The Sixth Committee is the
primary forum for the consideration of legal questions in the General Assembly.
All of the United Nations Member States are entitled to representation on the
Sixth Committee as one of the main committees of the General Assembly. Article
13 of the UN Charter establishes, in particular, that the “General Assembly
shall initiate studies and make recommendations for the purpose of: encouraging
the progressive development of international law and its codification.
Subsequent practice has interpreted this provision as a broad authorization to
elaborate new treaties on the widest range
of issues, to adopt them, and to recommend them to states for their subsequent
signature, ratification, and accession.
a Legal Framework for the Regulation of Military Drones
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVS), also known as drones,
are aircraft either controlled by ‘pilots’ from the ground or increasingly,
autonomously following a pre-programmed mission. As technology develops within the military environment,
drones are a new from of defense that militaries are using to protect their
country during warfare. The use of drones
has grown quickly in recent years because unlike manned aircraft, they can stay
aloft for many hours. They are much cheaper than military aircraft and they are
flown remotely so there is no danger to the flight crew. However, the question
that arises is: are drones that beneficial to the militaries of countries? A drone attack by definition is aimed at killing rather
than capturing the target and it has been deployed in this role with regularity
in recent years. The delegation of Morocco believes that using drones in
military even after establishing a legal framework for the regulation of drones
in military is unethical and not acceptable even under continuous monitoring.
Drones were first used for civilian prospects in the country like monitoring soil erosion and
beach pollution, but in June 2013, U.S. Marines conducted a “small
unmanned-flying vehicle familiarization course” in a military exercise that involved U.S., Moroccan and German
militaries in a yearly exercise called Exercise African Lion 13 in Agadir, Morocco. The drones used
were specifically military ones. In January 2014, Morocco
purchased several drones from France, which
were designed by Israeli companies. The sources identified the unmanned platform as the Wharfing, a French variant of Israel’s
drone. “It has been confirmed by French sources
that the RMAF (Royal Morocco Army Force) has purchased from France at least
three medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned
aerial vehicles,” In regards to Morocco’s existing political actions on any pledges or signed peacemaking acts agreeing not to
use drones: attempts to dissociate itself from the ongoing political and
religious unrest in the rest of Northwest Africa and the Middle East have been
made. This action “reinforces a historic and
multifaceted military and security cooperation with Gulf States. It supports
and complements the other measures taken on
the Moroccan territory to preserve the security and tranquility of Moroccan citizens face to the threat of
international terrorism,” said the ministry.
Morocco has strict laws and regulations for people within the country premises
to fly drones.
Despite these severe
rules, recently the Minister of Interior and
the Minister of Foreign Trade announced their decision to regulate the import
and use of drones and any flying objects to prior authorization in order to
prevent a potential threat of terrorist attacks against sensitive sites in the
country. The main drawback of drone attacks in the military would be that it destroys the critical intelligence that is needed to
ensure that the tactical strike can be converted to strategic advantage. Recently the incident in which a Mexican drone flew
above the Rabat Royal Palace, was under investigation The judicial police
announced that a drone flew over the Royal palace, the constitutional court, as
well as military and security premises. Moroccan police arrested three
Mexicans, including a young woman who remotely controlled the drone. The
officers of the law were convinced that the drone was used for an attack on the
historical palace. Regardless of being proven wrong they are still
investigating to make sure that the drone hasn’t caused any mishap for Morocco.
Morocco has allied with the NATO countries in 2016, NATO is a political alliance linking the major democracies of
Europe and North America. It is one of the major Non-NATO allies. With its military, Morocco has contributed in various ways
to NATO missions in the Balkans first in Bosnia-Herzegovina and then in Kosovo
and also to Operation Unified Protector in Libya five years ago. It has also
played a major role in seeking to promote a political solution to the Libyan
crisis, hosting the UN-led consultations and actively trying to find a bridge
between Libya’s warring parties. A few of the countries on the NATO are also
against drones e.g. Belgium, Canada, UK etc. (as drones here are restricted and
seized is the police suspects the user). Although there are other countries
like USA and France accept drones in their country but try and use it mainly
for defense purposes.
