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IDLP Newsletter 2 – February 2015

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Contents

1. Message from the IDL Project Coordinating Team

2. Past Activities

• IDLP Team Provided Support in the Drafting of the Seventh Report of the ILC Special Rapporteur dr. Valencia-Ospina

• Australian Disaster Law - College of Law of the Australian National University

• AFAC & Bushfire & Natural Hazards CRC Conference 2014 “After Disasters Strikes - Learning from Adversity”

• Workshop on Humanitarian Norms and Principles in Conflicts and Disasters

• “Consensus - Congresso nazionale sulle emergenze, il soccorso umanitario e lo sviluppo”

• Advancing the International Programme for Disaster Relief: Challenges for lawyers and Policy-makers - King's College London

• Public Lecture on “The External Dimension of the EU Disaster Response Law” - China-EU School of Law

• Expert Participation in the Working Party on Civil Protection of the Council of the European Union

• Vanderbilt Symposium "This is Not a Drill: Confronting Legal Issues in the Wake of International Disasters"

3. Future Activities

• IFRC Workshop on Strengthening Host Nation Support for Disaster Cooperation in Europe

• Project Slandail "Empowering Emergency Response Systems Using Social Media"

• 2nd IIHL-IFRC International Disaster Law Course

• 3rd Course on "International Disaster Response Law"

• Roma Tre Expert Meeting on the ILC Draft Articles on the Protection of Persons in the Event of Disasters

4. Developments in Int'l Disaster Law

• The ILC Approves on First Reading the Draft Articles on Protection of Persons in the Event of Disasters

• Developments in the European Union

• Developments in Regional Organizations in the Field of Risk Reduction

5. IDL Project Publications

• The 2nd International Law and Disasters Working Paper is Out

• Dr. Morini Article on World Heritage and Disasters

• Dr. Scarpa Article on Minors and Disasters

• Dr. Natoli Articles on UN Disasters Response and Ebola as a Threat to Peace

6. News and Events

• 1st IDL Essay Contest

• New Publications in IDL

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1. Message from the IDL Project Coordinating Team 

Dear reader,

Welcome to the second issue of the International Disaster Law (IDL) Project Newsletter.

Published two times a year, this Newsletter aims first to present the activities carried out by the IDL Project members and planned future activities.

The Newsletter also includes a short survey on major developments occurred in the IDL domain (starting from the ILC’s adoption, on first reading, of the Draft Articles on Protection of Persons in the Event of Disasters), as well as a selection of new IDL publications.

We hope you enjoy this Newsletter, and welcome any feedback.

Warm Regards,

Flavia Zorzi Giustiniani
Giulio Bartolini
Federico Casolari
Emanuele Sommario

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2. Past Activities

IDLP Team Provided Support in the Drafting of the Seventh Report of the ILC Special Rapporteur dr. Valencia-Ospina

At its sixty-sixth session in 2014, the International Law Commission had before it the seventh report of the Special Rapporteur on the Protection of Persons in the Event of Disasters, dr. Eduardo Valencia-Ospina. In the report itself, the latter acknowledged with appreciation the assistance offered in its preparation by Prof. Giulio Bartolini, dr. Federico Casolari and dr. Emanuele Sommario, unit coordinators of the IDLP.

Australian Disaster Law - College of Law of the Australian National University

From 4 to 7 August 2014 dr. Federico Casolari - IDLP unit coordinator - lectured within the Course "Australian Disaster Law" at the College of Law of the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia.

The Course, offered by dr. Michael Eburn, examined law as it impacts the community's ability to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from a natural hazard event.

AFAC & Bushfire & Natural Hazards CRC Conference 2014 “After Disasters Strikes - Learning from Adversity”

From 2 to 5 September 2014 dr. Federico Casolari - IDLP unit coordinator - participated in the 2014 AFAC & Bushire & Natural Hazards CRC Conference held in Wellington, New Zealand.

In general terms, AFAC happens to be Australasia’s largest and most important emergency services and public safety conference. Its 2014 edition was entirely devoted to the theme of "After Disaster Strikes - Learning from Adversity", with the aim of examining how emergency management services, land managers and communities prepare themselves, respond to and assist with recovery.

In particular, dr. Casolari presented a poster entitled “The European Union Civil Protection Mechanism: A possible model for improving the emergency services’ capability”, through which he described to participants the general EU framework concerning Disaster Response Law and the Mechanism tools, procedures and possible contribution to Australasia emergency capabilities.

