Welkomstwoord door burgemeester Jan van Zanen op de conferentie ‘Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) and its relevance for Africa’, 15 juni 2023
En français (une des deux langues officielles de la HCCH) :
Mesdames et Messieurs les Ambassadeurs des États africains aux Pays-Bas, je suis heureux de vous accueillir ici,
à cette conférence organisée par la Conférence de La Haye de droit international privé, avec le soutien de la municipalité de La Haye.
Comme vous le savez, La Haye mérite à juste titre d’être appelée la ville internationale de la paix et de la justice.
C’est la Conférence de La Haye de droit international privé qui lui a permis de se forger cette réputation.
Permettez-moi de vous en dire plus à ce sujet.
J’espère que vous ne verrez pas d’inconvénient à ce que je poursuive en anglais.
Welcome to this conference, organised by the Hague Conference on Private International Law.
Anyone looking for the origins of the international profile of The Hague will soon find themselves at the peace conference of 1899.
Which was obviously a very important milestone.
But… it was not the start of The Hague’s development into a city of peace and justice.
Six years earlier, the Hague Conference on Private International Law had already met here.
Making it the oldest international organisation in The Hague.
The Hague largely owes this to one man: Tobias Asser.
It was partly due to his work for international private law that in 1911, Tobias Asser would receive the Nobel Peace Prize, the first and still the only Dutch person to do so.
130 years later, The Hague has become a centre of peace and justice.
Our city owes much of its reputation to that.
But above all, it’s about law ultimately always being about people.
Everyone, everywhere, must always know that they are protected by the law.
Whether that’s in business contacts or private relationships.
With the diminishing world and expanding international contacts, there will be even more need for legal regulation at international level.
Not to mention law in the digital domain, a subject that is increasingly in the spotlight.
Law affects people’s lives, all over the world.
Women, men and certainly also children.
They are the ones who are most at risk of falling through the cracks if they are driven from their familiar and safe living environment.
We all know stories about children who suffer following the divorce of their parents.
But when those parents also live in different countries, a divorce can become much more complicated.
And the consequences for children more dramatic.
The many conventions about protecting children’s rights organised by the Hague Conference on Private International Law have made an important contribution to the position of children.
But the other subjects that concern The Hague Conference on Private International Law also affect the lives and actions of people, all over the planet.
Take International Commercial, Digital & Financial Law, for example.
So, the work of The Hague Conference on Private International Law is relevant for every nation.
In that spirit, I wish you an inspiring conference.