The Sendai Opportunity: Maritime Access and Cooperation for Disaster Relief
Posted: 26 Nov 2018
Date Written: November 2, 2017
Maritime access and the mobilization of maritime services have been important enablers of initial international responses to disasters in littoral states. However, this access has proved controversial in recent times, with objections to military participation and ongoing resistance to a ‘responsibility to admit’ international disaster responders. This paper will examine the adoption of the 2015 Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, alongside the International Law Commission’s 2016 Draft Articles on the Protection of Persons in the Event of Disasters, as an opportunity to strengthen protocols of maritime access and cooperation. The paper will survey the existing state of international disaster law before turning to the potential significance of the Sendai outcome and the Draft Articles. It will analyze the scope for oceans law and regional frameworks for maritime cooperation to contribute to emerging norms and processes of access and cooperation in international disaster law, as well as the contribution of other national and regional initiatives to implement the Sendai Framework. These regulatory developments will be considered in the context of the Asia-Pacific, a region whose seas have repeatedly proved to be both the source of terrible disasters and the transit zone for vital emergency assistance.
Keywords: UNCLOS, law of the sea, UNISDR, disaster risk reduction, international law
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation