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UN General Assembly calls for regulation of drone strikes

Updated June 14, 2014
United Nations General Assembly Hall. — File photo
United Nations General Assembly Hall. — File photo

UNITED NATIONS: The General Assembly wrapped up its fourth Review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy Friday, with the adoption of a consensus resolution, which, among other elements, called on states using drone strikes as a counter-terrorism measure to comply with international law.

It is the first time that 193-member body pronounced itself on the use of armed drones, a key but controversial component of the war against terrorism, as it dealt with terrorism-related issues.

Earlier, the Assembly did so in the context of human rights, approving a resolution, entitled “Protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.“

Have a look at: Pakistan urges end to drone strikes in UN General Assembly

Under the terms of the new resolution, the General Assembly urged “Member 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 United Nations, human rights law and international humanitarian law, in particular the principles of distinction and proportionality.“

“We are glad that the important element of armed drones has been, for the first time, reflected in the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy,” the Pakistani envoy, led by Ambassador Masood Khan, told the General Assembly.

In his remarks, Khan condemned the latest US drone strikes in North Waziristan, while affirming Pakistan's commitment to stamp out terrorism.

“These strikes have an adverse impact on the Government's efforts to bring peace and stability to Pakistan and the region,” Khan said, emphasising that the remotely piloted aircraft must comply with the United Nations Charter and international law.