Research project

Increasing Transparency, Oversight and Accountabilty of Armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Phase II)

Phase II of UNIDIR’s project on Increasing Transparency, Oversight and Accountability of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles will engage States in structured dialogue based on UNIDIR’s 2017 study. That study noted several challenges arising from the use of armed UAVs and a lack of international consensus regarding standards relevant to their use. It suggests that the current situation is unsatisfactory for promoting civilian protection in conflict, maintaining a high political threshold for the resort to armed force, and ensuring strategic stability. Meanwhile, the technology underpinning armed UAV systems is developing and diversifying rapidly and the set of actors interested in acquiring and using them is growing, as are the number of countries interested in producing and exporting armed UAVs.

UNIDIR’s 2017 armed UAV study suggests that a variety of useful policy responses are realistically available to the international community to address these challenges. Phase II of this project will facilitate informal multilateral dialogue to explore possible ways forward to increase transparency, accountability and oversight of armed UAVs. Focused research outputs will contribute to inclusive facts-based discourse on armed UAVs and situate multilateral discussions on armed UAVs within the context of emerging trends in unmanned military technology, proliferation and use.

Researcher(s): George Woodhams

Support from UNIDIR's core funders provides the foundation for all of the Institute's activities.
In addition, dedicated project funding was received from the Government of Germany.