Ban the Use of Killer Robots,
Autonomous Weapons and Weaponized Drones
Women for Peace-Finland
Dear friends of peace all over the world
Last October, Finland was elected member of the UN Human Rights Council for 2022–2024. Pekka Haavisto (Green Party), Minister of Foreign Affairs in Finland, in a press statement stressed the importance to promote global peace, security and sustainable development and that Finland, as also he himself, have excellent experience of involving civil society in the management of matters.
Thus, we now invite a broad spectrum of NGOs to sign a letter to Minister Haavisto, urging him to push European and other countries to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and to raise the urgent need for a preemptive ban on killer robots and a ban for the use and sale of weaponized drones in the UN Human Rights Council and in the EU.
(Please find the letter to Pekka Haavisto below.)
ACTION: If your organisation/movement wish to sign this letter, please send not later than February 15, 2022 an email — with the name of your organization, your country, and an email address for a contact person — to Women for Peace-Finland
Letter to Pekka Haavisto:
Together We Are Stronger!
Honourable Pekka Haavisto, Minister of Foreign Affairs in Finland
Cc; Sauli Niinistö, President of Finland
Members of the Finnish Government
Members of the Finnish Parliament
We, the representatives of non-governmental organisations from all over the world want to congratulate Finland for last October having been elected member of the UN Human Rights Council for the period 2022-2024.
Regarding this, You Minister Pekka Haavisto, in a press statement stressed the importance to promote global peace, security and sustainable development and that Finland has excellent experience of involving civil society in the management of matters.
Your significant announcement, that Finland will work in close cooperation with both domestic and international NGOs and human rights defenders since it is vital that not only the voice of states but also the views and expertise of civil society, researchers and the private sector are heard in the work of the Human Rights Council, gives us great hope.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) (1948) is a milestone document in the history of human rights and was drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world. It sets out the fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has paved the way for the adoption of more than seventy human rights treaties, applied today on a permanent basis at global and regional levels.
Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:
“Everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of person.”
Three of the biggest military threats to life today are nuclear weapons, autonomous weapon systems or killer robots and weaponized drones. A nuclear war would not only cause long-term damage to our planet, but could end life on Earth as we know it.
Killer robots and weaponized drones constitute a barbarous threat to humanity.
According to the second edition of the Norwegian People’s Aid’s Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor over two-thirds of the world’s countries support the TPNW. Furthermore YouGov polls conducted in late 2020 in six NATO countries — Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain — show very high levels of public support for their countries to join the TPNW.
Since 2018, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has repeatedly urged states to prohibit weapons systems that could, by themselves, target and attack human beings, calling them “morally repugnant and politically unacceptable”.
On 15-16 September 2021, the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted an online conference on Safeguarding Human Control over Autonomous Weapons.
Austria’s Foreign Minister, Alexander Schallenberg and New Zealand’s Minister for Disarmament, Phil Twyford, presented a strong call for action towards new international law that would establish prohibitions and regulations on autonomy in weapons systems. The conference provided a striking illustration of political leadership embracing the need for action on this issue.
A growing number of policymakers, artificial intelligence experts, private companies, international and domestic organisations, and ordinary individuals have endorsed a call to ban fully autonomous weapons.
According to Human Rights Watch, 30 countries (as of August 2020) were calling for a ban on killer robots.
Weaponized drones are no more acceptable than landmines, cluster bombs, or chemical weapons. The armed drone is a weapon that, because of its unique character, engenders terror and hatred on the ground, regardless of the circumstances in which it is being used.
In a global petition a broad spectrum of NGOs and over 100.000 persons urge governments to ban the use and sale of weaponized drones.
All over the world, NGOs are urging their governments to sign and ratify the TPNW as well as to ban autonomous weapons and weaponized drones.
Honourable Minister Pekka Haavisto, we sincerely hope for your dedicated support for these urgent matters, threatening mankind and urge you to actively push European and other countries to sign the TPNW and to firmly, in the UN Human Rights Council and in the European Union, raise the urgent need for a preemptive ban on the development, production, and use of fully autonomous weapons and for a ban for the use and sale of weaponized drones.
ACTION ALERT: Ban Weaponized Drones from the World
(February 9, 2022) — Meticulous researchers have documented that US drones are killing many innocent civilians in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere. Drones are making the world less stable and creating new enemies. Their remoteness provides those responsible with a sense of immunity.
Weaponized drones are no more acceptable than land mines, cluster bombs, or chemical weapons. The world must renounce and forbid their manufacture, possession, or use. Violators must be held accountable.
We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, urge:
• The United Nations Secretary General to investigate the concerns of Navi Pillay, the UN’s top human rights official, that drone attacks violate international law — and to ultimately pursue sanctions against nations using, possessing, or manufacturing weaponized drones;
- The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Courtto investigate grounds for the criminal prosecution of those responsible for drone attacks;
- The US Secretary of State, and the ambassadors to the United States from the nations of the world, to support a treaty forbidding the possession or use of weaponized drones;
- President Joe Bidento abandon the use of weaponized drones, and to abandon the “kill list” program regardless of the technology employed;
- The Majority and Minority Leaders of the US House and Senate, to ban the use or sale of weaponized drones;
- The governments of each of our nations around the world,to ban the use or sale of weaponized drones.
The Pentagon’s ‘Targeted Killing’ and the Rule of Law:
The Legal and Human Costs of US Drone Strikes