Peace and Justice - South Africa

Peace and justice

Finding solutions together

The Netherlands is home and host to the global commitment to peace and justice. In The Hague, the legal capital of the world, over 130 organizations foster peace and justice through their daily work. They prevent and prosecute violations of basic human rights, help strengthen legal systems in countries where they are weak and they establish a more peaceful and stable world through international cooperation.

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Looking at the past hundred years, the Dutch commitment to peace and justice shows a clear evolution from dispute settlement to global justice. The Hague Peace Conferences at the turn of the 20th century laid the foundations for the Centre of Excellence on Peace and Justice which The Netherlands is today. The PCA is considered the precursor of The Hague’s emerging role as Legal Capital of the World. Peace and justice are no longer limited to achieving armistice after war. They now involve capacity building, working on the very conditions that make it possible for peace and justice to thrive. Building up the legal order in post-conflict and fragile states. Instigating transnational rule of law, so that persons everywhere in the world can and are held accountable for their actions, so that victims of war crimes are compensated and that citizens everywhere in the world can count on justice being done in The Hague.

The Netherlands takes the lead in fighting impunity for perpetrators of crimes against humanity by continually seeking to expand the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court. Both are seated in The Hague, the former is the highest court of the United Nations. The latter is an independent judicial institution, set up by the signatory states of the Rome Statute. The Netherlands further supports the work of multilateral organizations such as Europol and Eurojust, in the fight against organized crime. The OPCW, in the fight against chemical weapons. And the Hague Conference on Private International Law, in the fight against international child abduction.

The Netherlands invests actively and structurally in sound and responsive host country policy. It invests millions of Euros each year to support international organizations such as Europol, Eurojust, the Lebanon Tribunal, the ICC and others, creating the conditions for thecourts and other organizations dedicated to peace and justice to conduct their activities to the best of their ability.