I had the privilege to attend a ‘meeting of experts’ in Kuala Lumpur last week. The meeting was convened by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (the IFRC) International Disaster Response Law (IDRL) project team.

In 2007 the Red Cross movement adopted guidelines that had been developed to encourage states to pass domestic laws to improve their ability to rapidly accept international disaster assistance. As the next step in encouraging states to adopt the Guidelines, the IDRL team developed a model Act that could be used by countries as a starting point to develop their domestic laws and to consider how they would deal with offers of assistance before a disaster struck.

The meeting in Kuala Lumpur brought together representatives of governments, the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement, other NGOs and academics to discuss the model Act and to provide feedback and suggestions on the text.

It was a privilege to be invited to attend and to be able to contribute to the development of this important legal tool.

More details on the IDRL project and the model Act can be found on the IFRC’s website at http://www.ifrc.org/en/what-we-do/idrl/about-idrl/.