During the UN General Assembly’s First Committee, taking place in New York this October, several EFAD members will be presenting and doing outreach on armed drones. Though armed drones are not part of the First Committee’s resolution discussion, numerous states have raised concerns in their statements. Over the last 5 years, 15 delegations addressed issues in light of upholding international law in relation to drone strikes, ethical and moral concerns, proliferation, and the need for continued dialogue in various UN forums. A full overview of statements has been made available by Article 36. EFAD members and academics from Pace University and Columbia’s Human Rights Clinic will continue to engage with delegations this year to encourage them to raise drones in their statements and promote an inclusive, ambitious, and multilateral process on armed drones.
EFAD member Reaching Critical Will has published their annual First Committee Briefing Book, which also includes a chapter on armed drones written by Article 36. This year, there will be another statement on armed drones delivered to the First Committee, traditionally signed by dozens of organizations. Last year’s statement can be found here.
EFAD members PAX and Article 36 published three policy paper aimed at diplomats and policymakers ahead of the UNGA. PAX’s ‘Debating Armed Drones’ provides a short analysis of the drone debate and put forward a set of recommendations for States for the debate in the First Committee. Article 36 released two new policy papers ahead of the UNGA ‘addressing the humanitarian concerns that have emerged around drones, as well as the threat posed to rights and international norms governing the use of force.’
UNIDIR, PAX and Stimson will host a side-event on the use of armed drones on the 24th of October, titled The Expanding Use of Armed UAVs and the Need for International Standards. Since 2015, there have been a number of side-events hosted by EFAD members like PAX, Open Society Foundations, Article 36, Stimson Centre, and Amnesty International. Other civil society partners and academics such as ACLU and Columbia Law School Human Right’s Clinic also spoke at these events, as did UN organizations such as UNIDIR and UNODA.
For more information, see Reaching Critical Will’s First Committee website.
We will update the developments in the First Committee on armed drones through the EFAD website and our Twitter account @efadrones.