The United States and 44 other countries have issued a joint declaration of principles for the export and use of drones, the country's State Department revealed Wednesday.
The declaration says that the use of so-called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) need to be governed by "both the law of armed conflict and international human rights law."
It also states that the export of armed or strike-enabled UAVs needs to be done in a "responsible" manner, "in line with international arms control and disarmament norms," and that signatories should be transparent about where their drones are sold.
Speaking at a press conference in Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the document was "an important first step towards comprehensive international standards for the ... use of UAVs."
He said the US and its partners would meet next year to discuss a more detailed set of international standards, adding that all countries would be welcome at the talks whether they join the joint declaration or not.
China, Russia, India and Pakistan were notable omissions to the Wednesday agreement, which included countries from Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia. Germany and the United Kingdom were among key US allies that signed up.