OHCHR / CALLAMARD ARMED DRONES

09-Jul-2020 00:03:19
UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard called on States to “establish a transparent, multilateral and multi-stakeholder process for the development of robust standards and accountability mechanisms for the use and export of armed drones.” UNTV CH
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STORY: OHCHR / CALLAMARD ARMED DRONES
TRT: 03:19
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 09 JULY 2020 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1.Wide shot, exterior Palais des Nations Geneva
2.SOUNDBITE (English) Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions:
“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 technology.”
3. Wide shot, conference room
4.SOUNDBITE (English) Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions:
“As of 2020, at least 102 countries have an active military drone inventory and around 40 possess armed drones.”
5.Wide shot, conference room
6.SOUNDBITE (English) Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions:
“And since 2015, at least 11 countries have deployed armed drones for the purpose of targeted killings and use of force.”
7. Wide shot, conference room
8.SOUNDBITE (English) Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions:
“Drones have become speedier, smaller, more lethal and operable by teams located thousands of kilometers away.”
9.Wide shot, conference room
10.SOUNDBITE (English) Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions:
“Drone strikes, it seems, are favored by politicians and military alike for their relative efficiency, effectiveness, adaptability, acceptability, deniability and political gain or lack of political cost.”
11. Wide shot, conference room
12.SOUNDBITE (English) Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions:
“As with the myth of a surgical strike and the absence of effective oversight means it is practically impossible to know whether a person killed in a drone strike was, in fact a lawful target, under international humanitarian law at the very least. Moreover, the evidence suggests that the harm to civilian populations, including deaths, injuries and trauma, is largely underreported.”
13. Wide shot, conference room
14.SOUNDBITE (English) Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions:
“That particular principle has now shifted to mean that states feel bound to act before it is too late, with little to no regard as to the actual imminence of a concrete threat. There is also a geographical distortion under which it is argued that against particularly non-state groups against whom a state has resorted to force. It is no longer necessary to reassess the imminence requirement in relation to future attack. These can be attacked anywhere.”
15. Wide shot, conference room
16.SOUNDBITE (English) Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions:
“Targeted killings until recently to drones had been limited to non-state actors. Until, for the first time in January 2020, a state armed drone targeted a high-level official of a foreign state and did so on the territory of a third state.”
17. Wide shot, conference room
18.SOUNDBITE (English) Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions:
“I call on States to establish a transparent, multilateral and multi-stakeholder process for the development of robust standards and accountability mechanisms for the use and export of armed drones.”
19.Wide shot, exterior, Human rights Council
STORYLINE
UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard called on States to “establish a transparent, multilateral and multi-stakeholder process for the development of robust standards and accountability mechanisms for the use and export of armed drones.”

The Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Agnes Callamard today (09 Jul) presented her report on the increased use of armed drones for targeted killings.

At the 44th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Agnes Callamard warned, “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 technology”.

As more armies and irregular groups acquire armed drones and use them for targeted killings, there is a danger that war will come to be seen as normal rather than the opposite of peace. She said, “as of 2020, at least 102 countries have an active military drone inventory and around 40 possess armed drones.”

Callamard noted, “since 2015, at least 11 countries have deployed armed drones for the purpose of targeted killings and use of force,” adding that “drones have become speedier, smaller, more lethal and operable by teams located thousands of kilometers away. “

She also said, “drone strikes, it seems, are favored by politicians and military alike for their relative efficiency, effectiveness, adaptability, acceptability, deniability and political gain or lack of political cost.”

The Special Rapporteur also said, “as with the myth of a surgical strike and the absence of effective oversight means it is practically impossible to know whether a person killed in a drone strike was, in fact a lawful target, under international humanitarian law at the very least. Moreover, the evidence suggests that the harm to civilian populations, including deaths, injuries and trauma, is largely underreported.”

Technology obscures the true number of casualties, and deaths are rarely properly investigated. Callamard explained, “that particular principle has now shifted to mean that states feel bound to act before it is too late, with little to no regard as to the actual imminence of a concrete threat.”

She continued, “there is also a geographical distortion under which it is argued that against particularly non-state groups against whom a state has resorted to force. It is no longer necessary to reassess the imminence requirement in relation to future attack. These can be attacked anywhere.”

She particularly criticized the United States’ used of an armed drone in January 2020 to kill Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani. She said, “targeted killings until very recently to drones had been limited to non-state actors. Until, for the first time in January 2020, a state armed drone targeted a high-level official of a foreign state and did so on the territory of a third state.”

Special Rapporteurs are part of the Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council and work on a voluntary basis. They are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.
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