Peace Palace

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The Peace Palace (Dutch: Vredespaleis) is a building in The Hague, Netherlands. It is often called the seat of international law because it houses the International Court of Justice (which is the principal judicial body of the United Nations), the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the Hague Academy of International Law, and the extensive Peace Palace Library. In addition to hosting these institutions, the Palace is also a regular venue for special events in international policy and law. The Palace officially opened on August 28, 1913, and was originally built to provide a symbolic home for the Permanent Court of Arbitration, a court created to end war which was created by treaty at the 1899 Hague Peace Conference. Andrew Dickson White, whose efforts were instrumental in creating this court and securing the funding to provide it with a "worthy accommodation", wrote of the idea to his friend Andrew Carnegie, who eventually provided 1.5 million dollars to build the Peace Palace:

“A temple of peace where the doors are open, in contrast to the Janus-temple, in times of peace and closed in cases of war (…..) as a worthy testimony of the people that, after many long centuries finally a court that has thrown open its doors for the peaceful settlement of differences between peoples”.

Were such a fabric to be created, men would make pilgrimages from all parts of the civilized world to see it. It would become a sort of holy place, prizes and revered by thinking men throughout the world, and to which, in any danger of war between any two countries, the minds of men would turn naturally and normally. The main difficulty now is that the people of the various nations do not really know what was done for them by the Conference; but such a building would make them know it. It would be an "outward and visible sign" of the Court, which would make its actual, tangible existence known to the ends of the earth" - Andrew Dickson White to Andrew Carnegie, August 5th, 1902

August 28, 2013 is both the Centenary of the Peace Palace, and the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr's I Have a Dream speech. King's embrace of pacifism and the Gandhian method of satyagraha is a clear legacy of the 19th century Peace Movement from which the Peace Palace and the Permanent Court of Arbitration emerged. August 28, 2013 is also the anniversary of the death of Hugo Grotius. Grotius, who died in 1645, is recognized as the founder of the vision of International Law of which the Permanent Court of Arbitration is an expression. In his autobiography, Andrew Dickson White, who led the U.S. delegation to the 1899 Hague Peace Conference which established the Permanent Court of Arbitration, wrote "Our work here, at the end of the nineteenth century, is the direct result of Grotius' work at the end of the 17th century"
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