A legal framework for
military drones in Morocco would be accepted in the country as long as a permit
for flying and using the drone within a particular range is granted. If the
Moroccan government keeps a legal scheme for using drones in the military, it
will be safer and easier to identify any potential threat on the country as
they can identify anonymous UAVs and destroy them before entering the country’s
premises preventing potential threat. The delegate of Morocco proposes
and urges member states to ensure that any activities including the usage of
drones must comply with not only international law but also the principles of
the region they might hover over, and oblige with humanitarian law thereby
protecting national security. The delegation of
Morocco is willing to collaborate and negotiate with other nations to make the
establishment of drones within its military with legal framework and
regulations to gain its benefits in the military’s environment, provided it is
used prudently and constantly monitored.
Question of Criminal Accountability of UN Officials and Experts on Missions
In the past decade, the number of people working in UN peace
operations has increased by a massive amount, from roughly around 12,000 to
more than 115,000, with a further 12,000 who are authorized for deployment. The
rapid mission growth and deployment into severely needy and chaotic circumstances
brought growing reports of crucial crime by military and civilian personnel
alike. The UN has undertaken significant efforts since 2004 to build a system
for disclosing, investigating, and punishing crimes. These efforts may be
gaining traction: reported cases of sexual exploitation and abuse by
peacekeepers have declined from their peak of 357 in 2006 to 83 in 2008,
although allegations of other forms of serious misconduct—what the UN calls
Category I offenses—appear to have remained roughly constant at 100 per year. The delegation of Morocco believes
that any criminal offence committed by an authorized
person/expert on mission is required to be prosecuted by law before the competent
national courts of the accused.
Morocco has moderate concern, especially in major cities and tourist sectors.
The Moroccan government does never publish statistics pertaining to crime.
Despite this in December 2016 the Moroccan National Police (DGSN) issued a
public statement indicating that 466,997 people suspected of committing crimes
were arrested during that year. The government of Morocco is completely
against experts committing crime on any of their missions. Yet the agents on
their missions commit horrific crimes and escape law due to their basic
excuse-mission to protect their country. Mohammed Atlassi from Morocco had been socializing themselves with the
Non-Aligned Movement and the African Group-since 1960, Morocco had
provided trained contingents to peacekeeping activities. He also commented that
any criminal activity by experts on missions won’t be accepted by the
government of Morocco.
Such crimes affected the credibility of the United
Nations, this is because these experts are really respected and important for
the UN and there should be no deviation from the objectives of the Organization
because of such incidents. The UN has adopted a two-step approach to an upright and effective
criminal righteousness for non-military UN mission personnel. Step one would
accord primary jurisdiction to the sending state/state of nationality, if it
meets relevant conditions regarding extraterritoriality and criminal
justice system performance, and has agreed to prosecute well-founded allegations
of criminal behavior. Step two would assign responsibility for criminal
investigation and prosecution to a collaborative criminal justice mechanism of
the United Nations and the host state, to be stipulated in the mission
mandate passed by the UN Security Council and reinforced by the Status of
Mission Agreement with the host state.
These steps are actions which the UN
have created for mostly all countries, it is mandatory for the countries to follow
these two steps specially (they can also follow other laws and regulations
other than these steps) for dealing with any criminal acts that might be
committed by experts or agents during their missions.
has declared their zero tolerance policy for such serious crimes as sexual
abuse, economic embezzlement and corruption committed by UN officers on a task.
Morocco has also acknowledged the preventive measures form the UN, including
the laws on redeployment training on United Nations standards of conduct and in
mission induction training.
The experts and officials who go on
missions should be held responsible for their criminal activities. This is
because if these people are not held responsible they might misuse their
freedom and for every crime committed they could get away with the simple
excuse of ‘they are doing this for the country’ or ‘they are doing what is
necessary for their job’. These similar excuses are used by terrorists also
such as, ‘We are doing this for our country and religion’. If the any of the
countries don’t press any charges on such officials during their missions, they
would be doing injustice to all the people in their country and around the
world. Since these missions take place in other countries also it is not
legally fair and allowed by Morocco to exploit any country or its own state
with criminal episodes undertaken by executives during their job.
The delegation suggests to give
proper and strict training to officials before sending them off for their
missions. They also propose to follow the act of supporting the victims
affected by these criminalities. The delegation is looking forward to joining
forces with other countries to solve the issues that arise when such experts
are caught during missions because of their illegal activities. The delegation
looks forward to a having a fruitful debate.