Word of welcome by Jan van Zanen at the Peace & Justice meeting, 1 February 2024


Dear all,


Thank you for coming.

It’s great that we can be together again.

Something which gives me the opportunity to say: thank you.

Thank you for your dedication to our world.

Thank you for your dedication to The Hague.

Thank you for your dedication to peace and justice.

More than ever before, the world is crying out for peace.

People are yearning for justice.

Far away, and close to home.

The Hague plays a vital role in that.

And has done for 125 years now.

As you know, the First Peace Conference was held here in 1899.

At Huis ten Bosch Palace.

Truly, a splendid location, don’t you think?

That conference was just the start.

The start of The Hague’s journey to becoming the international city of peace and justice.

An anniversary that we will be observing this year.

Together with you.

But, first and foremost, we must look to the present and the future.

And work together to build the world we all wish for.

A world in which people are free from fear and want.

And free to say and believe whatever they like.

Here in The Hague, and everywhere else too.

Not importing the world’s conflicts, but exporting peace and love.

You are indispensable to us in that.

In that spirit, I wish you all the best for this year.

And a successful meeting.