The continuous process of development in science and technology (S&T) has ongoing implications for the emergence of new weapons, new means and methods of warfare and other security applications.

Such developments, in turn, may raise concerns regarding human well-being, environmental protection and international peace and security, which may provoke new questions regarding the application and sufficiency of existing legal frameworks.

New and changing military technologies can present significant risks to life and precipitate dramatic changes in the balance of international relations. As such this should be an issue of considerable significance to the international community.

This paper suggests that early consideration of developments in S&T, at the multilateral level, can provide a framework for the identification of risks – serving in turn to shape expectations and develop necessary responses. It sets out the benefits of such an S&T review, and suggests how High Contracting Parties to the CCW can develop a precautionary orientation towards S&T governance with implications for the multilateral control of weapons.

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Science, technology and weaponisation: preliminary observations

Briefing Paper
November 2017


Posted in: CCW, New weapon technologies, S&T in the context of disarmament,