Published On: Sat, Mar 22nd, 2014
Published in Category: International

US refuses to discuss Pakistan’s proposed anti-drones draft at UNHRC

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Washington: The US has defended its decision to boycott a discussion on drones moved by Pakistan at the UN Human Rights Council, arguing that it was not the right forum to discuss the pilotless remote aircrafts.

“It is incorrect that we are unwilling to deal with important counterterrorism issues at the HRC and with its mandate holders,” State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters.

“We have met with the UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on CT (counter terrorism) at senior levels when he travelled to Washington, and since joining the council we have regularly participated in negotiations on resolutions dealing with the need to protect human rights while countering terrorism,” she said.

“But this particular resolution deals solely with the use of remotely piloted aircraft. We just don’t see the Human Rights Council as the right forum for discussing narrowly focused on a single weapons delivery system,” the State Department spokesperson argued.

“That has not been a traditional focus area for the HRC, in part for reasons of expertise. We do not see how refinements to the text can address this core concern. We know others may have different perspectives, and we, of course, respect their right to do so,” Psaki said.

Psaki was responding to questions on the decision of the United States to boycott talks at the UNHRC on Pakistan’s draft resolution regarding drone strikes.

“We speak with the Human Rights Council about a range of issues. But we just didn’t think with this specific resolution it was the appropriate venue,” she argued.
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