United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs / Securing our Common Future – An Agenda for Disarmament

In view of the increasing deterioration of international peace and security, this comprehensive report of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, argues for the need to set a new disarmament agenda. This deterioration is caused by a multitude of factors, including the increasing complexity of intra-State and regional conflicts, the eroding respect for international norms and institutions and the increasing risks from new weapon technologies such as armed drones.

The report points to the danger of states reinterpreting international law when deploying armed drones. Armed drones’ unique characteristics have allowed for secret strikes that potentially violated human rights and international humanitarian law, especially when carried out outside the context of an armed conflict situation. Consequently, the report pleads for common standards on the transfer, holding and use of armed drones, ensuring transparency, accountability and oversight, including adequate investigations into alleged violations of international law as well as civilian protection. (p. 38-39).