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2018 Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS)


In 2016, the Fifth Review Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) established a Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS). The GEE held its first meeting from 13 to 17 November 2017 in Geneva.

At their 2017 Meeting, the High Contracting Parties to the CCW agreed that the GGE on LAWS shall meet again in 2018 for a duration of ten days in Geneva. The first meeting of the GGE on LAWS in 2018 took place from 9 to 13 April. The second meeting will be held from 27 to 31 August 2018. The meeting will take place in Conference Room XVIII on 27 August and in Room XX from 28 to 31 August 2018. Ambassador Amandeep Singh Gill of India is the chair of both meetings of the GGE on LAWS.

The final report of the 2017 meeting of the GGE on LAWS, particularly the "Conclusions and Recommendations" section, provides guidance and direction for the work of the GGE to be undertaken in 2018.

The overarching issues in the area of LAWS that will be addressed in the 2018 meetings of the GGE include:

  1. Characterization of the systems under consideration in order to promote a common understanding on concepts and characteristics relevant to the objectives and purposes of the CCW;
  2. Further consideration of the human element in the use of lethal force; aspects of human-machine interaction in the development, deployment and use of emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapons systems;
  3. Review of potential military applications of related technologies in the context of the Group’s work;
  4. Possible options for addressing the humanitarian and international security challenges posed by emerging technologies in the area of LAWS in the context of the objectives and purposes of the Convention without prejudging policy outcomes and taking into account past, present and future proposals.


Report of the 2018 session of the Group of Governmental Experts on emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapons systems

Emerging Commonalities, Conclusions and Recommendations (including Possible Guiding Principles) - Unformatted advance version

Chair's summary of the discussion on agenda items 6 a, b, c and d, 9-13 April 2018

List of Participants + List of Participants Addendum (April)
Final List of Participants

Provisional Agenda

Provisional Programme of Work

Letter from the Chairperson of the Group of Governmental Experts related to emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS), dated 10 January 2018

The Chair of the CCW GGE on LAWS would like to invite ALL non-governmental actors to contribute reflections, ideas, insights and experiences to enrich the April and August deliberations of governmental experts. Please refer to the newly released programme and agenda to frame your contribution(s).

You may submit contributions to ccw@un.org


Show details for Practical informationPractical information

Hide details for Registration of participantsRegistration of participants

All participants to the meeting must be properly registered.

For individuals with a valid United Nations grounds pass (members of Permanent Missions, etc.) registration in Indico is not necessary. Permanent Missions however need to send a note verbale to the CCW mailbox (ccw@un.org), informing of their participation and listing the full names and titles of the members of the delegation. The head of the delegation should be indicated clearly. Note verbales are to be sumbitted to ccw@un.org by 22 August 2018.

Individuals who do not have a valid United Nations grounds pass (e.g. participants from capitals) need to register through the INDICO platform (self-registration) before 22 August 2018.
  • A user guide is available for reference. For technical questions (e.g. non-receipt of confirmation of account creation or non-receipt of QR code) kindly contact directly support.accreditation@un.org.
  • A note verbale (for High Contracting Parties and signatory States) or a signed letter on the official letterhead of the organization (for international organizations, NGOs and academic institutions) needs to be attached to the Indico registration. The note verbale/letter has to list the full names, titles and functions of the members of the delegation and indicate clearly the head of the delegation. If the requested document is not attached, the system will reject the application. Letters which are not signed will also not be accepted.
  • Once participants are registered and approved by the system, their profile will remain and they will only have to update it if needed. The registration process is automated. Once the registration is received, it will be reviewed and an automated response will be sent.  Once the application has been approved in Indico, you will receive via e-mail an e-ticket / QR code. Only representatives who have registered online and whose names have been properly included in the note verbale/letter submitted in Indico will be granted an access badge.
  • Grounds passes valid for the duration of the Meeting will be available for collection from the Pass and Identification Unit at the Pregny Gate of the Palais des Nations. Participants are advised to come to the Pregny Gate well in advance to allow enough time for security checks.
    • Delegations from States and international organisations can collect their passes as from 12:00 on Friday 24 August 2018. Please bring a copy of the delegations’ letter or note verbale or the e-ticket / QR code received after successful Indico registration, in order to speed up the process.
    • Civil society representatives can collect their badges in person from 08:00 on Monday 27 August 2018. A valid passport or national identification card will have to be produced along with the confirmation from Indico.

The registration will be closed in Indico by 22 August 2018. Note verbales are also to be submitted to ccw@un.org by 22 August 2018. 

Please note that due to structural space limitations, non-Member State delegations would need to limit their presence inside Conference room(s) to no more than four persons in Room XVIII and one person in the side event rooms, possibly two persons if space allows.

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Hide details for Contributions from non-governmental actorsContributions from non-governmental actors

- Campaign To Stop Killer Robots - Briefing Note, also available in French and Spanish.

- Center for Autonomy and AI (CAAI) - Redefining Human Control - Lessons from the Battlefield for Autonomous Weapons

- School of Law, Birmingham City University - Dr Ozlem Ulgen, Definition and Regulation of LAWS and Command Responsibility and LAWS

- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill - Mark Avrum Gubrud, Adjunct Assistant Professor, The Ottawa Definition of Landmines as a Start to Defining LAWS

- International Committee for Robot Arms Control - Guidelines for the human control of weapons

- ICT4 Peace Foundation, Regina Surber, Scientific Advisor - Artificial Intelligence: Autonomous Technology (AT), Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) and Peace Time Threats

- Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights - Maya Brehm, Defending the Boundary - Constraints and Requirements on the Use of Autonomous Weapon Systems under International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law

- International Panel on the Regulation of Autonomous Weapons (iPRAW) - Focus on the Human-Machine Relation in LAWS

- Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence Cooperative Research Centre - Prof. Jason Scholz & University of South Wales, Canberra - Dr. Jai Galliott - AI in Weapons: The Moral Imperative For Minimally-Just Autonomy

- South African Research Chair in International Law - Dr Thompson Chengeta, International law and the standard of human control in weapon systems

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Show details for Chair's documentsChair's documents

For updates, please check this page and follow us on twitter @CCW_UNODA.


Who can participate in a CCW GGE? The CCW GGE on LAWS is not the same as a GGE established under the General Assembly. The GGE on LAWS is open to all High Contracting Parties and States non-parties (which may participate as observers) of the CCW, international organizations and non-governmental organizations, as per the CCW Rules of Procedure.

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