Informal Workshop on Good Practices and Lessons Learnt with respect to Existing Nuclear-Weapons Free Zones

Overview

An informal workshop on “Good Practices and Lessons Learnt with respect to Existing Nuclear-Weapons Free Zone” was held from 7-9 July 2020. Due to the COVID-19 situation, the workshop was conducted virtually. The workshop was organized in consultation with the President and participating States of first session of the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction, as an effort to support the implementation of the outcome of the first session of the Conference which agreed to invite representatives of existing nuclear-weapon-free zones, as well as relevant academia and experts to share good practices and lessons learned in the establishment of such zones.

Details of the workshop can be found in the programme.

International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Overview

In its resolution 68/32, the General Assembly declared 26 September the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. The Day has been observed annually since 2014. This year's High-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons will take place on Friday, 2 October 2020.

International Day against Nuclear Tests

Overview

On 2 December 2009, the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly declared 29 August the International Day against Nuclear Tests by unanimously adopting resolution 64/35. The resolution calls for increasing awareness and education “about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and the need for their cessation as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.” The resolution was initiated by the Republic of Kazakhstan, together with a large number of sponsors and cosponsors with a view to commemorating the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site on 29 August 1991.

Webinar series on the technological, military and legal aspects of lethal autonomous weapon systems

Overview

The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) and United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) are pleased to invite you to a series of three webinars exploring technological, military and legal aspects of Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS). The purpose of each webinar would be to provide analysis on issues pertaining to technological, military and legal aspects of LAWS, through an interactive dialogue between expert speakers and participants.

To ensure that the webinars achieve their objective, in addition to the traditional Q&A time reserved for each webinar, we invite you to submit in advance any questions pertinent to the three topics above at: sectec-unidir@un.org

Your questions will be shared with the expert speakers in advance of each webinar and will be used to inform their initial briefings and following discussions.

Updated information on confirmed speakers will be published on this page as soon as possible.

WHEN

  • Webinar on technological aspects of LAWS:       26 October, 1300-1500 CET / 0800-1000 EDT
  • Webinar on military aspects of LAWS:                 27 October, 1300-1500 CET / 0800-1000 EDT
  • Webinar on legal aspects of LAWS:                       28 October, 1300-1500 CET / 0800-1000 EDT

PANELLISTS:

  • Webinar on technological aspects of LAWS:
    1. Prof. Vanina Martinez & Dr. Ricardo Rodriguez (University of Bueno Aires)
    2. Jane Pinelis (US Joint Artificial Intelligence Center)
    3. Barry O’Sullivan (University College Cork)
    4. Thomas Grohs (Airbus)
    5. Dr. Gabriele Rizzo (FUTURES Lab)
    6. Abhishek Gupta (Microsoft)
  • Webinar on military aspects of LAWS:
    1. Vadim Kozyulin (PIR Center)
    2. Trisha Ray (Observer Research Foundation)
    3. Paul Scharre (Center for a New American Security)
    4. Netta Goussac (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute)
  • Webinar on legal aspects of LAWS:
    1. Prof. Rain Liivoja (University of Queensland)
    2. Pia Devoto (Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict)
    3. Dr. Thompson Chengenta (University of Southampton)

PARTICIPANTS: We encourage the participation of representatives and experts working on or interested in issues pertaining to Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems.

RSVPPlease register here. The link to access the webinars will be provided by email to registered participants one day prior to each event.

Virtual information exchange on implementation of weapons reviews

Overview

In accordance with Article 36 of Additional Protocol I to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, States have a responsibility to determine whether the use of new weapons they study, develop, acquire or adopt would be prohibited under international law, in some or all circumstances. Conducting such reviews is a practical measure that all States can take to ensure they comply with international law.

Increased transparency on the conduct of weapons reviews would build confidence in how States fulfil this responsibility, helping to facilitate predictability with respect to the potential introduction of destabilizing new technologies and promoting common understanding regarding the application of international law, particularly IHL. It may also assist other States to strengthen their own practices and facilitate the identification of good practices that could form the basis for possible future common standards.

In action 25 of the Secretary-General’s disarmament agenda the Office for Disarmament Affairs commits to organizing with relevant partners “an informal process with a view to facilitating the exchange of information and experiences between States on the reviews of new weapons”. This virtual meeting, convened virtually from 16 to 17 September 2020, sought to begin that process.

Summary of the meeting

Programme

National Presentations

Australia
Sarah-Jane White, Deputy Director, Directorate of Operations and International Law, Australian
Department of Defence

The Netherlands
Boddens Hosang, Deputy Director of Legal Affairs, Netherlands Ministry of Defence

Switzerland
Mirco Anderegg, Deputy Head Law of Armed Conflict, Swiss Federal Department of Defence