Thursday, October 1, 2015

Report of the Expert Meeting on the ILC's Draft Articles on the Protection of Persons in the Event of Disaster

The Report of the Expert Meeting on the ILC's Draft Articles on the Protection of Persons in the Event of Disaster has been posted. Here's a summary:

In 2007 the International Law Commission decided to include the topic “The protection of persons in the event of disasters” in its programme of work and appointed Eduardo Valencia-Ospina as Special Rapporteur. From the sixtieth (2008) to sixty-sixth sessions (2014), the Commission considered seven reports presented by the Special Rapporteur, as well as a comprehensive Memorandum prepared by the Secretariat of the ILC in December 2007 (A/CN.4/590). In 2014 the ILC adopted on first reading a set of 21 draft articles and commentaries on the protection of persons in the event of disasters (A/69/10, Chapter V). In accordance with its established practice, the Commission decided to transmit the Draft Articles to Governments, IOs, the ICRC and the IFRC for comments and observations, to be taken into account during the second reading.

In view of the relevance of this topic and to stimulate further analysis on the future activities in this area, the Department of Law, Roma Tre University, as part of the activities of the “International Disaster Law Project”, decided to host a selected group of experts from international organizations, academia, governments and civil society for a two-day frank and engaging discussion on the ILC’s Draft Articles, as adopted on first reading. The underlying idea was to facilitate an open discussion with relevant stakeholders and external experts at a critical moment for the Project, in anticipation of the second reading. The participation of high-level representatives of the main humanitarian organizations involved in the area as well as of renowned scholars emphasises the relevance of this Project outside the realm of the Commission.

This report summarizes the presentations made by the participants and the ensuing in-depth and vibrant discussions of the different issues addressed by the Draft Articles. A final session was devoted to the way forward for the Project and potential missing issues in the current text and Commentary. The meeting was held under “Chatham House rules”, and, accordingly, the report does not attribute any comment to participants or organizations.