Disaster diplomacy is an evolving contemporary model that examines how disaster response strategies can facilitate cooperation between parties in conflict. The concept of disaster diplomacy has emerged during the past decade to address how disaster response can be leveraged to promote peace, facilitate communication, promote human rights, and strengthen intercommunity ties in the increasingly multipolar modern world. Historically, the concept has evolved through two camps, one that focuses on the interactions between national governments in conflict and another that emphasizes the grassroots movements that can promote change. The two divergent approaches can be reconciled and disaster diplomacy further matured by contextualizing the concept within the disaster cycle, a model well established within the disaster risk management community. In particular, access to available health care, especially for the most vulnerable populations, may need to be negotiated. As such, disaster response professionals, including emergency medicine specialists, can play an important role in the development and implementation of disaster diplomacy concepts.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2012;6:53–59)