UN wants its own drones

Is this another save the Global Hawk campaign?

A United Nations unmanned aircraft peace keeping force may be on the cards or more likely they might purchase time or information from military drones already in service. Questions were asked of Eduardo del Buey, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General at a meeting on Tuesday the 27th of March 2012 answered:-

“Well, to the best of my knowledge, we don’t use drones now, and to the best of my knowledge, we are constantly exploring ways of doing our work in a more efficient and effective manner, especially when it comes to the costs of how we do our operations. But, right now, I have nothing else to add to that.”

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

DAILY PRESS BRIEFING BY THE OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Eduardo del Buey, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

Question:  I also wanted to ask — this is something I tried to ask Mr. Ladsous, the head of DPKO, without success — in the C-34, the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, there is some controversy about a statement Mr. Ladsous made in his closed session to them.  He said that we’re… the UN wants to use surveillance, and they take this to mean either drones or intercepted communications, and they are pushing back, and I think, I am not sure if the UN is using drones, but I’d like to… I tried to ask Mr. Ladsous, are you using drones?  And he didn’t answer at all, so I am asking you, as the spokesman for the UN, does the UN currently use or intend to use drones or intercepted communications, and if so, how will the information stay only with DPKO and not be shared with powerful member countries?

Deputy Spokesperson:  Well, to the best of my knowledge, we don’t use drones now, and to the best of my knowledge, we are constantly exploring ways of doing our work in a more efficient and effective manner, especially when it comes to the costs of how we do our operations.  But, right now, I have nothing else to add to that.

[The Deputy Spokesperson later clarified that Under-Secretary-General Ladsous mentioned the Department of Peacekeeping Operations’ feasibility assessment of the use of unarmed drones for surveillance and information gathering in his address to the General Assembly's Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations in February.  The Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support are in the early stages of exploring the potential use of this technology, including by discussing the required support from Member States if their use is recommended.  There are no conclusive findings or recommendations at this stage.]

 

Question:  Is there some… I mean maybe that you can… is there some way to know what Mr. Ladsous was referring to when he said surveillance?  Are Member States correct that he meant drones?  Because the idea is… they are concerned that it will start being implemented without any vote or mandate given to them by Member States.

Deputy Spokesperson:  Well, Matthew, if Member States are speaking about issues that are raised in closed meetings, we certainly don’t partake in that.  If these issues were discussed in the closed meeting, it was meant to be a closed meeting.

Question:  I guess the question is if it is public money that the UN will be using on drones, are there… is there a confidential drone programme?

Deputy Spokesperson:  If it is public money that is being used on drones, that money will be accounted for in the normal way.

Question:  Right.  All right.  Can we get a DPKO statement on drones?

Deputy Spokesperson:  Well, if you can ask DPKO.

Correspondent:  I tried; Mr. Ladsous was walking very slowly up the stairs from the Security Council, he had every opportunity to, yes or no on the drone, and he…

Deputy Spokesperson:  Well, I suspect you have your answer.

Correspondent:  I guess, his… the drones are for real.  Okay.

Deputy Spokesperson:  Okay, thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.  Have a good afternoon.

http://www.un.org/News/briefings/docs/2012/db120327.doc.htm

2 comments for “UN wants its own drones

  1. Patrick Egan
    3 April 2012 at 6:15 pm

    There’s a bunch of Block 30′s they may be able to pick up on the cheap. It’s all win, win!

  2. Peter La Franchi
    4 April 2012 at 2:07 am

    The United Nations actually released a tender for UAS services in 2006 with respondents including a significant number of US and European companies, including Aerovironment and Saab. The tender was focussed on ISR services to protect UN personnal in Africa. It should also be noted that UNOSAT, part of the UNITAR organisation based in Geneva, has acquired two different UAS systems in the past 12 months – a Sensefly Swinglet mini system and a Microdrone MD4-200

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