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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Taiwan welcomes new declaration on export, use of UAVs

ROC Central News Agency

2016/10/06 20:42:20

Taipei, Oct. 6 (CNA) Taiwan welcomed a joint declaration issued by the United States and more than 40 other countries on Wednesday, laying out principles to govern the export and use of armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The new declaration seeks to ensure armed drones are not used to cause instability or facilitate terrorism and organized crime.

In a statement on Thursday, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that as a committed peacekeeper, the Republic of China supports the joint declaration.

Although Taiwan was not among the 40-plus countries that signed the declaration, the ministry said the principles of the declaration were in line with Taiwan's efforts to help maintain peace around the world.

Taiwan's statement on the Joint Declaration for the Export and Subsequent Use of Armed or Strike-Enabled Unmanned Aerial Vehicles was welcomed by the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT).

"Taiwan's support demonstrates its important role as a responsible actor on export control and non-proliferation matters of global concern," said the AIT, which represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of bilateral diplomatic ties, in a statement Thursday.

"As a central hub for shipments and transshipments in the Asia Pacific region, Taiwan's efforts on export controls are a critical bulwark of the global non-proliferation architecture," it added.

The joint declaration was signed by the United States and countries such as Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Department of State on Wednesday.

The declaration noted that an increasing number of countries are acquiring or employing UAVs to support a range of objectives, including military missions that promote peace and security.

Some countries might have laws and policies in place to ensure the responsible export and use of armed UAVs, the declaration said. However, "recognizing that misuse of armed or strike-enabled UAVs could fuel conflict and instability, and facilitate terrorism and organized crime, the international community must take appropriate transparency measures to ensure the responsible export and subsequent use of these systems," it added.

The declaration said that international laws on armed conflict and human rights should apply to the use of armed UAVs and that exports should be done consistent with the principles of existing multilateral export control and nonproliferation regimes.

(By Elaine Hou)

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