Logo
Print this page

SL warns against arms race

Rate this story
(0 votes)
Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha addresses the Meeting of Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS) Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha addresses the Meeting of Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS)

Sri Lanka has cautioned that the possession of autonomous weapons by some States, combined with their possible asymmetric usages in war, may compel other States to also abandon their policies of restraint or moratorium and ignite an arms race. It has been noted that the experience in nuclear weapons provides a useful lesson for all of us to understand the consequences of such an arm race, where even today possession itself,  has continued to remain a threat to regional as well as global security.

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha, made these observations during an intervention by Sri Lanka at the Meeting of Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS), held within the framework of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) from April 13 to 17, 2015 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. Second Secretary Mafusa Lafir participated in the deliberations. Earlier on Monday, Ambassador Aryasinha opened the weeklong meeting in his capacity as the Chair – Designate of the CCW for 2015.

Excerpts of the statement are below. My delegation is pleased to join this discussion on the Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS), which will build on the deliberations of the 1st informal meeting that the High Contracting Parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) had in May last year.  We wish to commend the hard work by you as well as the Implementation Support Unit (ISU) of the CCW, in preparing for this meeting in a structured manner, and please be  assured of our support to you and constructive participation in the coming days.

To achieve a meaningful outcome from our discussion on the subject of emerging technologies in the area of Lethal Autonomous Weapons (LAWS); it is imperative to have an inclusive dialogue, within the framework and mandate of the CCW, which has the capacity and necessary expertise, given its multi-stakeholder participation. In this context, we commend the ongoing efforts for awareness, raising on this issue of emerging technology and its implications to humanity.

 We note that there are still many areas that need to be fully analyzed, debated and understood, including principles and concepts involved, implications, and the types of action required. However, the negative consequences of possible use of the LAWS in the realm of warfare and for civilian populations have been highlighted adequately, and it is these considerations which have helped to bring the issue of LAWS into the agenda of the CCW. 

Sri Lanka believes that due consideration should be given, when seeking to regulate a dual use technology such as robotic technology or taking any other form of pre-emptive action, to ensuring its potential benefits in peaceful use, such as in rescue operations, intelligence, mine clearance, logistical operations, and other areas like in agriculture, or health.  Sri Lanka is of the view that there needs to be maximum clarity among Parties on several key areas, when the potential use of LAWS is sought even in the limited circumstances that might be identified for the purpose.

We are particularly concerned of the possible impact of use of LAWS on international peace and security. Possession of autonomous weapons by some States, combined with their possible asymmetric usages in war, may compel other States also to abandon their policies of restraint or moratorium and ignite an arms race. Moreover, the gap between the ‘developing’ and ‘developed’ worlds will be exacerbated by the latter’s more ready access to the LAWS, heightening the asymmetry in warfare that already exists after the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) in the 1980s when ICT applications to modern warfare began.

Copyrights protected: All the content on this website is copyright protected and can be reproduced only by giving the due courtesy to www.nation.lk' Copyright © 2011 Rivira Media Corporation Ltd., 742, Maradana Road,Colombo 10, Sri Lanka. Web Solution By Mithila Kumara | All rights reserved.