AI tops the agenda as UN disarmament chief visits India
16 January 2024
Visiting India, Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, met senior Government officials and discussed India’s upcoming Presidency of the Conference on Disarmament.
The rapid pace of developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential military applications have given governments, international organizations, and civil society around the world much to consider.
In this context, the United Nations High Representative and Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs – Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu – visited New Delhi in December to participate in Carnegie India’s Global Technology Summit, where she delivered a keynote speech. Her speech covered topics ranging from the application of international humanitarian law to military applications of AI to lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS).
Ms. Nakamitsu told the summit that the world was at a crossroads with technological developments. She noted that some countries are using AI to increase the efficiency of their weapons systems.
“The demand for efficiency, however, must never come at the expense of human control and oversight over the use of force,” she said.
During her visit to India, Ms. Nakamitsu also met senior Government officials. Together with the UN Resident Coordinator in India, Mr. Shombi Sharp, Ms. Nakamitsu met Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra, Deputy National Security Adviser Vikram Misri, and Joint Secretary Muanpuii Saiawi at the Ministry of External Affairs of India.
They discussed India’s upcoming Presidency of the Conference on Disarmament, recent deliberations in the UN General Assembly’s First Committee, new and emerging technologies, nuclear security and regional security.
Ms. Nakamitsu also engaged with Indian academics, think tanks, and civil society representatives during her visit, participating in two roundtables. The rich discussions touched on a variety of themes, including AI, lethal autonomous weapons systems, the role of civil society, maritime security dynamics, and confidence-building measures