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The United Nation’s Human Rights Council adopted today a Pakistan sponsored resolution by an overwhelming majority on the use of armed drones. The resolution urges the member states to ensure that the use of armed drones comply with their obligations under international law, including the UN Charter, human rights law and international humanitarian law, in particular the principles of distinction and proportionality.

The resolution also calls for convening an interactive panel discussion of experts on legal questions pertaining to this issue as recommended in the report of Mr. Ben Emerson, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism. The panel discussion will take place at the 27th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva to be held in September 2014.

The landmark resolution was adopted as a result of our Mission’s close coordination with like-minded States to sensitize the international community on this important legal matter at the United Nations.

Pakistan has consistently raised the issue at all relevant international fora including the United Nations. In November, 2013 Pakistan had successfully included references on the use of drones in a UN General Assembly resolution that urged member states to comply with their obligations under international law. Other UN bodies where Pakistan has raised this concern include the UN Security Council, Committees of UN General Assembly dealing with Disarmament and International Security issues and Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons.

The adoption of this resolution underscores the success of Pakistan’s diplomacy in garnering international support for its principled position on the use of armed drones in violation of international law. This will further strengthen the country’s efforts to address the issue of drones.

28 March 2014

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