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The Peace Palace centenary

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By Willem Post.

The Peace Palace centenary spurs to the establishment of ‘The Hague Approach “.The Hague’s  ‘ Temple of Peace ‘is exactly 100 years old, America expert WillemPost stresses its relevance.Is the Peace Palace a mirage on the horizon? A naive figment of nineteenth centurypeace activists as Bertha von Suttner and Andrew Carnegie who financed it?n 1914 at the commencement of the First World War, the journalists of the news paper New York Time flocked  Andrew Carnegie’s mansion in Manhattan N.Y.eagerly awaiting his comments on the fate of the new permanent Court of Arbitrationin The Hague, should be now deemed a failure? Failure,

on the contrary, retorted. Carnegie.  He noted in an interview with the New YorkTime: ” The ‘ horror.’ of this world proves even more that men who have the capacity to reason, should rather focus on conflict prevention.Carnegie pointed to millions of years of primitive struggle and found that gradually people should agree to settle. their disputes through the courts The more people develop themselves, the urge to reason will prevail, and this will bring about a culture of ‘rule of law’ between nation states.

Carnegie stressed the importance of good education and therefore sponsored 3000libraries.The courts located in the Peace Palace, including the International Court of Justice,which is the highest judicial body of the United Nations, were able to avert hundreds of conflicts and wars over the past decades. The Oslo Peace Research Institute has calculated that the number of wars between nation states for decades now show a decrease. Yet there are heart breaking wars, as the images of chemical attacks in Syria recently attested.

The relevance of the Peace Palace for the years ahead lies in a holistic approachto participation in war. Prevention. One can not deny the fact that there are already hopeful omens…

The courts in the Peace Palace are successfully progressing in conflict prevention..f withstanding the successful progress for some reason war breaks out, the international community in exceptional cases, even without support from the Security Council, could intervene in the case of genocide.

For the first time in history, more than 160 perpetrators have been convicted for warcrimes by the Tribunal for former Yugoslavia. Impunity is no longer condoned. . The ICC operates worldwide, even though the focus for obvious reasons is not exclusively but especially in Africa.There appears to be a missing link in the chain of peace keeping operations.The reconstruction in conflict torn areas is still too fragmented, there is a need for close cooperation. Action is urgently required and is attainable.Mayor Josiah van Aartsen has presented H.M. King Willem- Alexander and H.E. the Secretary – General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon, with the results of a scientific study that focuses on the practice of reconstruction. The study was done by the ‘The Hague Institute for Global Justice in collaboration with the University of Leiden andother renowned universities and local actors in countries like Libya.

What matters is an implementation of a holistic approach by “a coalition of motivatedentities”. Not an ‘ ambitious ‘ international community but primarily local actors such as representatives of civil society on the spot. In developing a ‘ rule of law ‘ mentality all segments of society should be involved, the business community should not certainly be excluded There is no substitute for realism marred with optimism. The Peace Palace will in the next 100 years certainly be even more necessary as instrumental in preventing wars In the spirit of what Andrew Carnegie words;

“Come it slow, come it fast, but it is law which comes at last.”

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