October 2023


Good morning everyone,

It’s good to see that the ONE conference has again mobilised so many people in the field of cyber security. I am Jan van Zanen, Mayor of The Hague, international city of peace, justice and security. Public order and security form an important part of my portfolio as mayor. And that is certainly no sinecure here in The Hague.

October is European cyber security month. The Hague also has its cyber security week in that month. A week with various events. Yesterday, at the annual Hack The Hague event we invited ethical hackers to test the cyber security of our municipality. Today, I have the pleasure of opening the ONE conference, the cyber security event of the Netherlands. Where experts, policymakers, business owners and students can meet each other in and around the main programme, the expo and the side events.

The Hague is a logical place for a meeting of this kind. For more than a century now, we have been the city of peace and justice. The home of international institutions surrounded by an extensive network of businesses and organisations. Furthermore – and actually first of all – it is the nation’s seat of parliament and centre of government.

This unique collection of organisations and institutions raises security issues. So it is no coincidence that a strong ecosystem of organisations and businesses in the field of security has emerged here. Which is why we increasingly refer to The Hague as the city of peace, justice and security.

The urgency of this issue is something I experience daily. Whether it is a matter of ensuring the safety of politicians and officials, or safeguarding the balance between the freedom to demonstrate and the rights of others. The Hague Cyber Security Agenda (Agenda Digitaal Veilig Den Haag) provides me with tools to manage The Hague’s unique risk profile. As well as deal with cyberattacks around essential processes, such as the water supply, electricity and healthcare. There is no better illustration of the urgency of the cyber security issue than the recent hack of the International Criminal Court based in this city. A hack which could disrupt our international rules-based system.

The Hague is also a city of non-governmental organisations, businesses and people who must learn to deal with the opportunities and threats brought by digitalisation. As a city we launch a cybersecurity program for NGO’s. We help businesses with their websites to generate more business and be resilient against phishing and online fraud. We offer courses for our commercial sector, as well as in local community centres to increase cyber awareness among our residents.

We are proud of the The Hague Security Delta. Our network of government, businesses and organisations in the area of physical and digital security. An innovative network, abreast of the latest developments due to close contact between the parties, facilitated by the municipality. A strong network due to links with the University of Leiden and Delft University of Technology, the presence of NATO bodies as well as Europol and our National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). A network fuelled by education, where tomorrow’s developers and security experts are now being trained.

Which leads me to mention the talent hub which has been added to this edition of the ONE Conference. A unique opportunity to bring talented young people into contact with the organisations here. An extra warm welcome therefore to the young talent here today.  We need you.

I wish you all a fruitful conference.