- International co-operation — International humanitarian law — International organizations
This chapter details how disasters, whether widespread or localized, pose a major threat to human security, as their effects place significant strain on human support systems. What is more, disasters invariably have a disproportionately harmful impact on the particularly vulnerable, who typically subsist at the margins of society, usually in harm’s way. For many States, the impact of specific disasters can be measured in terms of setbacks to human development. The imperative to provide aid and assistance following the onset of disasters is increasingly viewed as a key interest of the international community. The United Nations devotes significant resources to the coordination of efforts at the international level aimed at facilitating cooperation in the provision of humanitarian assistance. The organization has also become the central locus for contemplation at the global level on best practices in disaster risk reduction. The chapter then describes the outlines of an emerging international disaster law, motivated in large part by a growing awareness of the role law can play in efforts to reduce vulnerability to, and mitigate the impact of, disasters. Such sentiments are, in turn, driven by an appreciation of the potential deleterious consequences for global security arising from the widespread dislocation brought about by major disasters.
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