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.
Weapons of Choice? The Expanding Development, Transfer and Use of Armed UAVs, Change in the Air: Disruptive Developments in UAV Technology, Armed UAVs in conflict escalation and inter-state crises, Summary Report: Tabletop Exercise on Armed UAVs, Summary Report: Tabletop Exercise on Armed UAVs, Armed UAVs in conflict escalation and inter-state crises