Dankwoord door burgemeester Jan van Zanen

Thank you, Janne. And how wonderful to meet you again.

It is good to be here this evening on this special occasion; the book launch of the Handbook on International Law and Cities by Professor Helmut Aust and Professor Janne Nijman.

I am also delighted that you have chosen The Hague; the city of Peace and Justice for this launch as I feel this book fits our world and challenges as a city perfectly.

As is clear from your book, cities are at the forefront of many global issues such as climate change, migration, inequality etc. We therefore cannot avoid to be experts on the impact of these issues on the ground. We need to play an important role in the implementation of solutions as many global issues require local action. And last but not least The Hague houses over 425 NGO’s and IO’s who work on these issues on a daily basis and can help us to improve our resilience and impact as a city Global challenges affect us and require local action. They also require collaboration.

And in that sense the Hague is not only a traditional large city, with all the complex issues involved. Every day 20.000 people in the Hague strive towards attaining a safer, more just world. They come to The Hague from all corners of the world to mutually try and resolve global issues. Wit among others the Peace Palace, the humanity hub and also the Asser institute at its core.

At the same time, we participate in global networks of cities, so that we can learn from each other, can collaborate and influence decision makers at the international and global level. This morning I returned from Barcelona, where I attended  the world council of UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments). I am keen to learn more about your insights and research in this book.

I feel this book is essential in our time. For us as a city but also for national and international governance. I think it will provide us important insights and will be able to guide us how to navigate towards a more sustainable future for us all.

Thank you and I very look forward reading it.