Later this month, governments will meet in Geneva to discuss lethal autonomous weapons systems. Previous talks – and growing pressure from civil society – have not yet galvanised governments into action. Meanwhile the development of these so-called “killer robots” is already being considered in military roadmaps. Their prohibition is therefore an increasingly urgent task.
International momentum towards a treaty to ban nuclear weapons reached a milestone in the December 2014 Vienna conference. Even assuming that the UK does not initially sign up to such a treaty, it is subject to the pressures of a changing legal and political environment and could find its present position increasingly untenable – not least on the issue of Trident renewal.
Climate refugees – those forced from their homes due to the impacts of a warming world – are living proof of the international community’s failure to prevent climate change. International coordinated action is urgently required to forge a protective framework for increasingly vulnerable populations.