Welcome to the signing ceremony of the Ljubljana-The Hague Convention, 14 February 2024


Excellencies, honoured guests,

Welcome to the Ljubljana-The Hague Convention signing ceremony. The city of The Hague has been dedicated to the cause of peace and justice for 125 years now. The first Peace Conference was held here exactly 125 years ago. That has led to the construction of the Peace Palace where we are gathered today.

Our city now has some 500 international institutions and organisations in this field. Around 20,000 people here are engaged every day in peaceful conflict resolution and international justice, as well as the investigation and prosecution of war crimes, genocide and other serious crimes.

We, as a city, feel a great responsibility, all the more so in the present era of major international conflicts and the shifting balance of power in the world. As the home base of all those institutions and organisations that have to be able to demonstrate their worth. As a host to negotiations and solemn agreements, such as the one being signed here today.

After years of preparation, 68 states agreed on the text of the Ljubljana-The Hague Convention in May last year. An agreement which facilitates effective international cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of international crimes.

That Convention is being signed here today. Tomorrow, you will meet in the seminar on cooperation in the fight against international crime and the role of this new Convention in that.

As Mayor of The Hague, I am proud that this agreement has come together after years of effort. 125 years after the first Peace Conference, you are taking another step towards peace and justice. I am happy to mark that with you today. For now, I wish you a good meeting and for tomorrow, a fruitful seminar.

Thank you very much.