Turtle Bay
State Department response to why it is not participating in UN drone talks

President has committed to undertaking U.S. counterterrorism activities with the greatest possible transparency, and that we will continue to share as much information as possible with the American people, the Congress, and the international community, consistent with our national security needs and the proper functioning of the Executive Branch.

As the President has made clear, the United States takes extraordinary care to make sure that our counterterrorism actions are in accordance with all applicable domestic and international law and that they are consistent with U.S. values and policy.

It is incorrect that we are unwilling to deal with important counterterrorism issues at the HRC and with its mandate holders.  We have met with UNHRC’s special rapporteur on CT at senior levels when he traveled 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.

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 discussion narrowly focused on a single weapons delivery system. 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 that others may have a different perspective, and of course we respect their right to do so.

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