Speech: Lady Sohair A. Salam Saber, President of The Hague Institute for Global Justice

Press conference: 29 January 2019

Nieuwspoort  – Room Van der Poelzaal 1

Thank you all for being here today.

Ladies and gentlemen of the distinguished media and honorable guests, good morning.

Over the past year, I have been graced with the opportunity to get to know friends and colleagues in The Hague, in organizations that support the Hague and what it stands for and the global team that has, and continues to believe and support The Hague Institute for Global Justice.

It has been an extraordinary journey and I cannot begin to express the gratitude I feel towards those who stood for the continuity of this respected institute’s legacy.

I am more so in constant awe at the believes and principles that I find the Institute the people of the Netherlands and the Dutch government strive to fulfill.

One cannot stand here before you and sing the praises of the Institute without attributing to the fundamentals of justice that the Kingdom of the Netherlands has led the way in for decades. We see this not only in the global efforts of the Netherlands, but it is a fundamental principle enshrined in the Constitution of the Kingdom.

Article 90 of the Dutch constitution states that the Government shall promote the development of the international legal order. This admirable constitutional obligation is the only of its kind in the world.

In the words of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander:

“In our world, everything is interconnected. Development without peace is impossible. Peace without justice is untenable. And justice without development is no use to anyone”

I firmly believe that the Institute is one of the leading embodiments of the government efforts and promoting, maintaining and supporting global justice and order. By acknowledging this reality, I think it is safe to say that the institute – which we all gather for here today – is an institute that represents ideals of the people of the world and of the unequivocal Dutch society. I would be amiss if I did not express the pride that I feel in being entrusted with this magnificent responsibility.

In my personal life and professional life, naturally, I endeavor to reflect these principles that I hold dear. Motivated by these honorable commitments, I have advised sovereigns, collaborated with State leaders, assisted NGOs, and promoted social, economic and political development in their various facets across the globe

My work and my philanthropy have taken me from the United States to Africa, from the Middle East to Australia and many more. I have seen cultures and governments interact in harmony and in conflict. I have seen globalization and nationalism. I have witnessed the pursuit of justice and the fight against injustice.

And I have no doubt that those who have stood by the survival of the legacy of the Institute and myself will exert all efforts utilize all opportunities and fulfill the principles that the Institute was founded on, and for.

Thank you.

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