Workshop on Humanitarian Norms and Principles in Conflicts and Disasters

On 17 October and 21 October 2014, dr. Flavia Zorzi Giustiniani - IDLP national coordinator - gave two presentations entitled "Principles of Disaster Relief" within the two-days Workshop on Humanitarian Norms and Principles in Conflicts and Disasters held at Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland for IOM personnel.

The Workshop aimed at offering participants a broad overview of international law and policy governing the protection of civilians in crisis situations - namely armed conflicts, armed violence and natural disasters.

“Consensus - Congresso nazionale sulle emergenze, il soccorso umanitario e lo sviluppo”

On 25 October 2014, Prof. Giulio Bartolini and dr. Federico Casolari were invited to participate to the Co.n.s.en.s.u.s.- i.e. Italian National Conference on Emergences, Humanitarian Assistance and Development. 

Created in 2010, the Co.n.s.en.s.u.s. aims at bringing together different Italian actors involved in humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of disasters. This year Conference took place in Milan at the Azienda Ospedaliera Niguarda Ca’ Grande from 24 to 26 October 2014. Among other panels and workshop (the Programme can be visited here), this year Conference unprecedentedly devoted an entire session to themes concerning IDL.

Advancing the International Programme for Disaster Relief: Challenges for Lawyers and Policy-makers - King's College London

On 30 October 2014 Prof. Giulio Bartolini - IDLP unit coordinator - participated to a Thought Leadership Forum organized by King's College London, The Dickson Poon School of Law in London, UK, followed by the launch of the book The International Law of Disaster Relief (CUP 2014) edited by D.D. Caron, M.J. Kelly and A. Telesestky.  

The forum, at which participation was by invitation only, was meant to engage a select group of leaders from government, civil society, business and academia in discussion on the issues facing lawyers and policy makers dealing with international disaster relief. 

Public Lecture on “The External Dimension of the EU Disaster Response Law” - China-EU School of Law

On 14 November 2014, dr. Federico Casolari - IDLP unit coordinator - gave a guest lecture on “The External Dimension of EU Disaster Response Law” at the China-EU School of Law at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, China. Apart from offering participants a broader view of the EU framework in disaster situations, the lecture focused in particular on EU actions towards third countries facing disasters and relevant implementing mechanisms.

Expert Participation in the Working Party on Civil Protection of the Council of the European Union

On 26 November 2014 dr. Federico Casolari - IDLP unit coordinator - was invited as an expert to participate in the Working Party on Civil Protection (PROCIV) of the Council of the European Union. During such event, dr. Casolari spoke about “IDRL in Italy - A Study on Strengthening Legal Preparedness for International Disaster Response”.

Vanderbilt Symposium "This is Not a Drill: Confronting Legal Issues in the Wake of International Disasters"

On 13 February 2015, the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law convened, in co-sponsorship with the Roma Tre unit of the IDLP, a Symposium entitled "This is Not a Drill: Confronting Legal Issues in the Wake of International Disasters" at the School of Law of the Vanderbilt University of Nashville, USA. Prof. Giulio Bartolini - IDLP unit coordinator -will participate as a speaker in the panel devoted to disaster assistance

The Symposium, which also includes as panelists dr. Eduardo Valencia Ospina (ILC Special Rapporteur), David Fisher (IFRC) and leading scholars in the field of disaster law, posits that recent and dire international disasters, both environmental and humanitarian, have left legacies not only of destruction and destitution, but also of an uncertain legal landscape. For these reasons, the Symposium will address current and pressing international-disaster-response topics, including environmental effects, disaster assistance, humanitarian assistance, and criminal processes and sanctions in the wake of various types of international disasters.

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3. Future Activities

IFRC Workshop on Strengthening Host Nation Support for Disaster Cooperation in Europe

On 18 February 2015 dr. Mauro Gatti - member of the Bologna unit - will participate in Riga, Latvia to the Workshop on Strengthening Host Nation Support for Disaster Cooperation in Europe, co-hosted by the IFRC, the Latvian State Fire and Rescue Service, the Latvian Red Cross Society and supported by the EU Civil Protection Financial Mechanism.

The Workshop draws upon the results of the study conducted by the IDLP and the National Red Cross Societies of Finland, Iceland, Latvia and Poland and the IFRC aimed at assessing the degree to which host nation support procedures have been integrated into the laws and procedures of the both the EU and EU Member States after the adoption of EU Host Nation Support Guidelines in 2012. The Workshop aims to develop joint recommendations for moving forward progress already achieved in the EU on host nation support.

Project Slandail "Empowering Emergency Response Systems Using Social Media"

Dr. Emanuele Sommario - IDLP unit coordinator - has been invited to Trinity College Dublin on 20 February 2015 to participate in a roundtable on the use social media information in times of natural crisis and natural disasters. He will offer an overview on the legal protection of human rights in emergency situations.

The event is organized in the framework of Project Slándáil, a EU-funded project designed to research natural crises and analyse how social media can be better used to spread messages about the worst affected areas during these crises.

2nd IIHL-IFRC International Disaster Law Course

Following the success of the 2014 1st International Disaster Law Course, the IDLP is delighted to announce that the Course Second Edition is now open for application. The Course is organized jointly by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Disaster Law Programme (IFRC), the IDL Project and conducted by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law of Sanremo, Italy.

Directed by David Fisher (Coordinator, Disaster Law Programme, IFRC) and Paulo Cavaleri (Senior Disaster Law Officer, IFRC), and coordinated by IDLP Coordinating Team, the Course will take place in Sanremo, Italy from 27 April to 1 May.

The Course will offer participants the opportunity to analyse one of today’s most important legal challenges: the prevention and management of natural and man-made disasters. Lectures will be delivered by distinguished speakers including Eduardo Valencia-Ospina (Special Rapporteur of the ILC on the Protection of Persons in the Event of Disasters), Walter Kälin (former Representative of the UN Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons), academics, as well as representatives of relevant international and national actors involved in IDL, such as the IFRC, IAEA, OCHA, the Italian Civil Protection Department and the Italian Red Cross.

The programme seeks to offer a comprehensive overview of the main practical, diplomatic and military issues related to the legal aspects of disaster prevention and management activities.

The course is tailored towards graduate and post-graduate students with an interest in IDL; practitioners (e.g. staff of civil protection departments; staff of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies; NGOs) involved in disaster management; and professionals with an academic background in the areas of law, security studies, international relations, humanitarian assistance or other related fields, eager to expand their knowledge on IDL.

The final deadline to apply to the Course is 3 April 2015. This year participation fees - which cover course materials, launches and coffee breaks, reception drink and final dinner - amounts to 550 euros. Please consult the general course information booklet for further details regarding application procedure, payments and other relevant administrative information.

3rd Course on "International Disaster Response Law"

From 1 to 3 May 2015 the IDLP Team, in partnership with senior officers of the Italian Red Cross National Commission on the Dissemination of International Humanitarian Law, will organize the 3rd Course on IDRL in Sanremo, Italy.

Aimed to train Italian Red Cross IHL Instructors in IDRL fundamentals, the Course will offer both lecturer-led and practical sessions.

Roma Tre Expert Meeting on the ILC Draft Articles on the Protection of Persons in the Event of Disasters

On 8 and 9 June 2015 Prof. Giulio Bartolini - IDLP unit coordinator - will organize an Expert Meeting on the ILC Draft Articles on the Protection of Persons in the Event of Disasters at the Department of Law of the Roma Tre University, Rome, Italy.

The Meeting, which expects speakers to participate in a frank and vibrant discussion of different topics in agenda due to the application of Chatman House rules, draws upon the recent adoption on first reading by the ICL of the Draft Articles on the Protection of Persons in the Event of Disasters and will seek to engage participants in a lively discussion concerning positive aspects and potential shortcomings of such text. Accordingly, the expert meeting will be a small, intimate event with around 25-30 guests, at which participation will be by invitation only, in order to promote a robust exchange of the Draft Articles and their Commentaries.

Invited speakers include dr. Eduardo Valencia-Ospina, Special Rapporteur of the IL - who has kindly accepted to participate - and a series of academics, legal experts and practitioners of International Organisations, States and NGOs.

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4. Developments in Int'l Disaster Law

The ILC Approves on First Reading the Draft Articles on Protection of Persons in the Event of Disasters

On May 2014 the International Law Commission (ILC) approved on first reading the 21 draft articles and related commentaries (Report of the Sixty-sixth Session (2014), A/69/10, Chap. V, pp. 89-138), on the Protection of persons in the event of disasters.

