Position against the territorial integrity’ of another state.

 

Position Paper for the
Sixth General Assembly

 

The topics
before the Sixth General Assembly are ‘Establishing a Legal Framework for the
Regulation of Military Drones’ and ‘The Question of Criminal Accountability of
UN officials and Experts on Missions’. The United Nations Sixth General
Assembly is the main forum for the deliberation of international legal issues.
As the committee has universal membership, Germany has been an active member of
the committee and is committed to positively contributing to the subjects.

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I.              
Establishing a Legal Framework for the
Regulation of Military Drones

 

Article 2(4) of
the United Nations Charter prohibits ‘the threat or use of force against the
territorial integrity’ of another state. This evidently involves drone airstrikes,
the use of which by one state?on the land of another would be a violation of
Article 2(4). However, there are circumstances in which uses of force can be
lawfully approved: in self-defense, with the accord of the states involved or
by approval of the UN Security Council.

 

Nations that
consent to military intervention, which may include the use of military drones,
remain bound by their duties under the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and
the International Human Rights Law (IHRL), as do those that carry out uses of
force. It is widely acknowledged that a territorial state ‘may only grant
consent to actions that it could itself rightfully conduct’ and so a
territorial state ‘cannot lawfully permit attacks that would break appropriate
human rights or humanitarian law norms, since it does not itself enjoy such
authority’.

 

The Federal
Republic of Germany has an extensive record of drone development and use, dating
back to early drone tests and missile development throughout and amid the two World
Wars. Currently, the German armed forces control a range of unmanned
aerial vehicles (UAVs), all of which have been deployed in Afghanistan as part
of the German aid to the NATO-led ISAF mission. Germany is one of the main
European drone users, along with the U.K. and France.

 

Germany holds
several unmanned aerial vehicles used for combatant reasons. The ownership of
these armed drones is supportable by the policy of the German Chancellor, which
prioritizes sparing German lives and military resources. The presence of armed
drones in Germany’s arsenal gives the alternative of deploying drones instead
of soldiers. This would prove effective and beneficial the next time NATO,
which Germany is a founding member of, requests backup for a mission. Despite
the use of UAVs in the German military, Germany is a strong supporter of the
creation of an international legal framework for the regulation of military
drones.

 

The Federal
Republic of Germany believes that during warfare, IHRL needs to be obeyed in
addition to IHL. The most demanding aspect of international laws and
organizations for an investigation of drone strikes is that associated with
targeting – it is a key ethic that countries must constantly differentiate
between combatants and noncombatants when targeting entities, and between
civilian objectives and military objectives. 

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