Geert Lovink on Thu, 6 May 1999 19:39:18 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> hague peace conference, may 11-15, 1999

Anna Paulownastraat 103, 2518 BC The Hague, The Netherlands 16 April 1999 
Tel: +31-70-3562344 Fax: +31-70- 3455951 E-mail:

Hague Appeal for Peace 1999 

The Hague Appeal for Peace is a major end-of-century campaign dedicated to
the delegitimization of war and the construction of a culture of peace. At
the heart of the campaign is the Hague Appeal for Peace Civil Society
Conference which will be held from May 11 to 15, 1999 in The Hague, The

Kofi Annan, Desmond Tutu and others To date, over 1,000 organisations have
endorsed the Hague Appeal. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan; UNICEF's Carol
Bellamy; Pierre San of Amnesty International; Nobel Laureates Jody
Williams, Jose Ramos Horta, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu; and South
Africa's first lady, Graca Machel and many others will all take part in
this historic event. 

Hague Agenda for Peace 

At the conference, the Hague Agenda for Peace and Justice for the 21st
Century will be launched. The Agenda will be circulated and implemented
locally, nationally and internationally. It is already scheduled to be
presented at dozens of governmental and civil society venues, including
the General Assembly of the United Nations on November 17, 1999. Concepts
of the Agenda are available for the press. 

       The Conference:

>From May 12-15, 1999, hundreds of organisations and thousands of people
will gather in The Hague to discuss and plan the ways in which we, people
working together, can delegitimize violent conflict and make the next
century a peaceful one. The Hague Appeal for Peace Conference will
commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First International Peace
Conference and create the Hague Agenda for Peace and Justice for the 21st

       The Place:

       The Netherlands Congress Centre, The Hague, in The Netherlands.
Additional activities will take place throughout the city of The Hague. 

       The Date:

       May 12th until May 15th, 1999. Registration (also for the press)
will begin on Tuesday, May 11, with opening ceremonies on Wednesday
morning, May 12.

       The Participants:

       Hundreds of organisations and thousands of people will gather
together: from the Global South, from countries with economies in
transition, from conflict regions, Nobel Peace Prize laureates, youth,
representatives of governments and international organisations, and you
and your organisation. Anyone who is interested in helping create a new
century of peace is welcome! 

       Special Focus on Youth:

       The Hague Appeal for Peace is making a special effort to involve
young people in every stage of its campaign. During the Conference, an
orientation session for young people will lead into five days of
activities, including a video festival, games, an original musical,
theater workshops and exhibitions. Within the conference, young people
from many countries and conflict areas will address issues such as child
soldiers, peace education, conflict resolution, children's rights and
conscientious objection. More information can be found on the youthsite of
the Hague Appeal for Peace: 
Starting new campaigns During the conference some new campaigns will be
launched. These campaigns are: 

              1. Campaign against child-soldiers
              2. Campaign for the International Criminal Court
              3. Campaign against small arms
              4. Campaign for a convention outlawing nuclear weapons
              5. Campaign to make universal peace-education compulsory in
                 schools and universities

       Other important issues: 

              6. Debating humanitarian intervention
              7. First report on the implementation of the Ottawa landmine
                 ban treaty and new call for worldwide ratification
              8. GAP-programme, Global Action for Peace
              9. Women action activities. (2000 steps to peace)

Conference Outcomes: 

The Conference will finalize and launch The Hague Agenda for Peace and
Justice for the Twenty-first Century. After assessing our failures and
successes over the last century we will be able to determine the
priorities for moving forward. This Agenda will be the compilation of the
most important "next steps" that must be taken, with strategies for
implementation, to delegitimize war and create a culture of peace.  In
addition this campaign will make the work of civil society more effective
in several concrete ways: 

       Develop an action plan to carry out recommendations selected from
important international studies and reports such as the United Nations
Agenda for Peace;
       Provide substantive technical assistance and support to initiatives
on The Hague Appeal for Peace themes, such as the extension of
international humanitarian law to cover situation of internal armed
conflict, and the institutionalization of an effective international
criminal court;
       Support, monitor, and influence governmental and inter-governmental
initiatives developed out of the Centennial of The First International
Peace Conference;
       Catalyze and support follow-up activities that seek to impact
policy and result in practical outcomes, initiated by participating
organizations and coalitions of organizations locally,  regionally, and
       Forge a dynamic, cross-sectoral coalition of humanitarian,
international law, environment, gender, human rights, disarmament,
religious and other non-governmental organizations that will work toward
the abolition of war and a culture of peace for the next century;
       Generate positive media attention toward peace efforts undertaken
by civil society organisation, governments, and individuals.
The Global Forum 

The Global Forum will maximize networking and learning opportunities for
all participants to advance their visions and proposals for The Hague
Agenda for Peace and Justice. In this space, organizations will be able to
host speakers and panels, hold internal meetings, share information about
their work and invite participants to become involved in creating
proposals and strategies to carry it out. The Global Forum will also be
the site for the international career and peace education fair.
Vision of The Hague Appeal for Peace

It was the worst of centuries and the best of centuries.  The past 99
years have seen more death, and more brutal death, from war, famine, and
other preventable causes than any other time span in history. They have
seen the tender flame of democracy snuffed out again and again by crazed
dictators, military regimes and colossal international power struggles.
They have seen the widening of the gulf between the favored of the earth
and the wretched of the earth and the growing callousness of the former
toward the latter. But the years have also witnessed the power of the
people to resist and overcome present oppression as well as age-old
prejudices of gender against gender, race against race, religion against
religion, and ethnic group against ethnic group. These years have
witnessed an explosion of scientific and technical knowledge which make
possible a decent life for all who inhabit this planet, the formulation of
a set of universal rights which, if taken seriously, would translate that
possibility into reality, and the infancy of a system of global governance
which, if allowed to grow, could guide this transition. We, members and
representatives of people's organisations from many cultures and spheres
of society, mindful of the dual history of this century, issue the
following appeal to ourselves and to those who profess to lead us: As the
global community moves into the 21st century, let this be the first
century without war.  Let us find ways and implement the ways already
available to prevent conflict by removing its causes, which include the
unequal distribution of the world's vast resources, the hostility of
nations and of groups within nations toward each other, and the presence
of ever more deadly arsenals of conventional weapons and weapons of mass
destruction. When conflicts arise, as they inevitably will despite our
best efforts, let us find ways and implement the ways already available to
resolve them without resort to violence.  Let us, in short, complete the
work of the Peace Conference held in The Hague a century ago by returning
to the vision of general and complete disarmament which flickered briefly
on the world stage after the last World War. This will require new
structures for peace and a fundamentally strengthened international legal
order.  Specifically, let us find the moral, spiritual and political will
to do what our leaders know must be done but cannot bring themselves to do
Abolish nuclear weapons, land mines and all other weapons incompatible
with humanitarian law, Abolish the arms trade, or at least reduce it to
levels compatible with the prohibition of aggression enshrined in the
Charter of the United Nations; Strengthen humanitarian law and
institutions for the period of transition to a world without war; Examine
the causes of conflict and develop creative ways of preventing and
resolving conflict; and overcome colonialism in all its forms and to use
the tremendous resources liberated by an end or reduction of the arms race
for the eradication of poverty;  neocolonialism; the new slavery; and the
new apartheid; for the preservation of the environment; and for the
benefits of peace and justice for all.  In pursuing these goals, let us
commit to initiating the final steps for abolishing war, for replacing the
law of force with the force of law. 

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