This year marks 125 years since the First Hague Peace Conference, a historic gathering that laid the groundwork for international cooperation and conflict resolution. It resulted in the establishment of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) and marked the first step in the development of the modern means of peaceful dispute resolution offered to the international community.
This First Hague Peace Conference was held in The Hague in 1899 from May 18 to July 29 and convened at the initiative of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. It brought together representatives from different nations around the world to discuss the promotion of peace and the establishment of mechanisms to prevent future conflicts, including disarmament, rules of war, and the establishment of an international court to arbitrate disputes between nations: the Permanent Court of Arbitration. In 2024, 125 years after its creation, the PCA has 122 Contracting Parties which have acceded to one or both of the PCA's Founding Conventions.
Marcin Czepelak, Secretary-General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, reflected on the Courts legacy as the oldest and most active international court in The Hague: The 1899 Convention and the creation of the PCA marked the beginning of The Hagues status as the City of Peace and Justice and permanently shaped the citys landscape through the construction of the PCAs headquarters: the Peace Palace, which was built to house the Permanent Court of Arbitration. As the PCA celebrates its 125th anniversary, it is with immense pride that we look back on the Courts successful transition to a modern arbitral institution capable of meeting the rapidly evolving needs of the international community.
Jan van Zanen, Mayor of The Hague: "125 years ago, the First Hague Peace Conference laid the foundation for peaceful resolution of conflicts. It is my sincere wish that The Hague will continue to be a beacon of diplomacy and a city where nations come together for the cause of peace."
To honor this milestone, events and activities are planned throughout the year in The Hague. Please follow https://justpeacethehague.com/en/ to stay updated.
For more information about the Permanent Court of Arbitration please visit: https://pca-cpa.org/home/
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