Day 3 Blog: Disaster Risk Reduction and International Law Symposium 2017

Saturday, July 1, 2017

After three days of discussions and debates about the newly evolving global landscape of disaster risk reduction, the Symposium has come to an end. Some of the final topics explored include;

  • What lessons to be learned from other legal regimes such as environmental law, in particular the UN Regional Seas Programme, for stronger regional platforms in relation to DRR.
  • The importance of awareness building and safety training of crew members and passengers to save lives, as Arctic cruising is becoming a booming tourist activity.
  • The need for the International Federation of the Red Cross to promote human rights when assisting states in their DRR strategies, legislation and policies to prevent human rights abuses.

Reflecting upon the past few days, the Symposium has served as a unique opportunity to clarify and progress the development of law, policy and practice governing disaster risk reduction and disasters at the national, regional and international levels. As the final day drew came to an end some fundamental questions were raised:

  • Having discussed several different perspectives of disaster risk reduction, do we think about disaster law as a distinct field or a cross-cutting theme of broader application?
  • Further, what is the canon of disaster law? How does it relate to other regimes, such as international environmental law, climate change law and sustainable development?

As we ponder on what role law and policy governing disaster risk reduction should play in a changing global landscape it becomes evident that there are no clear cut answers these questions. International disaster law is an evolving area and it is for this very reason that symposiums such as these are crucial. As research develops, state practice becomes more coherent, and science and technology more refined, it is pivotal that cross-sectoral engagement, discussion and cooperation takes place to inform what course of action to take in an ever more turbulent world, so that we can achieve the goal of minimising suffering and harm resulting from disasters.

See the panels from Day 3 on our stream.