Virtual Roundtable ‘Disaster Law and the Draft Articles for the Protection of Persons in the Event of Disasters’

On 11 September 2020, DILAW4E co-organized with the Permanent Missions of Colombia, Italy, Jamaica, Japan and Nigeria to the United Nations a virtual meeting on ‘Disaster Law and the Draft Articles for the Protection of Persons in the Event of Disasters’. The virtual meeting was organised for the benefit of legal advisers of Permanent Missions at the UN, New York, to discuss the recommendation made by the International Law Commission to elaborate a treaty based on the ILC Draft Articles on Protection of Persons in the Event of Disasters.

The virtual discussion focused on the following crucial questions:

1) Why do we need a convention on the protection of persons in the event of disasters? Is it appropriate to regulate international cooperation through a convention establishing rights and obligations? What would be the practical advantage of having such an instrument?
2) Do the ILC’s Articles provide a solid basis upon which to elaborate a convention? Are the principles of State sovereignty and primary responsibility of the affected State adequately safeguarded in the Articles? Are the rights and needs of affected persons adequately addressed by the proposed convention?
3) Where are the possible areas of improvement should States decide to enter into treaty negotiations? Is the definition of disaster contained in the Articles in conformity with existing regional and bilateral instruments and one that should be retained in future negotiations? Is disaster risk management properly addressed and regulated from a practical perspective? Is the relationship with IHL adequately addressed?

The virtul meeting was moderated by Mr. Arnold Pronto (Principal Legal Officer, Codification Division, Office of Legal Affairs, UN).

Discussants included:

  • Prof. Giulio Bartolini (Editor-in-chief of the ‘Yearbook of International Disaster Law’ and responsible of the Jean Monnet Project ‘Disseminating Disaster Law for Europe’)
  • Dr. Isabelle Granger (Legislative Advocacy Coordinator, International Federation of Red Crescent and Red Cross Societies)
  • Dr. Marco Toscano-Rivalta (Chief, New York Liaison Office, UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction)


The flyer of the event is available here: Virtual Roundtable ILC DAs UN.