Pakistan calls for end to drone strikes
21 August, 2013
UNITED NATIONS: A top Pakistani diplomat on Monday called for stopping drones strikes as he backed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stand that they must operate within international law.
"We believe that such strikes violate international humanitarian law and therefore should be stopped," Pakistan UN Ambassador Masood Khan told the Security Council's open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict.
"Negotiations in this regard must be intensified," he said in a debate that coincided with World Humanitarian Day.
"We endorse the secretary general's views that these principles also apply to the use of new technologies, including armed drones. We support High Commissioner Navi Pillay's call made today for clarifying the legal basis of armed drones strikes."
The Pakistani envoy said that, even as the council was meeting, wars and conflicts were unfolding, with the majority of their victims, civilians. Despite established norms and laws, the abysmal state of civilians in armed conflicts had changed little, he said, adding that it was imperative to translate strategy into action on the ground.
Compliance with international law was sporadic at best or none at all; there were obstacles to humanitarian access and accountability was often weak or non-existent.
When considering the protection of civilians, special measures should be taken to support vulnerable groups, such as women, children, refugees and internally displaced persons, Masood Khan said.