Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Geneva
Switzerland, Liechtenstein

Australian Statement - General Exchange of Views

LAWS GGE April 2018

Australian Statement - General Exchange of Views

Mr Chairman,

Australia welcomes the second meeting in the GGE process here in Geneva. We would like to congratulate you, Ambassador Gill on the skilful way in which you have navigated us through these complex discussions. We applaud the measured and constructive manner in which you have presided over our deliberations. I would like to assure you of Australia’s full support.

The international community has been considering the technical, legal and ethical issues arising from development of autonomous weapons including Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) for a number of years. We hope over the course of this GGE that we can flesh out a common understanding on the characteristics of LAWS.

Mr Chairman,

We recognise the potential value which autonomy brings to military and civilian technologies. Systems with advanced artificial intelligence and enhanced autonomous functions are becoming increasingly more prevalent in both contexts. In particular, we understand that militaries throughout the world are incorporating ever more automation into their systems. This is not new or surprising. We welcome discussions on how such technological advances in weapon systems will comply with International Humanitarian Law (IHL), increase precision, and support commanders fulfil their obligations to IHL on the battlefield.