In the picture, the Ambassador of Panama, H.E. Ms. Elizabeth Ward Neiman, who came to the city’s emblematic Peace Palace, with Mr. Erik De Beaedts, Peace Palace & Carnegie Foundation Director-General.
Mr. Erik de Baedts, General Director of the Carnegie Foundation-Peace Palace and Treasurer of the Hague Academy of International Law since 2015, individually welcomed to the Peace Palace the ambassadors that have presented their credentials in the Netherlands throughout 2020 and 2021.
As part of a program started in 2019, the Peace Palace would normally organize, in collaboration with Diplomat Magazine, a private group reception at the Palace for the new ambassadors. However, in light of the anti-COVID regulations, the traditional group reception has now morphed into a set of individual visits to the Palace, under the personal guidance of its General Director Mr. De Baedts.
“Until now I’ve had the pleasure to welcome the ambassadors of Egypt, Panama, and Rwanda. They all showed a sincere interest in the Peace Palace and in all the activities that the institutions hosted here undertake to promote peace through law” – Mr. de Baedts said.
“The ambassador of Panama, H.E. Ms Elizabeth Ward Neiman, was very much interested in the architecture and the cultural heritage of the Peace Palace, whereas with the ambassador of Egypt, H.E. Mr. Hatem Elsayed Mohamed Kamaleldin, there was an interesting exchange on how to deal with extremist narratives and how to promote peace and tolerance between people with various backgrounds and faiths” – the General Director continued, describing his meetings with individual ambassadors.
“I met H.E. Mr. Olivier Jean Patrick Nduhungirehe, ambassador of Rwanda the day after I laid a wreath at the monument opposite the Peace Palace to commemorate the victims of the Second World War. I learnt a lot from the dynamics that have taken place in Rwanda over the past decades. We share an interest to prevent dynamics of exclusion and persecution of minorities from taking place” – Mr. de Baedts said.
The Peace Palace hosts two of the most important Courts in the world: the United Nations’ International Court of Justice, which is the only main UN organ located outside of New York; and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. In addition, the Palace also hosts The Hague Academy of International Law.
The Peace Palace was built after the First Hague Peace Conference of 1899. It finally opened its doors in 1913, thanks to a donation from the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who established the Carnegie Foundation to build and maintain the Palace in perpetuity. The Carnegie Foundation also manages the Peace Palace Library and hosts the Academy.
The Palace has been designated as a National Monument and carries the European Heritage Label – recognitions that testifies to its high cultural, historical and architectural value.
In addition to the aforementioned functions, the Peace Palace also facilitates conferences during which important international law concepts are elaborated. At the same time, The Hague Academy of International Law, since its establishment, has educated more than 50,000 students and lawyers from all over the world, including future ambassadors and judges of many countries.
The meeting between the Peace Palace’s General Director and the new ambassadors, jointly organized by the Peace Palace and Diplomat Magazine, wants to symbolize the need for cooperation and solidarity in the complex efforts aimed at reaching peace among all countries in the world. “I wish the ambassadors a successful tenure in The Hague and I hope to see them more often once the Palace can open up again after the pandemic” – concluded General Director de Baedts.