At its fifty-ninth session in 2007, the ILC decided to include the topic in its programme of work, with the aim of identify a specific standard of treatment to which the individual, as a victim of a disaster, is entitled. From the sixtieth (2008) to sixty-fifth sessions (2013) the Special Rapporteur appointed on the topic, Mr. Eduardo Valencia-Ospina, submitted six reports to the Commission. These reports concerned, inter alia, the definition of the topic (rationae materiae, rationae personae and rationae temporis) and the main legal questions to be covered, as the basic duty to cooperate, the role of the affected State and that of the international community. The scope of the topic, initially limited to the disaster response, has been gradually extended to the disaster prevention and the disaster risk reduction.

On February 2014, the Special Rapporteur presented to the ILC his Seventh report, prepared with the assistance of the Coordinators of the IDL Project. In particular, this report focused on the protection of relief personnel and their equipment and goods, and considered also the relationship between the Draft articles and other rules of international law.

The 21 Draft articles, as currently approved, represent an attempt to crystallize a juridical framework for the disaster response domain, within a general human rights-based approach, by the identification of basic principles (e.g. humanity, neutrality and impartiality), as well as rights and duties for the actors involved (e.g. the right for the external actors to offer assistance and the right for the affected State to place conditions on it). While most of them represent the outcome of a coherent codification process, is it possible to underline the effort of introduce some interesting element of progressive development of international law, as the duty for the affected state to seek assistance where its national response capacity is exceeded, and to not arbitrarily withhold its consent to it.

On August 2014, pursuant its Statute, the ILC decided to transmit the draft articles to Governments, competent international organizations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies for comments and observations, with the request that such comments and observations be submitted to the Secretary-General by 1 January 2016. The ILC also indicated that it would welcome comments and observations on the draft articles from the United Nations, including the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, by the same date.

Developments in the European Union

Council Decision on the arrangements for the implementation by the Union of the solidarity clause

On 24 June 2014, the Council of the European Union adopted the Decision 2014/415/EU concerning the implementation by the Union of Article 222 TFEU. The so-called ‘solidarity clause’ enshrined in Article 222 provides that the Union and its Member States shall act jointly in a spirit of solidarity if a Member State is the object of a terrorist attack or the victim of a natural or man-made disaster. In these circumstances, the Union is required to mobilize all the instruments at its disposal, including the military resources made available by the Member States. The clarifying arrangements for the implementation of this clause have been defined by the previously mentioned Decision of the Council acting on the Joint Proposal 2012/039 by the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

According to the adopted Decision, the solidarity clause can be invoked in the event of a terrorist attack or a natural or man-made disaster, irrespective of whether it originates inside or outside the territory of the Member States. Besides, it shall apply within the territory of Member States to which the Treaties apply, meaning land area, internal waters, territorial sea and airspace and when affecting infrastructure (such as off-shore oil and gas installations) situated in the territorial sea, the exclusive economic zone or the continental shelf of a Member State.

The procedure provides that in the event of a disaster or terrorist attack, the affected Member State may invoke the solidarity clause if, after having exploited the possibilities offered by existing means and tools at national and Union level, it considers that the crisis clearly overwhelms the response capabilities available to it. The political authorities of the affected Member State shall address their invocation to the Presidency of the Council and to the President of the European Commission via the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC).

Once the solidarity clause has been invoked, the Council shall ensure the political and strategic direction of the Union response taking full account of the Commission’s and the High Representative’s competences. The decision also provides for the activation of the Integrated Political Crisis Response arrangements (IPCR), a mechanism approved in June 2013 by the Council, which should guarantee a rapid involvement of the political authorities across the EU. Through this mechanism, the Council can ensure the strategic direction of the response and take appropriate action to the benefit of the Member State affected.

 Finally, the Decision 2014415/EU will be reviewed periodically in the Council on the basis of a joint report prepared by the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Commission Implementing Decision on a Union Civil Protection Mechanism

On 16 October 2014, the European Commission adopted the Decision 2014/762/EU which lays down rules for the implementation of Decision No 1313/2013/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Union Civil Protection Mechanism and repeals Commission Decisions 2004/277/EC, Euratom and 2007/606/EC, Euratom.

In the first place, through such a Decision the European Commission underlined that, as disasters can strike at any time, the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) should ensure at all times close contact with the national contact points which Member States shall designate. Besides, it has been created a separate version of Common Emergency Communication and Information System (CECIS) providing access to the secretariats of the regional sea conventions and third countries sharing a regional sea basin with the Union in view of the specificities of the response to marine pollution incidents.

The second point concerns the identification of modules, other response capacities and experts, as well as the operational requirements for the functioning and interoperability of modules, including their tasks, capacities, main components, self-sufficiency and deployment. Besides, it is stated that, every second year, the modules, technical assistance and support teams pre-committed to the EERC and registered in a designated section of the CECIS database are submitted to an evaluation of the Commission in cooperation with Member States on the suitability of the quality and interoperability requirements based on established international standards. In addition, the Commission has a crucial role in monitoring progress towards the capacity goals as it is required to inform Member States about any remaining response capacity gaps and, whether identified, to fund these gaps by publishing a call for proposals to support Member States. In case of extraordinary disasters, the Commission regularly launches the necessary financial procedures to cover the costs in order to ensure rapid access to the buffer capacities defined in the annual work programme.

In the third place, a training programme covering the prevention of, preparedness for and response to disasters shall be set up. The programme will be organised and coordinated by the Commission and will include general and specific courses on introduction level, operational level and management level as well as an exchange of experts system.  In this context the Commission will set up a programme of civil protection exercises aimed at: improving the response capacity of Member States; establishing a common approach for the coordination of assistance interventions under the Union Mechanism and reducing the response time in major disasters; enhancing cooperation between the civil protection services of Member States and the Commission; identifying and sharing lessons learnt. In order to share data, information and assessments necessary to monitor, analyse and evaluate all the relevant civil protection actions within the Union Mechanism, the Commission shall set up and manage a database.

Finally, some operational procedures for the response to disasters were established, with particular attention to the criteria that shall be considered in the process of selecting among capacities in the EERC. Besides, these procedures make provision for expert missions, transport support, operational disengagement when assistance is no longer required or can no longer be provided, costs of intervention and eventual compensation for damage as consequence of assistance intervention provided.

European response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa

West Africa is currently facing the largest and most complex Ebola epidemic on record.The outbreak primarily affected three countries: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The EU’s assistance has already totalled over €1.2 billion to contain, control, treat and ultimately defeat Ebola. Upon request from the World Health Organization (WHO), the EU Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated to provide coordinate assistance through the Commission’s Emergency Response and Coordination Centre (ERCC). Besides, the European Union has established a system of medical evacuation for international health professionals working in the affected countries. Funds provided by the Commission target three main objectives: addressing the most urgent humanitarian needs of the local populations, strengthening the healthcare systems of the affected countries and supporting the development of vaccines and treatments. With its humanitarian aid, the Commission supports its partner organisations operating on the ground in providing immediate healthcare and treatment as well as psychosocial support to the affected communities. In addition, the funds facilitate the operation of mobile laboratories, support the medical personnel and experts and provide vital medical equipment to help diagnose and isolate patients.

From the outset of the crisis, the EU has been in constant contact the United Nations, partners on the ground, the governments of the region through its Delegations as well as with regional organizations such as the African Union and ECOWAS. On 24 October 2014 the European Council appointed Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, as EU Ebola Coordinator. The appointment of an EU Ebola Coordinator aims at ensuring that EU institutions and Member States act in coordination with each other and with international partners. To this end, an EU Ebola Task Force has been set up, bringing together Member States, Commission services, the European External Action Service (EEAS) and representatives of the UN, the Red Cross and NGOs. In November 2014, the Ebola coordinator travelled to the three most affected countries together with the EU Commissioner for Health Vytenis Andriukaitis and in December 2014 he presented its first report to the European Council.

The European intervention in response to the crisis in West Africa is the largest operation coordinated by the European Commission and it is the first large-scale test of the new European Civil Protection Mechanism.

Exchange of Civil Protection Experts

Following the tendering procedure launched by the EU Commission for the organization of the “Programme of Exchange of Civil Protection Experts”, the Bundesanstalt Technisches Hilfswerk (THW), a civil protection organisation controlled by the German federal government, has been awarded the 24-month contract, with a further 24-month renewal option. During the period from October 2014 to July 2016, civil protection organizations and experts are invited to take advantage of this opportunity by hosting exchanges and travelling abroad to exchange experience and expertise. The programme is open to participating states of the civil protection mechanism and the following eligible third countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey and Kosovo; Eastern Neighbourhood countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) and Southern Neighbourhood countries (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia). In particular, priority will be given to some categories of experts, namely those who can be called upon EU Missions, those working in operation centers or in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence, as well as those operating in prevention, preparedness and risk assessment. The objective of the programme is to learn different techniques used, study the approaches taken within other emergency services or other relevant organisations with special expertise in order to enhance the operational response to emergencies.

Developments in other Regional Organizations in the Field of Risk Reduction

In view of the ‘Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction’, that will take place in Sendai, Japan from 14-18 March 2015, the following relevant developments at regional and sub-regional level have been selected:

1) Fifth Africa Regional Platform and Third Ministerial Meeting for Disaster Risk Reduction

The Fifth Africa Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction and Third Ministerial Meeting took place in Abuja, Nigeria on 13-16 May, 2014. The aim was to develop the Africa contribution to the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction to be considered at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction and its Preparatory Committee meetings. It was jointly organized by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Regional Office for Africa (UNISDR AF), the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Significant outcomes of this Regional Platform were the Africa contribution to the post-2015 framework and associated monitoring system and the Ministerial Declaration aimed at formalizing and strengthening the finalization of the Africa Position on the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction. For more details visit the Platform website http://www.preventionweb.net/english/hyogo/regional/platform/afrp/2014/.

2) Fourth Session of the Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) of the Americas

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – Regional Office for the Americas (UNISDR AM) was the organizer of the fourth Session of the Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas. It was held in Guayaquil, Ecuador on 27-29 May, 2014. The Platform got together relevant stakeholders and actors in disaster risk reduction and resilience in order to consolidate the important contributions from the Americas for the post-2015 framework to be presented at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction and its Preparatory Committee meetings. Important results were the involvement of high-level political and executive authorities along with various actors to improve the disaster risk reduction and the climate change adaptation agenda in the American region and the identification of the important achievements made through the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015. Additional information can be found at http://eird.org/pr14-eng/index.html.

3) Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management 2014

On 02-04 June, in Suva (Fiji), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Sub-Regional Office for the Pacific (UNISDR Pacific) jointly organized the 2014 meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management. The main scope of this Platform was to look for the contributions and support of the disaster risk management and climate change ‘stakeholder groups for the ‘Strategy for Climate and Disaster Resilient Development in the Pacific’, and to offer a contribution for the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction. The proposed new strategy will provide a innovative approach on how to efficiently address DRM and Climate Change in the context of risk resilient development. The goals of the 2014 Pacific Platform were the strengthening of the interaction between the ‘Disaster’ and other communities in the Pacific, and provide the opportunity for stakeholders to contribute and endorse the Strategy for Disaster and Climate Resilient Development and contribute to the development of the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction; the facilitation of sharing of experiences and ‘lessons learned’ on disaster risk management amongst Pacific island countries and territories and stakeholder groups and the preparation and developments of commitments by the Pacific for the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Reduction in Japan in March 2015. More information are available at http://www.pacificdisaster.net:8080/Plone/pacific-platform/2014-english.

4) Second Arab Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt, the South Sinai Governorate and the League of Arab States (LAS) have organized Second Arab Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. It took place in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, on 14-16 September, 2014 and provided a forum for Arab governments, policy makers, planners, academia, civil society and development experts to discuss disaster risk reduction strategies in the region. The Conference shaped regional priorities towards the new framework for disaster risk reduction beyond 2015. The ‘Sharm El Sheikh Declaration on Disaster Risk Reduction’ was adopted. Additional information are available at http://www.preventionweb.net/english/hyogo/regional/platform/acdrr/2014.

5) Sixth Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

The Sixth Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction was held in Bangkok, Thailand on 23-26 June 2014. The Conference constituted a setting for Countries, organizations and individual professionals to meet and discuss how to foster the reduction of disaster risk in the Region. This Conference provided a exclusive occasion for Asian disaster risk reduction stakeholders to outline the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction to be considered during the 2015 Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. Among the important outcomes of the meeting there were a Declaration on disaster risk reduction and HFA implementation 2014-2015 and a compilation of sound practices in Asia and the Pacific on how to achieve disaster risk reduction. More information are available at http://6thamcdrr-thailand.net/.

6) Central Asia and South Caucasus Regional Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction

A meeting of the Ministers of Disaster Management and Emergency Situations of the Central Asian and South Caucasus countries will take place on 29-30 January, 2015 in Bishkek hosted by the Government of Kyrgyzstan. The objective of the meeting will be the discussion and adoption of a Regional statement of the countries of Central Asia and South Caucasus on cooperation and coordination in the implementation of the post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction to be adopted at the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.

