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Freetown to host Inaugural ECOWAS Summit on Autonomous Weapons Security

HomeNewsFreetown to host Inaugural ECOWAS Summit on Autonomous Weapons Security

Freetown to host Inaugural ECOWAS Summit on Autonomous Weapons Security

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In preparation for the forthcoming Regional Conference on the Peace and Security Aspect of Autonomous Weapons System: An ECOWAS Perspective, slated to be held in Freetown, Sierra Leone from April 17 to 18, 2024, the Embassy and Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone in Geneva, Switzerland convened a crucial meeting on Thursday, April 4, 2024. The gathering welcomed Ambassadors from ECOWAS Missions and Embassies based in Geneva.

The consultative session held in Geneva aimed to brief member states about the impending Regional Conference on the Peace and Security Aspect of Autonomous Weapons System: An ECOWAS Perspective.

Among the key issues discussed, Dr. Lansana Gberie, the Head of Mission, Ambassador, and Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone in Geneva, Switzerland, highlighted the pressing concerns surrounding the integration of autonomous technologies in weapon systems.

He emphasised that Autonomous Weapons Systems (AWS) pose significant threats to global peace and security, with their potential replication and transfer raising alarming issues. Dr. Gberie stressed the importance of addressing this challenge urgently, leading to the organization of the high-level Regional Conference in Freetown.

His Excellency Lansana Gberie, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Geneva, shared insights into Sierra Leone’s perspective regarding the upcoming Regional Conference.

He underscored President Bio’s commitment to regional peace and security as pivotal for driving sustainable development, emphasising investments in Human Capital Development among other priorities.

Addressing the gathering, H.E. Mr. Christian Guillermet Fernandez, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Costa Rica, expressed gratitude to the government of Sierra Leone for hosting the significant Regional Conference.

He highlighted Costa Rica’s previous efforts in addressing the challenges posed by autonomous weapons systems, showcasing the relevance of regional cooperation in governance and regulation.

Ambassador Gberie reiterated the urgent need to address the threats posed by autonomous weapons systems within the regional and global security landscape. He emphasised Sierra Leone’s dedication to engaging constructively in discussions for a new legally binding instrument aimed at ensuring meaningful human control over such systems.

The first Regional Conference on the Peace and Security Aspect of Autonomous Weapons System: An ECOWAS Perspective, scheduled for April 17-18, 2024, is expected to culminate in a consensus-driven outcome document.

This document will reflect the collective commitment of ECOWAS member states to tackle the challenges posed by autonomous weapons systems, advancing collaborative efforts towards peace, security, and humanitarian values within the ECOWAS region and beyond.

 

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