News / Asia

UN Chief Condemns Drone Attacks During Pakistan Visit

Pakistan's National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz, right, meets U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for talks at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad, Pakistan, Aug. 13, 2013.
Pakistan's National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz, right, meets U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for talks at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad, Pakistan, Aug. 13, 2013.
Sharon Behn
The United Nations secretary-general is speaking out about the use of armed drones during his visit to Pakistan. Ban Ki-moon also says that economic development is crucial to any country’s long-term security.
 
In Islamabad Tuesday, Ban was critical of the use of armed drones - a key but controversial component of the U.S. war against terrorism, including against targets in northwestern Pakistan.
 
Speaking to an audience of mainly Pakistani military and political leaders, Ban Ki-moon said the use of unmanned aerial vehicles must be controlled by international law.
 
“As I have often said, the use of armed drones, like any other weapon, should be subject to long-standing rules of international law, including international humanitarian law," he said. "This is the very clear position of the United Nations. Every effort should be made to avoid mistakes and civilian casualties.”
 
The CIA drone program targeting militants in Pakistan’s tribal areas has long been accused of causing civilian casualties, stoking opposition in Pakistan and humanitarian concern abroad.
 
While the U.N. leader criticized the drone program, he also reminded the audience that the solution for lasting stability in any region involves both security and development.
 
Critics say Pakistan has spent too much of its budget on defense, and not enough on its health and education sectors.
 
"Budget priorities should reflect people’s priorities: education and energy, empowerment and good jobs.  Human rights and human dignity," said Ban.  "Reaching out and building bridges with one’s neighbors.  We must strive to overcome short-term crises of security by putting in place the long-term foundations of peace through sustainable development.”
 
Ban Ki-moon's speech marked the inauguration of the Center for International Peace and Stability of the National University of Science and Technology in Islamabad.
 
Flanked by Pakistani Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani and the advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, Ban Ki-moon thanked Pakistan for its efforts in international peace and security.
 
Pakistan is one of the top contributors of peacekeeping troops and police to the United Nations. Some 8,000 Pakistanis serve under the UN flag around the world, and 136 have died doing so.
 
The U.N. leader is scheduled to meet both outgoing President Asif Ali Zardari and the country’s newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Brian Penny from: Arizona
August 14, 2013 1:31 AM
This is the problem with PRISM and monitoring…I saw a drone over my own head on US soil


by: transparent thinker from: India
August 13, 2013 11:28 AM
History of Pakistan is enough to teach any country not to trust it. Since its inception, the agenda of the government and military has been nothing but the destruction of its neighbour, India. Its policies are not oriented towards the betterment of people and economy but continued indoctrination of its people to hate India and now Bangladesh. This country spends more on military rather than on its people, healthcare and education - a reason why educated Pakistani immigrate to other developed countries.

It's a den of terror, harbours international terrorists like Osama Bin Laden and Dawood Ibrahim. USA was well within its rights to kill Osama within Pakistan by a covert operation. Its disgraced nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan gave nuclear weapons technology to countries like Libya and North Korea, now a headache for Asia and USA. Pakistani state actors were involved in Mumbai Taj terror attacks. Almost all terrorist receive training in advanced weapons in with the help of Pakistani Military and ISI. If there weren't any drone strikes, then I am sure that USA and its allies would have suffered many terrorists attacks

Mr. Ban Ki Moon, do you have the guts to question these things within Pakistan

In Response

by: waheed ghilzai from: Los Angeles
August 13, 2013 3:16 PM
Mr Ban Ki Moon you are lucky that one of your Pakistani hosts didnt accidentally blow you up with a tricked cigar! Have you seen pictures of dead children in Jilal Abad torn to pieces by Pakistani terror squad!? Di you forget what the ISI agents did in Mombai India a few years ago!? As the head of UN, You should be ashamed sir for even going to terror state as Pakistan!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid