The Hague Institute Commemorates Peace Palace Centenary

On 28 August 2013, The Hague Institute for Global Justice launched The Hague Approach to commemorate the centennial of the Peace Palace in The Hague. The Hague Approach comprises six guiding principles for achieving sustainable peace in post-conflict situations: conflict prevention; fostering a rule of law culture; a network response; private sector engagement; strategic communication; and the responsibility to learn.

The Principles were launched alongside a comparative analysis of rule of law efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq; as well as a field study on the rule of law in post-Gaddafi Libya, which was conducted by the Van Vollenhoven Institute (VVI) at Leiden University in collaboration with the Benghazi Research and Consulting Centre at the University of Benghazi.

The Mayor of The Hague, Mr. Jozias van Aartsen, presented The Hague Approach to His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and United Nations Secretary-General, H.E. Ban Ki-moon, in the Palace’s Great Hall of Justice. Mayor van Aartsen described The Hague Approach as “a ground-breaking contribution to the field of peacebuilding [that] offers policymakers guidance for future operations in post-conflict situations” and “a fine example of the combination of theory and practice.”

The Principles were also presented to the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, Ms. Judy Cheng-Hopkins, by the President of The Hague Institute for Global Justice, Dr. Abiodun Williams. During her keynote address, Ms. Cheng-Hopkins observed that “there is great alignment between The Hague Approach and the activities the UN promotes. We hope to continue working with The Hague Institute for Global Justice, especially in light of these relevant principles.”

The 28 August conference also featured a short film on The Hague Approach, directed by diplomatic expert Robert van de Roer, and speeches by the Minister of Justice of Afghanistan, H.E. Habibullah Ghalib; the Minister of Justice of Libya, H.E. Salah Marghani; and the Ambassador of Iraq, H.E. Saad Ibrahim Al-Ali. A panel discussion titled Pursuing Justice and Sustainable Peacebuilding in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya followed. The panel featured the principal author of the comparative study on rule of law efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, Mr. Scott Carlson (Former Senior Rule of Law Advisor, U.S. Department of State), and the authors of the field study on the rule of law in post-Gaddafi Libya, Prof. Jan Michiel Otto (Director, Van Vollenhoven Institute, Leiden University) and Dr. Suliman Ibrahim (Dean of the School of Law, University of Benghazi). The panel was moderated by Mr. Ahmad Fawzi (Former Spokesman for the UN/Arab League Special Envoy on Syria).

The event concluded with the presentation of The Hague Approach and the research reports to senior government representatives of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya by the President of The Hague Institute, Dr. Abiodun Williams.

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