A petition to ban Killer Robots has been handed to the Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, Phil Twyford. The petition was handed over during an online meeting on Wednesday 29 September.
The petition requests that the House of Representatives, as a matter of urgency:
a) Enact legislation to prohibit the development, production and use of lethal autonomous weapon systems in New Zealand; and
b) Urge the Government to support negotiations on a new treaty to retain meaningful human control over the use of force by prohibiting such weapons.
Promoters of the petition – Campaign to Stop Killer Robots – say autonomous weapon systems (killer robots) are designed to select and attack targets independently with no meaningful level of human control.
“They pose an unprecedented threat to humanity, are morally repugnant and require immediate action,” says the petition.
“There is widespread support for national prohibitions on killer robots, and for states to negotiate a new treaty to retain meaningful human control over the use of force by prohibiting these weapon systems.
“This week, the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons’ Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems is meeting again in Geneva to progress multilateral discussions on action to prohibit fully autonomous weapons and regulate others.”
Among those supporting the petition include: Edwina Hughes, Coordinator, Aotearoa New Zealand Campaign to Stop Killer Robots; Professor Michael Winikoff, Co-Author of the 2019 New Zealand Open Letter on Killer Robots; Mary Wareham, Arms Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch; Dylan Maynard, Masters of Strategic Studies student; and Matilda Byrne, National Coordinator, Australia Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.