Premier Perspectives: Ruud Lubbers

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On 4 June, The Hague Institute welcomed former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers for the second installment of Premier Perspectives, a unique edition of the Institute’s Distinguished Speaker Series. Mr. Lubbers topic, “Global Justice in 2015”, addressed the European Energy Charter, the threat of Climate Change and the implications of technological developments of our time.

With 4,309 days, Ruud Lubbers still holds the record as longest serving Premier in Dutch history. He served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 4 November 1982 until 22 August 1994. In government, he saw the final seven years of the Cold War, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the reunification of Germany. On 31 January 1995, he was granted the honorary title of Minister of State.

From 1995 to 2000, he taught Globalization Studies at Tilburg University in the Netherlands and at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in the United States. He was also vice-chairman of the Independent World Commission on the Oceans and chair of Globus, the Institute for Globalization and Development based in Tilburg.

In 2000, Lubbers was appointed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan as UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). During his tenure, the number of refugees worldwide decreased by almost 22% from 21.8 million in 2001 to close to 17.1 million at the beginning of 2004.

For years Lubbers has promoted sustainability through various organizations, including Earth Charter which was launched in the Peace Palace in The Hague in June 2000. Lubbers is an active member of the international Earth Charter Commission and reaches out, especially to youth in the Netherlands, with the message of the Earth Charter for a sustainable and peaceful world.


  • Ruud Lubbers
    Former Prime Minister, The Netherlands
    Topic: Global Justice in 2015
  • Dr. Abiodun Williams, Moderator
    President, The Hague Institute


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