7) European Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction

On July 8, 2014 the Italian Government organized the Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction. It took place in the context of an Informal Meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council to exchange views towards the development of the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction, to be endorsed at the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. The Ministerial Meeting outcomes were the conclusions from the European Ministerial Meeting on the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction; the inputs towards the preparation of the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction and the indication of voluntary commitments that are foreseen as a part of the overall outcome of the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. See the following document Outcome of the European ministerial meeting on disaster risk reduction: towards a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters.

8) 5th Annual meeting of the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction (EFDRR)

On 06-08 October, 2014, the Dirección General de Protección Civil y Emergencias, Spain - gov, the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction (EFDRR), the Council of Europe (COE), the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection DG (ECHO) and theUnited Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Regional Office for Europe (UNISDR EUR) organized in Madrid the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction (EFDRR). It served as the forum for exchanging information and knowledge, coordinating efforts throughout the Europe region and for providing support for effective action to reduce disasters. The purpose of the meeting was also to facilitate discussion, exchanges and synergies towards disaster risk reduction activities in Europe and to provide inputs to the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction consultations. For more information visit the following page http://www.preventionweb.net/english/hyogo/regional/platform/efdrr/2014/.

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5. IDL Project Publications

The 2nd International Law and Disasters Working Paper is Out

Alessandro Tonutti authored the 2nd International Law and Disasters Working Paper entitled "Famine Crisis and International Crimes".

In line with the general aim of the International Law and Disasters Working Paper Series - i.e. to open up discussions among the global community of scholars, policy-makers and practitioners on relevant issues concerning the legal framework of disaster management - Tonutti's paper aims to highlight that States use certain disasters, in particular phenomena such as famine and drought crisis, as tools to implement their policies of displacement, dispossession and elimination.

Dr. Morini Article on World Heritage and Disasters

Dr. Claudia Morini - member of the Sant'Anna unit - paper entitled “The Protection of the World Heritage from Natural and Man-made Disasters’ Risk” has been just published in Andrea Cannone (ed), La Protezione internazionale ed europea dei beni culturali (2014, Cacucci Editore).

The purpose of the paper is to give an overview of the international legal framework protecting World Heritage sites in the event of natural and man-made disasters and to give practical examples of the consequences of catastrophic events on World Heritage.

Dr. Scarpa Article on Minors and Disasters

Dr. Silvia Scarpa, member of the Uninettuno Unit, has published in the Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies an article entitled "Guaranteeing the Broadest Protection to Minors in the Aftermath of Disasters: Re-Framing the  International Discussion in Terms of Child Abduction, Sale, and Trafficking".

The article aims at demonstrating that a more effective and comprehensive protection of minors in the aftermath of disasters can be guaranteed by first re-framing the discussion of relevant actors in the field on those ‘umbrella terms’ such as abduction, sale, and trafficking of children. The article therefore discusses the definition of mentioned ‘umbrella terms’ and recommends all relevant actors to follow the proposed framework in order to achieve greater consistency.

Dr. Natoli Articles on UN Response to Disasters and Ebola as a Threat to Peace

Dr. Tommaso Natoli - member of the Roma Tre unit - recently contributed to the edited volume Scritti in onore di Maria Rita Saulle (2014, Editoriale Scientifica) with a chapter entitled "Aspetti istituzionali della risposta ai disastri nel sistema Nazioni Unite" (institutional aspects of disaster response in the UN system).

Moreover, he addressed novel questions regarding the qualification of virus Ebola as a threat to peace by the UNSC in "Il virus Ebola come nuova minaccia alla pace e alla sicurezza internazionale" (Ebola as a new threat to international peace and security) in ‘Osservatorio sul Consiglio di sicurezza e diritti umani 4/ 2014’ – Rivista “Ordine internazionale e diritti umani”.

6. News and Events

1st IDL Essay Contest

Following the expiry of the 30 of January 2015 deadline to submit essays to the first ever IDL Students Essay Contest, members of the judging committee are now selecting essays for the final! The winner will be awarded a waiver of fees and travel contribution to participate in the 2nd International Disaster Law Course and a free annual membership to the American Society of International Law. Moreover, the winner and runners up will see their essay published in the International Law and Disaster Working Paper Series.

The Contest is co-sponsored by the IDLP itself, the International Federation of the Red Cross, and the American Society of International Law Disaster Law Interest Group, with the support of the San Remo International Institute of Humanitarian Law.

