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2016 in Review: States Agree to Formal Process on Killer Robots

22 December 2016

States parties to the Fifth Review Conference of the Convention of Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) decided to take another step forward in deliberations on lethal autonomous weapons, establishing a group of governmental experts (GGE) to meet for two weeks in 2017.

While it does not have a negotiating mandate itself, groups affiliated with the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, and at least 19 countries, will continue to push for the negotiation of a prohibition on autonomous weapons. Establishing a GGE was the minimum that states could do to address the challenges of this emerging weapons technology, but we will make the most of this opportunity.

What’s next?

The GGE on autonomous weapons will meet for one week in either April or August (depending on UN finances) and again on 13-17 November 2017. Past GGEs have led to negotiations of new CCW protocols. In 1995, nations at the CCW preemptively banned lasers that would permanently blind. WILPF will work with the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots to continue to try to prevent the development of weapons that operate without meaningful human control. We have a very narrow window to prevent the increased mechanisation of violence and warfare by banning these weapons now. WILPF will continue to monitor discussions and engage in advocacy with the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, and to publish on this subject as resources permit.

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WILPF Afghanistan

In response to the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban and its targeted attacks on civil society members, WILPF Afghanistan issued several statements calling on the international community to stand in solidarity with Afghan people and ensure that their rights be upheld, including access to aid. The Section also published 100 Untold Stories of War and Peace, a compilation of true stories that highlight the effects of war and militarisation on the region. 

IPB Congress Barcelona

WILPF Germany (+Young WILPF network), WILPF Spain and MENA Regional Representative

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WILPF uses feminist analysis to argue that militarisation is a counter-productive and ill-conceived response to establishing security in the world. The more society becomes militarised, the more violence and injustice are likely to grow locally and worldwide.

Sixteen states are believed to have supplied weapons to Afghanistan from 2001 to 2020 with the US supplying 74 % of weapons, followed by Russia. Much of this equipment was left behind by the US military and is being used to inflate Taliban’s arsenal. WILPF is calling for better oversight on arms movement, for compensating affected Afghan people and for an end to all militarised systems.

Militarised masculinity

Mobilising men and boys around feminist peace has been one way of deconstructing and redefining masculinities. WILPF shares a feminist analysis on the links between militarism, masculinities, peace and security. We explore opportunities for strengthening activists’ action to build equal partnerships among women and men for gender equality.

WILPF has been working on challenging the prevailing notion of masculinity based on men’s physical and social superiority to, and dominance of, women in Afghanistan. It recognizes that these notions are not representative of all Afghan men, contrary to the publicly prevailing notion.

Feminist peace​

In WILPF’s view, any process towards establishing peace that has not been partly designed by women remains deficient. Beyond bringing perspectives that encapsulate the views of half of the society and unlike the men only designed processes, women’s true and meaningful participation allows the situation to improve.

In Afghanistan, WILPF has been demanding that women occupy the front seats at the negotiating tables. The experience of the past 20 has shown that women’s presence produces more sustainable solutions when they are empowered and enabled to play a role.

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