GENEVA: The world is entering a military “second drone age” with uncontrolled proliferation and no standards governing their use, a United Nations expert told the UN Human Rights Council.
Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said the global community needed to take stock of how armed drones have evolved, and examine the challenges they posed to compliance with international law.
“There are no robust standards governing drones development, proliferation, export, or capability for use of force. No transparency. No effective oversight. No accountability,” she said.
“Drone strikes, it seems, are favoured by decision-makers and military alike for their relative efficiency, effectiveness, adaptability, acceptability, deniability, and political gain.”
The independent rights expert does not speak for the United Nations but reports her findings to it.
Callamard presented a report into targeted killings through armed drones, in light of the proliferation in drone use and their expanding capability over the last five years.
The report made recommendations designed to regulate their use and enhance accountability.
“The world has entered a second drone age in which a vast array of state and non-state actors are deploying ever-more advanced drone technologies,” Callamard said, adding that many countries wanted to join the “drone power club”.
She said at least 102 countries had an active military drone inventory, while around 40 possess, or were procuring, armed drones.