Research Handbooks in International Law series
Edited by Susan C. Breau and Katja L.H. Samuel
Chapter 21: A duty of solidarity? The International Law Commission’s Draft Articles and the right to offer assistance in disasters
International solidarity is proclaimed as a key value of the international community. Natural disasters offer the perfect context for its demonstration. Oftentimes international actors readily offer aid and assistance but the governing legal framework remains uncertain. Thus, the current ILC drafting project presents a welcome opportunity to codify and concretize matters. This chapter analyses the ILC draft article concerning external actors’ rights to offer assistance to disaster-stricken states. If the project’s focus is the protection of stricken populations, does this ‘right’ suggest or encourage the possibility of a duty to offer assistance when natural disasters strike? An alternative reading challenges any such duty. This chapter analyses the ‘right to offer’ in its own terms, and in the context of the other Draft Articles, and considers whether the draft provision materializes international solidarity.
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