Two Sides of the Same Coin: Exploring Benefits and Risks of (Mis)use of Uncrewed Systems

18 July 2024
Two Sides of the Same Coin: Exploring Benefits and Risks of (Mis)use of Uncrewed Systems

Uncrewed systems – which include uncrewed aerial, ground, and maritime systems – are increasingly being developed and used by a wide range of state and non-state actors in the military realm. The increased development and use, by a range of actors, of uncrewed systems has also been enabled by lower costs of production and a range of technological advances which have made these systems easier to use, over longer periods of time, and with additional and more advanced capabilities.

As such, the attractiveness – and use – of such systems has grown over recent years. Moreover, the combination of these elements also raises important questions about proliferation and misuse, as well as regulatory measures and countermeasures.

Uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs, often referred to as “drones”) are viewed with particular concern as regards the implications of their growing proliferation and use to international peace and security. If misused, UAVs can pose challenges to human, national, regional, and international security. Yet, they also offer a number of positive applications.

This webinar will explore both the benefits that these systems offer, but also the threats to and impacts on regional and international peace, security, and stability if misused, especially compared to crewed systems. The webinar will also examine the types of actors using these systems and variance of use across regions.

This is the second webinar in a three-part series on uncrewed systems hosted by UNIDIR and the Office for Disarmament Affairs (ODA). The first webinar in the series covers the terms and classifications used for uncrewed systems, and UAVs in particular, as well as potential impacts that these may pose to international security. The final webinar explores actions the multistakeholder community can take to address the threats associated with their uncontrolled proliferation and misuse.

When and Where

This event takes place on Thursday 18 July 2024, 15.00-16.30 CEST / 09.00-10.30 EDT, online. Please consult this website to find your local time.


  • Kerry Chávez, Assistant Professor, Department of Military & Strategic Studies, U.S. Air Force Academy
  • Abby Zeith, Legal Adviser, Arms and Conduct of Hostilities Unit, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
  • Wim Zwijnenburg, Project Leader Humanitarian Disarmament, PAX

Moderated by Barbara Morais Figueiredo, Researcher, UNIDIR


We welcome representatives from Member State delegations, as well as individuals working on issues related to uncrewed systems and members of the multistakeholder community including industry, civil society, and intergovernmental organizations.


Registration is mandatory. Please register here by Wednesday 17 July 2024. The link to access the event will be emailed to registered participants one day prior to the session. Please contact Ms. Jessica Espinosa Azcarraga ( if you have any questions.

In partnership with: