The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF, Ghana) is pushing for a national policy to effectively ban Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS), also known as killer robots.
According to WILPF Ghana which is leading the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots in Ghana, a national policy has become necessary to effectively regulate the proliferation of killer robots which threatens national peace and security.
As part of efforts towards the development of a national policy against killer robots, WILPF is set to petition Ghana’s Parliament on the matter which the campaigners say require urgent governmental attention and action.
At a media interaction organised by WILPF in Accra, Dr. Ayo Ayoola Amaale, President of WILPF said the third round of the campaign would be held in the next two months during which Parliament and other state institutions would be actively engaged on the matter.
“The WILPF Ghana Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is aimed at tackling the number one future threat to civilians and the most dangerous military development now underway,” she said.
Fully autonomous weapons are able to select and engage targets without human intervention. As an offshoot of Artificial Intelligence, supporters of LAWS argue that the robots are vital, especially for the use of military operations in protecting territories.
But the anti killer robot campaigners believe the proliferation of the machines without international treaty for regulation is worrisome since it could be misused against civilian populations.
“Precursors to these weapons, such as armed drones, are being developed and deployed by nations including China, Israel, South Korea, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States,” Dr Ayoola noted.
It addition, she expressed the fear that vigilante or rebel groups could use the robots for insurgence in countries, of which civilians would suffer the most.
“This is a human rights issue which has to be dealt with,” she said.
She said it remained “questionable that fully autonomous weapons would be capable of meeting international humanitarian law standards, including the rules of distinction, proportionality, and military necessity, while they would threaten the fundamental right to life and principle of human dignity. “
“WILPF Ghana calls for a preemptive ban on the development, production and use of fully autonomous weapons,” she stressed.
Mrs Mercy Osei-Konadu, Vice President of WILPF Ghana, for her part, described killer robots as a “deadly threat,” adding that Ghana could only protect its peace and security by developing a deliberate policy to check its introduction in the country.
She said the issue about killer robot should no longer be considered as a distant matter, adding that the threat persists even with the proliferation of drones in the country.
“We have to fight this menace together,” she said.
Mrs Amara Ifeoma Enendu, Education Director for WILPF, explained that Ghana is among the 26 countries calling for a ban on fully autonomous weapons.
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Beyond that, she said there was a need for a new UN treaty on killer robots which should be separate from the treaty on nuclear weapons.
The Campaign, she noted, need governmental support in pushing for an international treaty that would pre-emptively ban the development, production, and use of such weapons.
By Edmund Mingle/ www.adrdaily.com