Drone strikes must comply with international law: UN


Islamabad : The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution calling on states using drone strikes as a counter-terrorism measure to comply with international law.

The resolution about drone strikes was included as a result of intensive efforts made by the Pakistan delegation as the 193-member body acted on issues relating to human rights, reported Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) Thursday.

The unanimous call Wednesday for regulating the use of remotely-piloted aircraft against suspected terrorists was contained in a comprehensive 28-paragraph resolution, entitled “Protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism”.

The General Assembly has spoken out for the first time about the use of armed drones, a key but controversial component of the US war against terrorism, including targets in Pakistan.

It underscored the “urgent and imperative” need for an agreement among member states on legal questions about drone operations.

The resolution urges states “to ensure that any measures taken or means employed to counter terrorism, including the use of remotely-piloted aircraft, comply with their obligations under international law, including the Charter of the UN, human rights law and international humanitarian law, in particular the principles of distinction and proportionality”.

It also calls for taking into account “relevant UN resolutions and decisions on human rights, and encourages them to give due consideration to the recommendations of the special procedures and mechanisms of the Human Rights Council and to the relevant comments and views of UN human rights treaty bodies”.

The resolution also takes note of the report of Special Rapporteur Ben Emersson, “which refers, inter alia, to the use of remotely-piloted aircraft, and notes the recommendations, including the urgent and imperative need to seek agreement among member states on legal questions pertaining to remotely-piloted aircraft operations”.