The 2023 Meeting of the High Contracting Parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) decided to organize "the Group of Governmental Experts of the High Contracting Parties related to emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS), for a duration of 10 days, from 4 to 8 March 2024 and from 26 to 30 August 2024" (CCW/MSP/2023/7, paragraph 24 (c)). The Meeting also adopted the relevant cost estimates for 2024 as contained in CCW/MSP/2023/5.

The 2023 Meeting of the High Contracting Parties to the CCW also decided "That the work of the open-ended Group of Governmental Experts related to emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapon systems established by Decision 1 of the Fifth Review Conference as contained in document CCW/CONF.V/10, adhering to the agreed recommendations contained in document CCW/CONF.V/2, is to continue, to strengthen the Convention. In the context of the objectives and purpose of the Convention, the Group is to further consider and formulate, by consensus, a set of elements of an instrument, without prejudging its nature, and other possible measures to address emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapon systems, taking into account the example of existing Protocols within the Convention, proposals presented by High Contracting Parties and other options related to the normative and operational framework on emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapon systems, building upon the recommendations and conclusions of the Group, and bringing in expertise on legal, military, and technological aspects." (CCW/MSP/2023/7, paragraph 20)

On 8 February 2024, the CCW Implementation Support Unit circulated an aide-mémoire providing information on attending the first 2024 session of the GGE on LAWS.

Participants at the meeting are invited to read and familiarize themselves with the Code of Conduct to prevent harassment, including sexual harassment, at UN system events.


Rules of Procedure (CCW/CONF.V/4)

Indicative timetable for the first 2024 session of the Group

CCW/GGE.1/2024/1 - Provisional agenda

CCW/GGE.1/2024/2 - Provisional programme of work (Advance version)

CCW/GGE.1/2024/WP.1 - Working paper submitted by Brazil

CCW/GGE.1/2024/WP.2 - Working paper submitted by the Russian Federation

CCW/GGE.1/2024/WP.3 - Working paper submitted by Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway

CCW/GGE.1/2024/CRP.1 - Compilation of replies received to the Chair’s guiding questions

List of speakers - General Statements

Side Events

Charting the Course on AWS Regulations: Voices from the Indo-PacificThe development of advanced technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), is rapidly transforming human life and experience. The imminent diffusion of AI technology could solve many of our old problems, but they could also disrupt our political and social orders, especially in its applications in autonomous weapons systems (AWS).

In September 2022, Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. pointed this out by calling on the international community to develop governance structures to prevent the weaponization of these emerging technologies. In the New Agenda for Peace, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for UN member states to conclude by 2026, a legally binding instrument to prohibit lethal autonomous weapon systems.

While there are discussions to address AWS in the UN, particularly in the context of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), voices and concerns from the Indo-Pacific on this important issue are often unheard. To provide a space to discuss and consider the implications of the use of autonomy in weapons systems from the point of view of the Indo-Pacific region, the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines organized the Manila Meeting on Indo-Pacific Perspectives on Autonomous Weapon Systems last 13-14 December 2023.

The Philippines seeks to continue to elevate these voices from the Indo-Pacific as we continue to chart the course on AWS regulation. In this side event, we will focus on two of the many issues related to AWS that are important to the Indo-Pacific: 1) Potential environmental effects on the marine environment, and 2) The need for prohibitions and regulations.

Organized by the Philippines
13:15-14:25Room XXIII
The Legal Review of Autonomous Weapons Systems: good practices, novel questions and challengesOrganized by the Permanent Missions of Australia and Brazil.

The LAWS GGE has recognised the importance of states’ obligations under international law to conduct legal reviews of autonomous weapons systems (AWS). The 2023 GGE also specifically encouraged the voluntary exchange of good practice in this area. This side event will consider novel questions or challenges that may arise in the conduct of such reviews and explore good practices relevant to states reviewing AWS. It will consist of four expert panel presentations followed by a Q&A and interactive discussion. Panelists include:
• Wen Zhou, Legal Adviser, Arms and Conduct of Hostilities Unit, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
• Ioana Puscas, Research on Artificial Intelligence, UNIDIR
• Colonel Damian Copeland PhD (Director of Operations and International Law, Australian Department of Defence)
• Claudio Medeiros Leopoldino, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Brazil, Geneva.
13:00-15:00Room XXIII
Fixing Gender Glitches in AI: Mitigating Biases, Risks and Digital Divides
The Permanent Missions of Canada, Costa Rica, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Panama and the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) invite you to an interactive, in-person side event addressing the challenge of gender glitches in military applications of artificial intelligence (AI) – that is, gender-specific oversights and biases that can occur in the development, deployment, and regulation of AI.
13:00-15:00Room XXIII
Inhuman in the Loop: When Military AI is Used Against CiviliansPanel discussion with various experts addressing the risks to international humanitarian, and human rights law, and to peace and security, arising from the development and use of Military AI in autonomous weapons systems.

Organized by The Civilian Agenda