The UN General Assembly (GA) [official website] called upon nations to ensure military drones are used in accordance with international law in a resolution passed on Friday. The resolution was presented by [Reuters report] Switzerland and Pakistan and expressed concern over global compliance with international law in the use of armed drone strikes and the increased rates of civilian casualties resulting from them. The GA set out the need for greater transparency in the use of drones. This comes just one day after a UN rights panel called upon [Guardian report] the US to decrease its use of drones and justify military drone strikes. While the GA resolution does not single out any particular nation, the US conducts more drone strikes than any other nation.
Drone use [JURIST backgrounder] has been a controversial issue both in terms of small domestic drones and larger drones being used abroad by the US military. In October UN experts urged the international community to have greater accountability [JURIST report] and transparency when it comes to the use of drones. A week earlier the UN released a report showing that the US had killed more people [JURIST report] using drone strikes than it publicly claimed to have killed. A month earlier the FBI released a report [JURIST report] detailing its plans for the use of unmanned drones in future missions. In August, the UN stated that if the US is to use drones they must comply [JURIST report] with international law.