The Hague, City of Peace and Justice

"The Hague is a good place for justice". This was a phrase recently heard in the streets of Nairobi, by someone coming from The Hague, while talking to a group of Kenyans. He'd struck up a conversation with the men about the wave of violence that had hit Kenya in late 2007, shortly after the elections. The events cost 1500 people their lives, over a very short period, and hundreds of thousands of citizens took flight.

The Kenyans our tourist spoke to in Nairobi were quite clear about one thing. Only the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague was capable of bringing the suspected perpetrators of the brutal violence of 2007 to justice. "The Hague is a good place for justice".

The Hague, International City of Peace and Justice. Anyone who thinks that this is just a clever city marketing slogan, invented by smart advertising boys, is on the wrong track. If you should travel to Sarajevo, Nairobi or Kabul, you would discover that in these towns the name of that far-away city The Hague stands for hope. Hope for millions of people that the evil-doers who murdered their fathers, raped their mothers and took their children for soldiers will not go unpunished.

Today, The Hague is home to no less than 131 international institutes and agencies - both NGOs and government institutions. The numerous institutions and organisations create a climate in which debate and the exchange of ideas can flourish. By accommodating such important institutions as the ICJ and the ICC, but also all those tiny ngo's, The Hague wants to create and maintain exactly this ambience of Peace and Justice. The Hague works hard to continue to be a beacon of hope for millions of people around the world.

To get an impression of the organisations and activities in The Hague see the insets below and follow their links.

International Court of Justice
After New York, The Hague is the second UN-city. Of the six principal organs of the United Nations, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the only one not located in New York. The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations and therefore of great importance. Only recently the international press gathered in The Hague when the ICJ gave judgement on the construction of the Israeli separation walls.


International Criminal Court

The creation of the Rome Statute and the founding of the International Criminal Court were milestones in the history of human kind. The establishment of these milestones was preceded by more than 100 years of discussions, starting with the famous first Peace Conference in The Hague. At the end of the twentieth century, after the Cold War, the ICC finally became reality, partly thanks to the requisite lobby of various NGOs.


International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) is a United Nations court of law dealing with war crimes that took place during the conflicts in the Balkans in the 1990's. Since its establishment in 1993 it has irreversibly changed the landscape of international humanitarian law and provided victims an opportunity to voice the horrors they witnessed and experienced. War crimes that had not occurred since the Second World War. The era in which committers of crimes against humanity get away with it is over.


International Day of Peace
Each year, on September 21st, the inhabitants of The Hague celebrate the International Day of Peace. During this day there is a Peace walk for hundreds of children, a big Peace event in the city centre, a unique Open Day at all the international organizations, and so forth. On this day the people of The Hague bring to light efforts to end conflict and promote peace, and show their commitment to peace and justice.


International Institute for Global Justice
The Hague will soon be hosting a new institute on Global Justice. The Institute for Global Justice will bring together all available knowledge in a wide variety of fields pertaining to international law, non-violent resolution of conflicts, human rights, peace keeping, as well as security and development issues. Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State of the United States, has accepted our request to take a seat in the supervisory board of this institute.


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