Welcome by mayor Jan van Zanen at the gathering of the corps diplomatique and representatives from the international community, 15 November 2022



Dear guests,

Also on behalf of vice mayor Mariƫlle Vavier and the ladies from Scheveningen in their traditional clothing:

Welcome to one of The Hague’s most interesting museums: Panorama Mesdag.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you, members of the Corps Diplomatique and representatives from the international community.

I hope that you feel at home in The Hague.

It has been brought to my attention that some of you are already well integrated and sometimes cycle to an event.

I wonder if that’s the case today.


Dear guests,

Panorama Mesdag is unique.

It offers you the opportunity to take a journey through time.

A journey back in time to Scheveningen as it was over a hundred and forty years ago.

When the creator, Hendrik Willem Mesdag, opened the Panorama in eighteen eighty-one, The Hague was home to around a hundred thousand people.

In subsequent decades, our city would grow rapidly.

And since the eighteen nineties, The Hague would also become the International City of Peace and Justice.

The first milestones in that development were the two Peace Conferences.

And of course, the opening of the Peace Palace in nineteen thirteen.

Incidentally, did you know that Mesdag was not very happy with the construction of Carnegie’s Temple of Peace?

This was built not far from his home on Laan van Meerdervoort, where the Mesdag Collection is currently housed.


Now in twenty twenty-two, the international aspect is an integral part of The Hague.

An International City, thanks to you.

Your presence not only makes The Hague a diplomatic centre, but also adds cultural enrichment.

This was nicely illustrated last September by the Embassy Festival on Lange Voorhout.

The Embassy Festival builds bridges between cultures and brings people together.

Something that is more important than ever.

As is working towards a world of peace and justice.

Many of you are involved in doing this, day in, day out, at one of the many embassies and international organisations in The Hague.

Truly, I am honoured to be the mayor of our international city of peace and justice.

I very much hope that The Hague, particularly in times like these, may be a beacon of light.

A beacon of light in times of adversity.

In fact, this was the theme of the Just Peace Month whose many activities in September and October focused on the work of international organisations in The Hague.

Your work and that of many others.

Work that is so important for the future of our planet.

Thank you.

I hope you have a very enjoyable meeting.