The Hague, The Netherlands –
The centenary of the Peace Palace in The Hague, on 28 August 2013, was an auspicious occasion for celebration and reflection. It also presented INMP, whose secretariat overlooks part of the Palace, with an opportunity to promote greater awareness of peace museums and museums for peace, and increase support for them.
The Peace Palace, home of the International Court of Justice of the United Nations, ranks among the world’s oldest, grandest and most important buildings devoted to world peace, international justice, the rule of law, and the abolition of war. It is the result of a major gift by the Scottish-American iron and steel industrialist, and president of the New York Peace Society, Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919). The Peace Palace is one of three ‘Temples of Peace’ that he financed. A strong opponent of war, Carnegie believed that the two Hague Peace Conferences (1899 & 1907), which had resulted in the creation of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and a convention on the peaceful resolution of conflicts, showed that the abolition of war was a realistic goal. As a result, he directed much of his unprecedented philanthropy to the development of a culture of peace.
Official centenary celebrations at the Peace Palace included the presentation of the official book 100 Years Peace Palace to His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands. A speech was given by Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon. Afterwards a bust of peace activist Bertha von Suttner was unveiled by 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Leymah Gbowee, in the main hall of the Peace Palace.
INMP initiated two projects as part of the centenary celebrations, a two-day symposium entitled Celebrating Peace Philanthropy and Furthering Peace Education – In the Footsteps of Andrew Carnegie, and an exhibition entitled Peace Philanthropy – Then and Now.
Sources and related links:
Government of the Netherlands – Peace Palace centennial celebrations (including a short video with transcript)
Municipality of The Hague – Video: Ban Ki-moon feliciteert Den Haag (YouTube)
Peace Palace Library – Peace Palace Centenary, 1913-2013: Programme
Piece of the Palace – A constellation of activities celebrating the centenary of the Peace Palace