High Representative Kane discusses possibilities, challenges of technology in disarmament

Angela Kane, the high representative for disarmament affairs for the United Nations, discussed future disarmament methods on Wednesday during a session of the U.N.'s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters.

After an update on disarmament and progress and setbacks since the last Board meeting in March, including the signing of the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia, Kane focused on how technology can both help and be a hindrance to eliminating weapons of mass destruction.

Kane said that verification of WMDs with a focus on new technology is especially relevant in today's context, especially in the field of diplomacy.

"Science diplomacy has provided unique opportunities for scientists around the world to collaborate on projects that address the world's most pressing challenges, including sustainable development, the preservation of the environment, and combating disease and hunger," Kane said. "Surely, it can also be deployed to maximize the contribution that verification can make in preventing conflict and advancing disarmament goals."

Kane also warned that new technologies, including the development of autonomous weapons systems, could provide challenges to WMD control.

"Despite uncertainty over the pace of technical developments, there are serious concerns that must be addressed pertaining to the possible employment of weapon systems that have the capability of selecting and attacking targets without human intervention," Kane said.