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UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations human rights chief has urged the United States and Israel to clarify the legal basis for the use of armed drones in Pakistan, Yemen and Gaza.

The Security Council met today to hold an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told the meeting that “the current lack of transparency surrounding their use creates an accountability vacuum and affects the ability of victims to seek redress.”

Speaking by videoconference, Pillay said she was “seriously concerned about human rights implications for the protection of civilians of armed drone strikes carried out in the context of counter-terrorism and military operations including in Pakistan, Yemen and Gaza.”

“I urge relevant states to clarify the legal basis for such strikes as well as the safeguards in place to ensure compliance with applicable international law,” Pillay said.

A top Pakistani diplomat also called for an end to drones strikes as he backed the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s stand that they must operate within international law.

On his visit to Pakistan earlier this month, the UN Secretary-General had expressed concern over the loss of life caused by the armed UAVs and urged that they be used in accordance with international laws.

“We believe that such strikes violate international humanitarian law and therefore should be stopped,” Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN Masood Khan said during the Security Council’s open debate on Monday.

“Negotiations in this regard must be intensified,” he said in the debate that coincided with World Humanitarian Day.

“We endorse the Secretary General’s views that these principles also apply to the use of new technologies, including armed drones. We support High Commissioner Navi Pillay’s call made today for clarifying the legal basis of armed drones strikes.”

The Pakistani envoy said that, even as the Council was meeting, wars and conflicts were unfolding, with the majority of their victims, civilians.

“Despite established norms and laws, the abysmal state of civilians in armed conflicts had changed little,” he said, adding that it was imperative to translate strategy into action on the ground.

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Comments (9) Closed

Aug 20, 2013 06:08pm

Might rules the World. At this time only usa can do what they like, these people can say anything they like but no one will listen. Everyone knows the drones were illegal and imoral from day one.

Aug 20, 2013 06:57pm

Our leaders, present at every human-rights conventions, condemn every human tragedy, speak out loud against the violation of sovereignty and chant against every inhuman act but yet they neither filed a single complain in UN or in any commission or complained the US authorities against these drones strikes. Hypocrisy at its best! We are deserved to be fooled again and again by our filthy leadership who has no love for the country and the people.

Aug 20, 2013 07:37pm

Like anyone is paying attention to you

shoukat sheikh
Aug 20, 2013 08:44pm

Where was everyone for the past 8 years. USA is about to stop this killing machine. Now everyone is coming out of wood work such as UN chief and this woman from Human Right to denounce this monster.

Fazal Karim
Aug 20, 2013 09:16pm

Why was UN High Commissioner for human writes sleeping so long. There are more serious human writes violation in Palestine, specially Gaza. These violations are being carried out with the open connivance of America. What is UN commission doing.

Aug 20, 2013 10:06pm

Please note Navi Pillay is a Indian and Los note how strongly she has spoken for Pakistan .

Aug 21, 2013 01:13am

She is Indian Origin and still supporting pakistan

Aug 21, 2013 04:17am

US is setting extremely bad precedents... and does not realise that they have provided a licence to any rogue power to drone innocent civilians anywhere in the world. Is this the kind of the world we want???

Aug 21, 2013 06:50am

How come Navi Pillay does not talk about the human rights violation of militants and the governments thst support them- when they kill citizens of other countries. The root cause of the DRONE is that nation states are unable to and unwilling to stop killers operating from its territories. What are the other options for those who suffer at the hands of these terror outfits?