NGO Statement on Armed Drones

NGO Statement on Armed Drones

November 29, 2020

Containing remote-controlled violence is possible, but political will is needed

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This statement is presented on behalf of 14 civil society organisations from across the world. Together, we are committed to protecting individuals and preventing and mitigating harm, including violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, resulting from the use of drones in domestic and international deployments of force.

2020 became the hallmark of what some refer to as “the second drone age”, with the targeted killing of the Iranian General Soleimani in Iraq by a US drone; the escalating drone war in Libya, referred to by the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator as the “world’s largest theater for the use of drones”; and the rapid speed of drone use in Syria, Yemen, and recently in the disputed region of Nagorno Karabakh.

We urge Member States not to wait, but to act now to protect people and communities in accordance with international law, as ever-rapidly developing new advancements in technology and proliferation are already outpacing international capacities to constrain drone use. Curbing and containing such remote-controlled violence is possible, but political will is needed, and States must act before it is too late.

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