Killer robots, otherwise known as 'lethal autonomous weapons systems' must be outlawed internationally, according to a resolution supported by the majority of the European Parliament which will be voted on tomorrow (12 September). The Greens/EFA initiative is calling on EU countries to develop a common position, to work towards an international ban treaty on killer robots and to ensure that no money from the European Defence Fund goes into the research and development of killer robots.
Bodil Valero MEP, security policy spokesperson for the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament, comments:
"Autonomous weapons systems must be banned internationally, the power to decide over life and death should never be taken out of human hands and given to machines."
"Large arms manufacturers will always try and earn profits from the development of future weaponry, but autonomous weapons are a step too far. That's why the European Parliament will call for all EU countries to declare their support for a ban on autonomous weapons before the next round of negotiations at the UN level in November."
At the United Nations level, 26 governments are demanding a ban on killer robots. The "Stop Killer Robots" campaign is supported by 70 organisations from 30 countries who are committed to stopping the development of autonomous weapon systems. The Greens/EFA group, which initiated this agenda item, has been putting pressure on other political groups for moths to agree to a plenary debate and a resolution on killer robots.
Killer robots, or combat robots, are unmanned autonomous military weapon systems whereby the selection of a target and its destruction are not subject to human control. Various companies and states are currently researching and developing air, land and sea systems. Some prototypes have already been presented. It is unclear whether some of these weapons have already been used.
Vote on the European Parliament resolution will take place on Wednesday 12 September.