Ban Ki-moon: UN drones should only be used for information collection

Ban Ki-moon: UN drones should only be used for information collection
# 14 August 2013 03:29 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Drone aircraft operated by the United Nations should only be used for gathering intelligence, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday in Pakistan, APA reports quoting AP.

Ban, who arrived on a two-day visit, was speaking at a local university to launch the Centre for International Peace and Stability, which will provide training for peacemaking efforts.

"Let me be clear that these new tools - such as unmanned, unarmed aerial vehicles - are for information purposes only," he said. "They are essentially flying cameras."

"But armed unmanned aerial vehicles are a different matter," Ban said. "The use of armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) should be subject to long-standing international law and also the international humanitarian laws."

The UN has introduced unarmed, unmanned drones into some of its peacekeeping operations in Africa in order to gather information and more effectively help its military personnel on the ground.

The UN chief lauded the peacekeeping role of more than 8,000 Pakistani troops involved in missions in various countries under the UN banner.

"One out of every 10 troops is from Pakistan," he said. "Pakistan's engagement has been very crucial in peacekeeping missions."

He is to hold talks with President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and discuss regional and international issues.

Ban will also be chief guest at the annual Independence Day celebrations on Wednesday to mark the founding of Pakistan in 1947.

Ban's visit coincides with border skirmishes between nuclear-armed neighbours Pakistan and India. The incidents started last week after India alleged that the Pakistan Army killed five of its soldiers in the disputed Kashmir region.

Radio Pakistan said that Ban in an interview expressed grief over the fresh outbreak of violence in Kashmir and underscored the need for the two countries to resolve the "long-standing" issue.

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