The centenary of the Peace Palace in The Hague in 2013 is an auspicious occasion for celebration and reflection. It also presents 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. 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.
INMP has initiated a project which consists of an exhibition entitled Peace Philanthropy Then and Now – In the footsteps of Andrew Carnegie. It will highlight instances of major peace philanthropy during the past hundred years. The exhibition will be opened in the Atrium of the city hall in The Hague in September 2013, and will then be available to be shown elsewhere. At the same time, a two-day symposium entitled Celebrating Peace Philanthropy and Furthering Peace Education – In the Footsteps of Andrew Carnegie is scheduled to take place in the Peace Palace. It is anticipated that several leading peace philanthropists will participate in a review of the nature, variety and extent of peace philanthropy today. Major educational programmes and projects to further develop a culture of peace and nonviolence will also be presented.