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UNODA Occasional Papers No. 30, November 2017

Perspectives on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems

image of UNODA Occasional Papers No. 30, November 2017

This publication considers lethal autonomous weapon systems, approaching the issue from five different perspectives. It has been published ahead of the first meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts of the High Contracting Parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons mandated to examine issues related to emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapon systems in the context of the objectives and purposes of the Convention. The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs Occasional Papers are a series of ad hoc publications featuring, in edited form, papers or statements made at meetings, symposiums, seminars, workshops or lectures that deal with topical issues in the field of arms limitation, disarmament and international security.

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A military perspective on lethal autonomous weapon systems

War is considered as a last resort after all peaceful options to end a dispute have been exhausted. Nations are expected to refrain from targeting innocent civilian populations. Furthermore, disproportionate military action and collateral damage should be avoided with the ultimate aim being the restoration of peace. The conflicts of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have shown that, on occasion, avoiding civilian casualties becomes challenging owing to the blurring of lines between soldiers, non-State actors and non-combatants.

English

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