twenty-nine Latin American and Caribbean states participated in the Conference - Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic , Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela - and some states beyond the region, including New Zealand, as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross, UN agencies, academics and civil society attended.

After ten years of states taking no action on the critical threat to humanity posed by autonomous weapon systems - with little progress in multilateral forums including the Convention on Conventional Weapons’ Group of Governmental Experts’ meetings (CCW GGE) - this commitment by thirty-three states to take positive action is very welcome.

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The Regional Conference outcome could well be the first step towards an accelerated diplomatic process to begin negotiations on new international law that prohibits the most harmful types of autonomous weapons, and regulates others to ensure meaningful human control over all weapon systems at all times.

With another CCW GGE meeting scheduled to take place in Geneva next week, the question now is which states will have the courage to join the Latin American and Caribbean states - will New Zealand finally act on its autonomous weapon systems policy released in November 2021 (

Read the Communiqué:

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