New Publications in IDL

• M. Arcari and P. Palchetti, The Security Council as a global 'health-keeper'? Resolution 2177(2014) and Ebola as a threat to the peace, in Questions of International Law, 2014, Zoom in 10, 1-3

• L. Balmond, Le Conseil de sécurité et la crise d'Ebola: entre gestion de la paix et pilotage de la gouvernance globale, in Questions of International Law, 2014, Zoom in 10, 5-25

• G.L. Burci and J. Quirin, Ebola, WHO, and the United Nations: Convergence of Global Public Health and International Peace and Security, ASIL Insights, Vol. 18, Issue, 25, 14 November 2014

• G.L. Burci, Ebola, the Security Council and the securitization of public health, in Questions of International Law2014, Zoom in 10, 27-39 

• S. Butt, Asia-Pacific disaster management: comparative and socio-legal perspectives, Springer, 2014

• D. D. Caron, M.J. Kelly, A. Telesetsky (eds.), The International Law of Disaster Relief, Cambridge University Press, 2014

• K. Cedervall Lauta, Disaster Law, Routledge, 2015

• N. Colacino, Exploring the Legal Nature of the States' Obligation to Provide Information to the Public in the Case of an Imminent Threat to the Environment: More than the B-side of the Individual Right to Access?, in Ordine internazionale e diritti umani, 2014, n. 3, pp. 454-467

• S.D. Collins, What a Difference a Disaster Makes - or Doesn’t: a Comparative Case Study of Governmental and Popular Responses to Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, in L. Westra and M. Vilela (eds.), The Earth Charter, Ecological Integrity and Social Movements, Routledge, 2014, p. 61 ff.

• D. Cubie, Promoting Dignity for All: Human Rights Approaches in the Post-2015 Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development Frameworks, in Human Rights & International Legal Discourse, 2014, vol. 8, afl. 1, p. 36 ff.

• A. Day, Red light to starboard : recalling the Exxon Valdez disaster, Washington State University Press, 2014

• I. Davis (ed.), Disaster Risk Management in Asia and the Pacific, Routledge, 2014

• H. De Pooter, Le droit international face aux pandémies: vers un système de sécurité sanitaire collective?, Editions A. Pedone, 2015

• J.L. Frattaroli, A State’s Duty to Prepare, Warn, and Mitigate Natural Disaster Damages, in Boston College International and Comparative Law Review, 2014, vol. 37, afl. 1, p. 173 ff.

• M. Gestri, La clausola di solidarietà europea in caso di attacchi terroristici e calamità (art. 222 TFUE), in AA VV, Scritti in onore di Luigi Costato, vol II, Jovene, Napoli, 2014, pp. 537-551

• J. Joseph, The EU in the Horn of Africa: Building Resilience as a Distant Form of Governance, in Journal of Common Market, 2014, Volume 52, Issue 2, p. 285 ff.

• K. Koser, Protecting Non-Citizens in Situations of Conflict, Violence and Disaster, in S. Martin, S. Weerasinghe and A. Taylor (eds.), Humanitarian Crisis and Migration: Causes, Consequences and Responses, Routledge, 2014, p. 267 ff.

• K.G. Park, La protection des personnes en cas de catastrophe, in Recueil des cours, 2014, vol. 368, p. 281 ff.

• M. Scott, Natural Disasters, Climate Change and Non-Refoulement: What Scope for Resisting Expulsion under Article 3 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights?, in International Journal of Refugee Law, 2014, vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 404-432

• B. Tomaszewski, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Disaster Management, Routledge, 2014

• W. van Doorn-Hoekveld, Compensation in Flood Risk Management with a Focus on Shifts in Compensation Regimes Regarding Prevention, Mitigation and Disaster Management, in Utrecht Law Review, 2014, vol. 10, afl. 2, p. 216 ff.

• S.D. Watson, Institutionalization and Implementing the Disaster Relief Norm: the League of Red Cross Societies and the International Relief Union, in A. Betts and P. Orchard (eds.), Implementation and World Politics : How International Norms Change Practice, Oxford University Press, 2014, p. 230 ff.

•  Zwitter, C.K. Lamont, H.-J. Heintze, J.Herman (eds.), Humanitarian Action: Global, Regional and Domestic Legal Responses, Cambridge University Press, 2015

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Editorial Committee

Claudia Morini, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna
Tommaso Natoli, Roma Tre University
Alice Riccardi, Uninettuno University
Susanna Villani, Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna

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The IDL Project is financed by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research under the grant programme FIRB Futuro in Ricerca 2012.