Sunday, 24 March 2019
Foreign Affairs and Defence minister Didier Reynders highlighted Belgium’s commitment to preventing the introduction of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS).
Mr Reynders issued a press release on Saturday. He said these systems create a “humanitarian and ethical problem”. Discussions on the issue will take place in Geneva on the 25th to the 29th of March.
Mr Reynders said the first challenge is defining what constitutes a lethal autonomous weapons system and what doesn’t, at an international level. He also added that Belgian authorities hope it will eventually be possible to settle on an effective international approach, which would have to gather enough and sufficiently diversified support to have a real impact.
The press release revealed that along with Luxemburg and Ireland, Belgium will offer concrete solutions to define and internationally regulate LAWS. This means deciding which autonomous weapons systems should be banned internationally. Autonomous weapons that can kill without human intervention will be the main focus.
Belgium has already put in place internal measures to limit the use of weapons that break international human rights laws. It also applies article 36 of the first Additional protocol of the 1949 Geneva Convention, which makes it obligatory to evaluate the legality of all new weapons under international law.
The Brussels Times