INTERVENTION BY THE DELEGATION OF INDONESIA PANEL ON THE USE OF THE REMOTELY PILOTED AIRCRAFT OR ARMED DRONES IN THE COUNTER-TERRORISM AND MILITARY OPERATIONS
AT THE 27TH SESSION OF HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
22 SEPTEMBER 2014
Let me begin by thanking the panelists for their important views and opinions. My delegation appreciates this Panel Discussion as an important forum that contributes to the existing debates on the issue of ensuring the use of remotely piloted aircraft or armed drones in counterterrorism and military operations.
We strongly believe that it is imperative for the Council to continue giving adequate and appropriate attention to the issue since it is connected to different aspects, in particular the issue of territorial integrity, international security, as well as promotion and protection of human rights. Therefore, it is inevitable that our current discussion should be put in those contexts with a view to maintain its delicate balance.
We acknowledge that we are now living in a modern era marked by the advancement of modern technology in many areas of life. Against this backdrop, our concerted efforts in combating terrorism are also affected by our capability to develop more sophisticated technologies, including the development and the use of remotely piloted aircraft.
On one hand, it is clear that the usage of drones can provide many benefits in combating terrorism efforts, in particular in the area of intelligence, surveillance, targeting and reconnaissance. On the other hand, we also cannot hide from the fact that drones have been used in a direct combat role for target acquisition or even as a tool to launch a direct attack against its targets, and therefore opening the possibility for further inquiries, such as the issue of proportionality and the issue of protecting civilians from potential of misused or miscalculation.
We strongly believe that the use of drones by any Member States should always be seen in tandem with their compliance to their obligations under international law, including the UN Charter, international human rights law and international humanitarian law, in particular the principles of precaution, distinction, and proportionality.
We are also of the view that one of the most feasible way to do at this stage is to ensure transparency in Member States’ records on the use of remotely piloted aircraft or armed drones and to conduct prompt, independent and impartial investigations whenever there are indications of a violation to international law caused by their use. Better transparency relates with the element of accountability, including the lawfulness use of combatants and their responsibilities.
It is also imperative to note that discussion on this issue cannot and should not be done in a vacuum. In this regard, our delegation would like to highlight the necessity to utilize all multilateral forums, including the current debate under several disarmament forums, to elaborate different aspects of the issue, including on technical aspect, ethical and sociological aspect, legal aspects, and operational and military aspects.
Lastly, allow me to reiterate once again our basic principle that the use or potential use of drones should not be conducted in certain ways that violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries.
I thank you, Mr. President.