24 October 2023
With the rapid evolvement of technology, the Co-Chairs The Ministry of Foreign Affairs UK and The United States, who are leading the GCTF Initiative to Operationalize the Berlin Memorandum recently launched an expansion of the initiative to include new and emerging technologies.
The new Initiative, the GCTF Counter-Unmanned Ariel Systems and New, Emerging, and Disruptive Technologies Initiative aims to provide a better understanding of the pros and cons of Unmanned Ariel Systems (UAS) use with a specific focus on emerging technological developments and includes the potential security impact of three key types of emerging technologies: artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML); production of Small and Light Weapons (SALW) through 3D printing and related mechanisms; and the expanding nature of unmanned systems to sea, land, and air domains.
Virtual workshops will be part of the activities included in this new Initiative and are set to bring focus on new and emerging technologies related to UAS by means of thorough, in-depth, scenario-based discussions and simulations to help apply the recommendations to national, regional, and international contexts. The series of workshops is intended to enable a forum of experts to better understand the best practices for countering malign and illicit uses of UAS and includes new and emerging technologies in relation to UAS, enabling a clearer understanding to be had of how the technologies can be embraced, as well as how they are being exploited.
The Berlin Memorandum on Good Practices for Countering Terrorist Use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (2019) provides more insight into the challenges, providing good practices intended to inform and guide governments in identifying, developing, and refining policies, practices, guidelines, regulations, programs, and approaches for countering the terrorist use of UAS.
International attention of this emerging threat was recognized by the United Nations (UN) during its Seventh Review of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) Res. 75/291 adopted in June 2021) and the renewal of the UN Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) mandate (UN Security Council Resolution 2617 adopted in December 2021) as well as during the recent UNSCR (UN Security Council resolutions) 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee special meeting held in New Delhi, India (October 28-29, 2022).