Statement by Ambassador (Dr.) Pankaj Sharma, Permanent Representative of India to the Conference on Disarmament on Agenda item 5(b) on Characterisation of the Systems under consideration in order to promote a common understanding on Concepts and Characteristics relevant to the objectives and purposes of the Convention at the 2020 session of GGE on LAWS held in Geneva from 21-25 September 2020

Mr. Chairman,

The Indian delegation believes that it is time that an all encompassing definition is agreed to by member states so as to make more meaningful progress on LAWS within the CCW.  While a better understanding and clarity on LAWS will help us with characterization of these weapons, it is also true that the characterization in turn would help us agree on a common definition of LAWS which according to us will be the next logical step. In the absence of a common agreed definition, we will not even know what we are dealing with.  Any policy measure and an operational or normative framework will flow from the definition and not in its absence.

       While we know several characteristics of these LAWS, such as autonomy, technical characteristics and capabilities, some of which were identified by my delegation during the last meeting,  are neither exhaustive nor sufficient.  We, therefore, need more in-depth deliberations, particularly, with the participation of technical, military and legal experts as any definition will certainly be cross-cutting in nature.

We look forward to participating in technical discussions, whenever there will be a possibility for in-depth discussions among our experts, preferably in person.

Thank you.

Permanent Mission of India to the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva