Unus Pro Omnibus, Omnes Pro Uno

Regionalization and Sub-Regionalization of Disaster Management between Sovereignty and Solidarity

In: International Organizations Law Review
Tommaso NatoliUniversity College Cork, School of Law, Cork, Ireland,

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Neighbouring States form regional institutions for purposes that they cannot meet singularly, as in case of exceptional events that overwhelm national capacities. Comparing regional organizations endowed with specific Disaster Management (DM) functions provides a suitable analytical lens of this phenomenon, being a means for exploring how fundamental principles like sovereignty or solidarity are differently combined within their legal frameworks. Building on a comparative analysis of two regional models (EU and ASEAN-AHA), the article suggests that the positioning of regional organizations on the sovereignty-solidarity axis is facilitated by an adapted use of the well-known Latin maxim ‘unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno’. This indicates both dynamics in which the organization is endowed with autonomous capacities of acting in support of members stricken by a catastrophic event, and those regional mechanisms whose functioning depends on the case-by-case involvement of their membership. As will be maintained, whereas these interrelated dynamics coexist in the two organizations analysed, they are differently modelled according to the respective regulatory settings. Yet, common trends in the development of respective institutional functioning can be detected.

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